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Hello former and potential Great American Mountain Rally participants!

I wanted to reach out to you about GAMRR2019.  Obviously the untimely passing of Steve McKelvie (last year’s Rally Chair) has had a profound impact on the planning of the 2019 event. This event will be run October 25th-27th in honor of Steve who was the driving force behind GAMRR2018. Steve provided a level of rallying expertise that was extraordinary. I learned a great deal during the year that we spent together planning the 2018 event, those lessons learned will be valuable in the planning of GAMRR2019. 

With support from the New England Region SCCA and personnel from local sports car clubs I know that this event will rival & hopefully exceed last year’s event. Many have reached out to me offering support in running the event; to those my profound thanks. 

Steve and I had already established a preliminary route and had been coordinating with venues for lodging and events. Following is a preliminary route map.

History of the Great American Mountain Rallye

The flag dropped on the very first GAMR on Thanksgiving Day of 1953 and the rally continued every November through 1957. Described in the April 1956 issue of Auto Age as “America’s longest, toughest, and coldest rallye,” the races attracted driving teams from across America, Europe and Scandinavia. Conducted the weekend of American Thanksgiving, the rally typically featured challenging snowy weather through New York’s Adirondack, New Hampshire’s White, and Vermont’s Green Mountains. Tire chains were an absolute must!

In its day the Great American Mountain Rallye attracted top teams from around the world.  The Rootes team entered Sheila van Damm in 1953 and 1954.  Stirling Moss also competed in this rally in 1954.  The great Maurice Gastonides, the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally winner, was a competitor as well.  One year, multi-time world driving champion, Juan Manual Fangio was the official starter.

The current event includes 3 days of Rallying. Day 1 will start in the Capital District of New York State and run Northerly thought the center of the Adirondack Park to Lake Placid; the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics with lodging at an exclusive inn.  Day 2 of the event will include a loop from Lake Placid North and West to the Saint Regis and Saranac Lake Regions and will end back at our exquisite host inn.  Day 3 will see us travelling East through the High Peaks and Keene Valley to Lake Champlain where a short ferry ride will take you across the lake to Vermont. The last leg of day 3 will take us South through the Western edge of Vermont and the Green Mountain Forest, including a number of the infamous ‘gaps” that traverse the Green Mountains. The culmination of the rally will once again end at Hemmings Motor News (our host from last year) with a scoring and a reception in the museum.

Preliminary Itinerary: (mileages subject to change based upon final reconnaissance runs.)

Thursday Oct 24th

·        Lodging in Saratoga Springs New York.

·        A private wine and cheese reception at Saratoga Auto Museum (museum closed to the public).

·        Final Registration

·        Rally preview and school


 Friday October 25th

·        Rally start at Saratoga Auto Museum

  • Approximately a 200 mile route to Lake Placid New York.

  • Lodging at a fine Inn on Mirror Lake in downtown Lake Placid, including dinner in a private function room.

Saturday October 26th

·        Saturday morning Breakfast at Inn and start of day 2.

·        Approximately a 150 mile loop route starting and ending in Lake Placid.

·        Dinner and lodging at Inn

Sunday October 27th

·        Sunday morning Breakfast at Inn and start of day 3.

·        Approximately a 200 mile route to Vermont ending at Hemmings Motor News.

·        Scoring, awards and luncheon.

·        Departure

Additional details and package pricing will follow upon final negotiations with food and lodging vendors.

Following are links for additional information about the Capital/Adirondack and Vermont regions:

Info on GAMRR2018:

Info on the history of the Great American Mountain Rally:

As the event is developed a web site will be created where you can watch for updates and information about registering for this exciting event. 

Save the date Oct 25th-27th 2019!


In the meantime please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

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