Millions of dollars rolled through Dolores last week during the Colorado Grand tour that featured 85 classic race cars.
Hundreds of spectators turned out to marvel at the stylish Alfa Romeos, Porsches, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Ferraris, Maseratis and lesser-known models that parked in front of the Galloping Goose museum.
Most of the cars were from the 1960s and earlier and have a European racing pedigree. Their owners were wrapping up an annual 1,000-mile road rally of Colorado that raises money for the Colorado State Patrol, high school scholarships and other causes.
Dustin Whitney, sporting goggles and a communication headset, piloted a 1929 Bentley from the Groendyke car collection from Oklahoma.
“It’s a very reliable team car that was made for endurance racing in the 1920s and ’30s,” he said. “The mechanics would ride along in the back seats.”
A 1933 Alfa Romeo, owned by Isaac Davis, growled and rumbled into the parking lot.
“It’s a little terrifying and gets loud and angry when you let off the throttle,” he said. “She wants to go fast, up to 120 miles per hour, plus a little more. It’s my job to keep it on the road.”
For its era, the ’33 model was very technically advanced, well-built and powerful with a supercharged straight-eight engine, Davis added.
George Davidson, of Louisville, Kentucky, looked sporty in his 1930 Bugatti T-35B Grand Prix race car.
“It’s a blast to drive,” he said. “This model won 1,000 races in its time, not because it was necessarily the fastest but because it was the most reliable. Bugatti was considered an artist in his designs as well as an excellent engineer.”
Bill Binnie’s 1938 BMW 328 won Italy’s Mille Miglia endurance race back in the day, and is ideal for slicing through the passes and curves of Colorado mountain roads.
“It has a fantastic engine, and is lightweight and nimble,” said Binnie, of Portsmith, New Hampshire. He’s on the tour with family members, who are driving a 1958 Porsche Speedster.
“The nice thing about old cars is that people have been smiling and waving at us the whole way,” Binnie said.
Wayne Carini, host of the Discovery Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars, was on the tour as well driving a Aston Martin DB4.
“It is a very special tour, and is the one week I have off a year,” he said. “The people we meet, the scenery and roads have been great. The camaraderie and friendships we share with of other car enthusiasts is really special.”
The value of the cars blew some minds in the blue collar community.
A 1956 XKSS Jaguar, one of 16 in existence with another one famously owned by Steve McQueen, is worth $6 million. A very rare 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato looked very fine parked in Dolores and is worth a staggering $15 million.
“I came over from Mancos to check it out,” said Pete Cruser. “You don’t see something like this very often. There’s a lot of money coming through here.”
The Colorado Grand has come through Dolores several times over the years and donates to the Galloping Goose Historical Society. This year they donated $1,500. In past visits they have contributed $5,000 towards restoration efforts for the Galloping Goose No. 5 and $10,000 for a new roof on the museum.
“They are a great group and we appreciate all they do for us,” said museum staffer Denise Bowyer.