The Colorado Grand, a magnificent 1000-mile tour for cars built prior to 1960, is in its 30th year. Started by car lover extraordinaire Robert Sutherland in 1988, it has grown into a world renown event, not just for its scenic drive through the Colorado Rockies, but for the variety of good it does in supporting various charities. Significant enough to attract participants from across the United States and internationally with two Granders from Switzerland piloting a pair of Bentley 4-1/2 Liters from 1928 and 1929, this year.
“Over the years, the entrants, the great group of people who get to join us on this adventure continue to make the event better,” 11-time Colorado Grand Chairman, Tom Horan expressed. “These people get it. They enjoy the scenery, the camaraderie, the generosity of their fellow entrants. They are able to see the great things we do with each of the small towns we visit.”
Having participated twice before behind the wheel of a 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinetta, protected from the elements, I was determined to drive all 1000 miles, no matter what – rain, snow or shine – with the top down on my 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce. Among a variety of Alfa Romeos traversing the Colorado countryside (some with their tops down too!) ranging from 1928 to 1960 model years, it proved to be among the most popular marque of the variety represented including: Ferrari, Jaguar, Lancia, Maserati and Porsche.
In 2018, it was surprisingly warm and bright throughout most of the rally allowing me to comfortably cruise with the top down at every elevation the Colorado Grand brought us to throughout the tour. The route originated in Vail, at the beautiful Hotel Talisa, with a mid-morning stop at family-owned and world-famous C Lazy U Ranch, acknowledged as one of the top destination resorts in the United States by USA Today.
From Steamboat Springs, off to Meeker via the “Rabbit Ears” cross the Continental Divide Trail at nearly 10,000 feet, participants saw the leaves changing colors on the beautiful Aspen trees. The day ended in Steamboat Springs providing Granders the opportunity to explore the town. The Colorado Grand ventured in a loop to Encampment, Wyoming, returning to Steamboat Springs on the third evening, allowing participants to enjoy a “dine around,” selecting from an array of wonderful eateries, to enjoy a delectable meal while supporting local business. There was enough time along the route to enjoy the magnificent vistas and many Granders saw local wildlife, including deer and even a bear!