Antique car race coming to Chula Vista | Wisconsin Dells Events


Chula Vista Resort has had its fair share of automotive events over the years and is adding another in June.

The Hemmings Motor News Great Race, which is a gathering of 120 pre-1974 vintage vehicles that travels 2,300 miles through 19 cities as part of a 9-day tour, will stop at the Wisconsin Dells resort on June 23. Chula Vista is a stop for the race for the first time in its 39-year history.

“It’s kind of an interesting event,” said Krissy Kaminski Sigmund, Vice President of Chula Vista Resort.

Chula Vista Resort Special Events Director Ed Saari put Chula and the Dells in as a bid option.

“We won the opportunity to be a spot,” Sigmund said. “They kind of have a rat-rod feel. Exposed motors but they’re enthusiasts who not only drive these cars, but a lot of them build them.”

A rat-rod is a customized car with a worn-down appearance made often made from cast-off parts and lacking paint. The vehicles are eligible if they are from 1974 or earlier.

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“Just think of driving a car that old across country for that length of time,” Saari said in an email.

The cars are scheduled to start arriving at Chula Vista at around 3 pm, June 23. Visitors will have a one-hour period from 5:00 to 6:00 pm to look at the vehicles near the Bennett Tower at the resort. Vehicles from the United States, Japan, England, Germany, Australia and Canada are all expected to be featured at the event.

“We were able to get this overnight stop on the 2022 Great Race because of our success in promoting automotive events,” said Saari in an email.

Warwick, Rhode Island, is the starting point of the race, which finishes in Fargo, North Dakota. Chula Vista is one of three Wisconsin stops, with one in Sun Prairie and another in Chippewa Falls. The resort is the lone overnight stop of the race in the state.

“The race has been around for quite some time, so it’s got some pretty cool roots in what type of race it is,” said Kaminski Sigmund.

All stops during the event are free to the public, according to the Great Race website.

The Great Race, according to its website, is not about speed, but is a time/speed/distance rally. Drivers are given instructions daily and are scored at check points. They are penalized a point for each second they arrive early or late to those locations. The driver with the lowest penalty score wins $50,000 of a $150,000 purse.

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