Local man wants to go 0
tina peplinskie email@example.com Renfrew County Warden Bob Sweet got to try out this 1951 Chevy truck, which is owned by Bill Selles (left) of Pembroke. He is hoping to raise enough sponsorship to take part in the 2012 Hemmings Motor News Great Race around the Great Lakes. Helping him raise this money will be Graham Wall of Petawawa. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
Antique car enthusiasts will have an opportunity to see many classics when the Great Race makes its way through Renfrew County June 26.
The Great Race is a cross-country rally that pits teams of drivers and their navigators against the clock and against each other. This year's event will take participants around the Great Lakes, through 19 cities, two countries and four states between June 23 and July 1.
Entrants will participate in a timed, controlled-speed, endurance competition over scenic public highways and roads. The scores for each team are the result of a team's ability to follow all designated course instructions precisely.
At last month's Renfrew County council meeting Madawaska Valley Mayor David Shulist made everyone aware of the event, which will have a lunch stop at Zurakowski Park in Barry's Bay beginning at 11:30 a.m. on June 26.
Hoping to represent the Ottawa Valley in the race is Pembroke's Bill Selles with his 1951 Chev 1300 pickup truck, which he has been working on since he was approached by Graham Wall late last year to see if he would be interested in participating.
Mr. Wall is involved with Wheels of the Valley, an organization for car enthusiasts, so he was asked by Mayor Shulist to select someone who might want to enter an antique vehicle into the race. The decision to pick Mr. Selles was an easy one for Mr. Wall because he isn't afraid to drive his truck. Each year, Mr. Selles typically puts between 12,000 and 19,000 kilometres on his truck travelling to various car shows, so both know it is up for the challenge. He has been interested in cars as long as he can remember and he bought this truck three years ago from another Renfrew County resident. He noted it was made in Oshawa.
The race is 3,540 kilometres. It begins in Traverse City, Michigan June 23 and finishes in Dearborn, Michigan July 1 with stops in Elliot Lake, Sudbury, Parry Sound, Barrie, Barry's Bay, Kanata, Kingston, Clayton, Watertown, Fairport, and Buffalo, New York, Franklin, Pennsylvania, Warren and Mansfield, Ohio and Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The Barry's Bay stop is expected to last 2 ½ to three hours as it serves as a lunch break for race participants. Area residents are welcome to attend to check out the vehicles.
The biggest stumbling block is the entry fee and other expenses associated with the race. With the $4,000 entry fee and the cost of fuel and hotels for the event, Mr. Selles anticipates the whole thing will cost $10,500. Mr. Selles, Mr. Wall and Mayor Shulist will be busy looking for sponsors for the race. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can call Mr. Selles at 613-629-5121, Mr. Wall at 613-687-5639 or Mayor Shulist at 613-756-1743. All of the money collected goes towards the event.
Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist