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Would You Drive A 109 Year Old Oldsmobile Across The United States?


Joy Rainey in her 1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile

Joy Rainey in her 1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile

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Joy Rainey’s motorsport resume can hold its own against most non-professional drivers. The U.K. resident is a veteran of events including the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the London to Sydney Marathon and the Carrera Sudamericana. She also campaigned a Jaguar E-Type in hill climb events before switching to a 2.3-liter formula car.

The fact that Rainey is a “person of restricted growth” hasn’t impacted her ability to drive cars old and new with haste, as she has broken several hill climb records during her career. These days, Rainey prefers vintage cars over the faster stuff, but hasn’t lost her sense of adventure.

On November 4, Rainey will drive her 1904 Oldsmobile, in all of its seven-horsepower glory, in this year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The 60-mile drive will be a brief shake down for what Rainey is planning for 2013: a 2,826 mile drive from Los Angeles to Daytona Beach in honor of her former co-driver, Treveor Hulks, who died of cancer in 2010.

We’d consider a 60 mile drive in a car that’s over a century old to be about our limit, so we can’t fathom crossing the United States in one. It will require careful planning, more than a little bit of luck, and the ability to fabricate spare parts en route. After all, Pep Boys doesn’t stock many replacement parts for vintage Oldsmobiles.

Rainey’s goal is to raise 20,000 pounds ($31,254) for cancer research in Hulks’ name. Her trip will begin in Los Angeles on April 14th and will (hopefully) end in Daytona Beach some time after. Given that the Curved Dash Oldsmobile had a top speed of just 20 miles per hour, at least Rainey won’t have to worry about speeding tickets along the way.
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