1928 Ford Model A Boattail Speedster

(from Team #73 Website)  Cindy had been saying how “cool” it would be to have a 1957 T-Bird. Our birthdays were coming up (1995) and the auctions were in full swing in Scottsdale, Arizona. On my way to the auctions for the day, I spotted a T-Bird parked on one of the corners before entering the auction area. Not knowing too much about the “little birds” I stopped and started talking to the gentleman. Four hours later, I was the proud owner of a 1955 T-Bird. The reason for getting a ’55 instead of a ’57 was because we were both born in 1955. The person I bought the car from let me keep it in his garage the weeks leading up to Cindy’s birthday. The day of her birthday, Cindy’s best friend, Yvonne, and myself went and picked up the car and brought it back to the office. We all had lunch and then proceeded to open the usual gifts. I gave Cindy a model T-Bird car. She didn’t think that was to funny and definitely not what she had in mind for a T-Bird. I then told her to look in the trunk. Out fell a key. We all walked outside, and there in the parking lot was our 1955 Goldenrod Yellow (original color) T-Bird. She was happy!

We have had a lot of fun with this car. We have made many new lifelong friends. The car has been in “Sonic Drive-In” commercials and has been the centerpiece at conventions. A group of six t-birds took a trip (1998) from Phoenix to Edmonton to Victoria and down the Pacific Coast back to Phoenix. While at the auctions in 2001 I came across the Great Race display and Sister McRae. We started talking and before the auctions were over I had entered “The History Channel Great Race”.

We watched one of the past Great Race videos and I asked Cindy if she would like to be the navigator, she said “what part of that is fun? Not if you don’t have time to stop and look at the scenery and make pit stops when the urge comes.” So Cindy is in the support vehicle along with the other support people. In our first year, John Marchisotto from the T-Bird club, was my navigator. We won the Rookie Division and couldn't believe it. John continued on with me in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 Bill Loubiere was the navigator. We met Bill when he was a navigator in another T-Bird our rookie year. Charlie Wheeler our 13 year old nephew was the navigator for 2005. We finished 1st in our division and 5th place overall. After being in five Great Races and numerous regional races, Cindy knows she made the right decision to be part of the support crew.

We had fun in 2005's race including our overnight stop in Urbana, IL. It’s because of the Great Race taking us through small town America that we get to see such great cities. When we are not on the race, and traveling the country, we now make it a point to stop in some of the towns that have hosted us on Great Race. When coming through on the race we don’t have much time to enjoy what the town has to offer. I look forward to going back to Urbana and being able to see things leisurely.

In 2005 I drove a 1928 Ford Model A Boattail Speedster. The older the car the better a factor you get. Example: if the T-bird finished the day with 10 seconds and the speedster had 11 seconds, the T-bird wins in raw score but after the factor is added the model A wins with 8.5 seconds.

We will be taking a sabbatical from the big race in 2006.

In 2007 we will run the Speedster again and start our preparations of the car and team for the 35,000km New York to Paris Around the World Rally in 2008.

We look forward to the Great Race annual event with the anticipation of another great time, seeing the many friends from the great race family we have made, meeting new friends and most importantly remembering that “to finish is to win”.

Bob LaBine

B & C Racing  -   AZ Classic T-Bird Racing Team
Car #73 (73 was picked because that was the year that both Cindy and I graduated from High School)

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Now in its 25th year, Great Race keeps the spirit of adventure and independence alive through family entertainment and community events in more than 900 cities, logging over 9,000,000 competitive miles on North American Highways.  Find out more at www.greatrace.com

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