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Classic race cars stop in Cortez for charity event

The Colorado Grand tour of pre-1960 race and sport cars stopped in Cortez last week. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Colorado Grand tour features pre-1960 race cars, donates to Piñon Project

A parade of 95 pre-1960s race cars stopped in Cortez and Dolores last week as part of the annual Colorado Grand tour charity event.

Spectators turned out to marvel at the Alfa Romeos, Porsches, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Ferraris, Maseratis, Bentleys, Bugattis and lesser-known models.

The 33rd annual fundraiser benefits local organizations and provides college scholarships – doling out checks to small towns along a 1,000-mile tour through the state.

This is the first year they stopped in Cortez for lunch, and the Piñon Project received a $14,000 donation.

Sandra Massman poses with her 1937 Alvis made in Britain. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Vintage sports cars were on display at Parque de Vida in Cortez last week as part of the Colorado Grand charity tour. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Mary Beth Coady and Todd enjoyed touring through Cortez in their 1928 Bentley Le Mans Tourer. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

Piñon Project Director Kellie Willis said the money would be used for a youth program that aims to reduce truancy in schools.

The plan is to conduct “interventions” with students, parents and teachers to determine the cause of truancy issues and work on solutions, she said. Last year, the Piñon Project truancy program served 94 students.

Every year, the Colorado Grand raises about $500,000 from entry fees and donations, said community liaison Eddie O’Brien, then donates the money to causes including the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation. The event has contributed more than $7.7 million for Colorado charities to date.

“It is a simple concept, our goal is to fund small rural charities. We donate to towns on the Western Slope, everything from medical centers and amphitheaters to education and museums,” he said.

Touring the scenic Colorado roads in vintage sports cars is the main attraction for the drivers. The Colorado Grand tour is one of the largest in the world, O’Brien said.

“These cars are meant to be driven not stored in a showroom,” he said, adding that many have a European racing pedigree.