A Texas couple in a 1966 Ford Mustang achieved the first-ever threepeat of consecutive victories in Great Race history by winning the 2014 Maine-to-Florida classic car competition.
While they were at it, Barry and Irene Jason also scored a couple of other firsts. No one before them had ever scored a perfect day in the time-distance rally contest, as they did on Day One. And no one had ever won the Great Race in a post-war car, a difficult feat because of a scoring system heavily handicapped toward older vehicles.
So that’s three wins and three firsts, and the reward for Jasons’ efforts this year was a $50,000 first-place check that they collected at the finish line on Sunday.
The Jasons of Keller, Texas, won the 2012 and 2013 Great Races in a 1935 Ford coupe, but this year they opted for their bright-red 1966 Mustang, a six-cylinder coupe favorably equipped with air conditioning. This is the 12th year that Barry Jason, an electrical engineer, and Irene Jason, a retired school administrator, have run the cross-country race.
The Great Race, an annual event founded in 1983, is a long-distance rally for pre-1972 vehicles. This year, the 2,300-mile race started June 21 in Ogunquit, Maine, and finished Sunday in The Villages near Ocala, Florida.
Ninety teams started out in the competition, with a number of them dropping out before the finish because of typical old-car mechanical breakdowns. The Great Race visited 19 cities along the way with local spectators creating a festival atmosphere at each stop.
photo credit: © 2014 classiccars.com
edited text credit: © 2014 Bob Golfen via classiccars.com