Topic: Running a rally for the first time dumb questions

when do the rally participants get their packet of info for the rally? Before or the night before at the meet up location.
sons and i are looking at the sept rally and want to bring my total shitbox ride. legal to trailer it to the initial rally meeting point thurs night?
Weve been racing the ilemons races for years and this will be our first foray into rally.
This is a wide open question that should get alot of interesting responses........what should newbs look for/do

Re: Running a rally for the first time dumb questions

The Rallies are pretty loose, as long as it's street legal, you can run it. You can trailer your car to the start if you want, you can trailer your car the whole rally if you want. That's what some people do when their car explodes on the way! I know of several that have exchanged cars mid-rally, towed their cars, switched to driving their tow rig, whatever. You can do the whole rally in a rental too, there is actually a rental car class now.

I trailed my car to the start of the first rally I did, a little Opel Kadett with a 4-speed. I didn't want to flog it on the interstate the whole way there and back. But, it still ended up sitting at 75MPH/4000RPM for hours and hours on that trip during the rally. It did fine. Now I figure if you aren't reasonably confident in your car making it to the rally start, you probably shouldn't take it. Breakdowns happen, but it's not the goal. You might be driving for 16 hours a day even if everything goes perfectly. If you already have your car, I'd suggest you start daily driving it. Work out the bugs now. Install USB ports, cupholders, cruise control if you're fancy.

You do get starting points based on your car, theme, costumes, etc. But most of the points come from the checkpoints and activities on the route. The route book is distributed at registration on the first day of the rally. The only thing you know ahead of time is the start and end cities for each day. You can book hotels based on that, but I think most people book hotels as they go.

Next Rally Car: An abandoned 1972 Opel GT (Plan-B: My late grandparent's 1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic)
Previous Rally Cars: 1971 Opel Kadett, 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, 1998 Volvo V90 (5.0L), 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 (turbocharged 351W)

Re: Running a rally for the first time dumb questions

Depending where the rally is, and how easy it might be to get rooms, I sometimes don't book rooms ahead...but usually I do.

I've always driven to/from the rallys, often a very long ways. I consider this part of the drive to be part of the rally experience, it stretches it out to a week or ten day event for me. Extra fun! and opportunity to bond with a car I really should not be driving. Makes finally getting home that much more rewarding. And by the time I get home, I generally never want to spend another minute behind the wheel of that car, ever.

I Survived Hell on Wheels, Car Weeeak, Route Sucky Suck, etc.

Re: Running a rally for the first time dumb questions

Welcome to the world of Lemons rally.  It's a great trip to see old friends and meet new ones.  You will see parts of the country that no normal person would ever visit.  We usually look for an inappropriate car to bring and even rent when we need too.  Bring whatever is needed to keep your car moving along.  Everything mostly works out.

Re: Running a rally for the first time dumb questions

The driver packet is handed out at the rally starting point.  But keep an eye on the rally information page regularly so you will know where the overnight stops are located.

I'm unusual (ya think?) in that I have taken my daily driver on the rallies. I'm not even in it for points or for winning it--I like road trips anyway, and having an event that is equal parts interesting/obscure history, scavenger hunt, camaraderie, and visiting places I most likely have never visited, let alone heard of, makes it worthwhile. I'm already signed up (and have rooms reserved for) Rocky Mtn Breakdown, and am taking the daily driver/road trip vehicle since I have other travel plans and work commitments before and after where I'll need it. 

I did my most chancy rally so far in taking a car (#EarlBurnerCivic) I had just finished replacing the piston rings and honing the cylinders in, just a month before the rally with nothing more than running short errands locally as a shake down. But it performed mostly without a hitch.  (I got a tree branch wedged between the tire and suspension on the first night, and it did a German Car Thing™ with the check engine light taunting me for a P0420 error). 

For Rust Belt this year, I might have a "revival" of a vehicle that's been sitting here mostly undriven since 2016 that I either need to scrap or part out, or get running long enough for the rally, provided it is not so badly rusted that it is unsafe (which I think it may be).  If not, the spare car will be used (Earl Burner), or I may convince my youngest to use her TSX as I have a car theme that would work perfectly on black paint. 

Everyone does rallies in their own way, so as others have said, something street legal that won't take a dump the moment you pull out of the driveway will work, as will a rental.  In my case, funds are limited, so I drive what I can. Gas and hotel rooms aren't inexpensive anymore. Add the rally fees and the days of lost productivity (I work for myself--no work = no money), and I can't be dumping it into a money pit crap can. Not that I've ever stopped looking for a project car, especially one that Eric and Jeff thought might be cool for a rally...


Driver of soul-sucking appliances in the Rust Belt.
Instagramz: @thehooptiegarage

Re: Running a rally for the first time dumb questions

appreciate all the info/insight from seasoned rally vets!