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Start your engines, classic car lovers: Sugar Valley Rally celebrates 27th year
May 28, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Classic cars from across the nation will roll into the area the weekend of June 5 for a very special road trip – the Sugar Valley Rally.

Now 27 years young, the rally is a test of precision timing over a predetermined course that will take drivers and navigators on a scenic trip through western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.

Rally public relations coordinator Dan Dickinson said they’re expecting around 60 vehicles for the event, vintage cars up to 1956 and touring cars that can be as recent as the mid-1960s.

“We had a teaching session about the rally in January,” Dickinson said. “We schedule those to generate interest among classic car owners who might want to participate.”

The rally actually starts the afternoon of June 4 with check-in and tech inspection at the automotive department at Western Nebraska Community College. In past years, it’s also been an opportunity for participants to visit to catch up with each other.

On Friday morning, June 5, rally school is scheduled at the Harms Center at WNCC. Last minute instructions, technical points and road conditions will be shared at that time.

That afternoon, drivers and navigators are off on a practice rally, heading east into Wyoming. A 2:45 p.m. rest stop is scheduled in Torrington for drivers to stretch their legs and have refreshments. The public is invited to stop by and see the classic cars.

A Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours is scheduled for later that afternoon, from 4:20 – 6:30 p.m. at Five Rocks Amphitheater south of Gering. Drivers will have their cars on display after returning and the public is invited to come out, inspect the cars and visit with the participants.

“It’s been a hectic spring with this wet weather,” Dickinson said. “We hope the Department of Roads will have all their overlay projects done by then. It’s always nice to drive on new pavement.”

Saturday’s rally starts from Fremont Motors at 7 a.m. takes drivers east down Highway 26. Their first rest stop will be at about 9:20 a.m. in Oshkosh. Of course, the public is invited to turn out to inspect the cars. The lunch break will be in Sidney and the afternoon break is in Kimball.

Drivers should make it back to Fremont Motors in Scottsbluff at about 4:10 p.m. That’s followed by the rally banquet at the Gering Civic Center.

Sunday takes drivers on a short rally heading west again. After a Sunday morning breakfast at the Knight of Columbus Hall on 1st Ave. in Scottsbluff, drivers are off at 7:30 a.m. for a short rally heading west again.

Just after 11 a.m., drivers will be returning to Cozad’s Antique Ford Garage at 1836 7th St. in Gering. The public is invited to watch the cars come in and take a tour of the garage.

The Gering Merchants Association is also hosting the Sugar Valley Rally Finish Line Lunch across the street from Cozad’s. People can get a barbecue beef sandwich, coleslaw, chips, cookie and a drink all for $6.50.

“The rally brings in people from across the country,” Dickinson said. “The Airport Appreciation Day, the craft fair and other events are there to enjoy for the families who aren’t directly involved with the rally itself. We really open our doors to people here in western Nebraska. I think that’s what they like.”

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