March 2001     

1954 Continental Divide Rally Program

Cover of program for 1954 Continental Divide.

Colorado Region held their first SCCA National Rally in October of 1953. I recently ran across a program booklet for the second event, held in October of 1954. This book is full of interesting information on how things used to be done back in the days when sports cars were driven by slightly eccentric ‘gentlemen’. A bit of rally, and then off to the polo grounds for a chucka or two.

The first thing which caught my attention when reading the program was the ambitious scope of the event. This was a three day event with full hospitality on each day. In addition to the rally, there were performance tests and a full concours de course which were a required part of the rally.

Second was the length and anticipated conditions. The rally started with a Monte Carlo section where contestants predicted their distance and average speed needed to travel from their address of record to the starting line. The rally itself was over 500 miles and included several passes which would normally be closed this late in the year. This event was run in the Colorado mountains in October in open sports cars! The contestants would have encountered significant snow, both on the ground and likely falling on them.

The third thing was the level of attention from high officials which was given to this event. First was the letter of welcome from the governor. Second, they obtained major sponsorship from Coors. Third, hospitality was held at and subsidized by the Broadmoor Hotel. This facility is world class, and has always been a stopping place for kings and presidents. Fourth, they convinced the State of Colorado to open and maintain seasonal roads a full month after they normally close (Trail Ridge Road and Independence Pass)

The entry fee was $10, which was an outrageous number for 1954. That would be equivalent to a $500 entry fee today. The field seems to be dominated by Jaguars, Porsches and MGs. The pictures would show an entry of around 100 cars.

Listed here are jpegs of all of the pages of this program. I hope you enjoy them as I have.

Jay Nemeth-Johannes

Click on Page # to view
Page Content
Front Cover 2nd Continental Divide Rally
Page 1 Table of Contents
Page 2 Acknowledgements
Page 3 Welcome to Colorado from Gov. Dan Thornton
Page 4 Ad - Durango, Colorado
Page 5 Schedule of Events
Page 6 Photo - Sports cars in Monarch Pass.
Page 7 What Started All this?
Page 8 The Concours d'Elegance
Page 9 Ad - Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad
Page 10 Ad - Import Motors Inc., Colorado Springs
Page 11 What is a Rally?
Page 12 Ad - Denver Imported motors
Page 13 Ad - Mauro Motor Sales
Page 14 What is a Rally? (cont.)
Page 15 Ad - Club Emblems by Stemac
Pages 16-17 Entry Form
Page 18 Reservations - Hotel/Motel
Page 19 What is a Rally? (cont.)
Page 20 Ad - Dunlop tires / Black Gold Oil Co.
Page 21 What is a Rally? (cont.)
Page 22 A Concours de Confort
Page 23 Ad - The Broadmoor Hotel
Page 24 Photo - Trials at Durango Fair Grounds
Ad - Twentieth Century Valve Corp.
Page 25 1954 Continental Divide Rally - The Tests
Page 26 Ads - William Crow Jewelry /
Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill's Hunting Lodge
Page 27 The Tests (cont.)
Page 28 Ad - Sports Cars Inc.
Page 29 The Tests (cont.) - Penalties
Page 30 The Tests (cont.) - Penalties / Awards
Page 31 The Tests (cont.) - Other Awards
Page 32
Colorado Region Officers, Rally Officials
Back Cover
Ad - Coors Beer

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