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Father/Son Team Win 2018 Great Race

The 2018 Hemmings Motor News Great Race, presented by Hagerty and sponsored by Coker Tire, dubbed Jeff and Eric Fredette the “Overall Winners” the winners of its 2018 vintage car rally, which concluded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Sunday, July 1. The father and son team from Illinois drove a Flathead V8-powered 1933 Ford pickup truck to victory, earning more than $50,000.

Great Race participants visited 18 hosted city stops throughout the northeastern USA, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada in their pre-1972 automobiles, including Bennington, VT, where Hot Rod Hotline’s sister site,, caught some of the action. Their route was determined by the Director of Competition, John Classen. Participants aim to match Classen’s pre-determined time by following specific, and occasionally cryptic, instructions. Designated speed changes, challenging turns and the challenge of keeping a vintage car running for over 2,300 miles creates an exceptionally difficult test for these diehard car folks.

Race teams comprise a driver and a navigator, who use a specially calibrated speedometer to match their speeds precisely to the instructions. The team closest to the pre-determined “perfect time” wins.  The Great Race route is different each year, which adds to the challenge of the event and gives the teams new scenery to enjoy. This year’s Great Race started in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, June 23. The majority of the scored competition took place on back roads.

“We are very proud of this year’s competitors,” said Jeff Stumb, director of the Great Race. “Despite trying weather conditions, they never let up and continued to turn in excellent scores during their journey through the Northeast. The Fredettes have been a part of the Great Race family for many years, and it was an emotional moment at the finish line when they were announced as the winners. It was a long time coming for this father and son team, who had finished second on a few occasions, leading up to this milestone.”

Other class winners are as follows:

  • Grand Champion Division
  • Jody Knowles and Beth Gentry
  • 1932 Ford Cabriolet


  • Expert Division (and Overall Winners)
  • Jeff Fredette and Eric Fredette
  • 1933 Ford Pickup Truck


  • Sportsman Division
  • Keith Wallace, Rick McIntosh and Brent Powley
  • 1930 Ford Model A Speedster


  • Rookie Division
  • Kari Schives and Kaitlyn Stahl
  • 1965 Ford Mustang


  • X-Cup Division
  • Tom Littrell, Nathaniel Donley and Jed Diamond
  • 1959 Plymouth Belvedere

In addition to the highly competitive class winner awards, a variety of specialty awards are given to special participants and cities who make an impact on the Great Race family and spectators along the way. The winners are as follows:

  • "Tom McRae Spirit of the Event"
  • Scott Henderson


  • Best Lunch City
  • Owl’s Head, Maine


  • Best Overnight City
  • Gardiner, Maine


  • “Our Best Friend”
  • Stephen Legate, Evelyn Cisneros-Legate, Marizabella Legate, Ethan Legate, Sophia Legate


  • Best Dressed
  • Jon Cramer, Neil Socquet, Jesse Jameson, Marc Cramer, Howard Jameson and Bill Sorquet


  • Best of Show “Race Car”
  • 1953 Hudson Hornet
  • John Barrett and Danny Thompson


  • Best of Show “Classic Car”
  • 1937 Studebaker Coupe
  • Ron VanderMarel and Sheldon Rier


  • Never Say Die Award
  • Dave Haverty


  • Lokar’s Pick of the Show
  • 1940 Cadillac Convertible
  • Marybeth Lewis and Tag Lewis

The Great Race has also announced that next year, the entire rally will take place along the west coast of the USA – a first for this rally. The 2019 Great Race will start Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Riverside, California and will conclude in Tacoma, Washington Sunday, June 30, 2019. The antique automobiles will stop in 18 cities in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

First organized by Tom McRae in 1983, the Great Race drew its name from the 1965 film “The Great Race,” which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. This comedy was based on a real life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. In 2004, Tony Curtis was a guest of the Great Race and rode in his car from the movie, the Leslie Special. The event’s main sponsors are Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty, Coker Tire and Reliable Carriers. Corky Coker, CEO and owner of Coker Tire, assumed leadership of the event in 2011.

For more information about The Great Race, please visit For more information about Coker Tire, please visit