MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Great Race, an event featuring pre-World War II automobiles running from Owensboro, Kentucky, to Seal Cove, Maine, will stop in Morgantown on June 24.

On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Morgantown First Ward Councilor Joe Abu-Ghannam was able to secure Morgantown as a stop with the help of local car enthusiast Kevin Swisher.

The race officially begins in Kentucky on Saturday, June 22. When the cars begin to flow into Morgantown, they will be coming from the previous stop in Marietta, Ohio. Opening ceremonies begin in downtown Morgantown at noon, and cars will begin to flow in shortly thereafter.

“Starting around 12:15 p.m. after our opening comments and welcoming ceremony, the first car will come rolling across our finish line, and then every 60 seconds we’ll have another classic car,” Abu-Ghannam said.

Rather than a race, the event may best be termed a procession of rare cars from the early days of multiple car manufacturers and designs. The historic downtown Morgantown backdrop will likely provide many photo opportunities with some of the cars that are close to 100 years old.

“It’s a traveling museum essentially because you have 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles that go from town-to-town across North America,” Abu-Ghannam said.

In addition to the 120-car field of the Great Race, a local car club will bring a different era of classic cars for the public to enjoy.

“We’re going to have the Dream Machines Car Club, which is a local group of car enthusiasts, and they’re going to have about 60 vintage automobiles for people to come and check out on High Street as well,” Abu-Ghannam said.

There will be five classes of cars among the 120 entries, for a total purse of $120,000. The 2023 Grand Champion was a 1916 Hudson piloted by Howard and Doug Sharp from Fairport, New York.

“This is great for all ages,” Abu-Ghannam said. “When it comes to antique cars, it doesn’t matter how old you are; whether you are 5, 50, or 100, everybody likes to see the old classic cars,” Abu-Ghannam said.

Members of the Mountaineer Area Council of the Boy Scouts will be there promoting a traditional event that the public will be invited to participate in.

“Also, the Boy Scouts are going to be doing a Pine Wood Derby competition where everybody can come in and participate,” Abu-Ghannam said. “They put together their own pine derby car and raced their peers, friends, and community members.”

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