"Look, Chadwick, a rally for us."
Are you ready to go back to school?
The assignment is easy: have fun driving your vintage automobile 1,000 miles through scenic New England, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania visiting en route each of the 8 most prestigious and gorgeous universities on the planet: First day is Start in Weston, CT, and then to Yale, Brown, Harvard, and Dartmouth. Second day is Dartmouth to Cornell. Third day is Cornell to U. Penn. Fourth day is U.Penn, Princeton, Columbia, and then back around to Finish in Weston, CT.
You'll have a blast meeting up with classmates and fellow aficionados, talking shop, enjoying incredible amenities, savoring great foo… wait a sec, the point is not to have fun, it's to win the rally, of course. Not only win, but totally beat everyone else. And owning the rarest and most expensive machine wouldn't hurt either. All the while being fake self-deprecating and charming. Haven't you learned anything at all since the day you graduated?
"Non Illigitimi Carborundum."
Seriously, was the Fourth 'Rally Around The Ivy League 2018' a success? Um, hell yah. For us, anyway: we went out there and conquered our fears, the road and the communists, and had an absolute blast! Mille Miglia, Schmille Schmiglia. Just kidding, about the communists, I mean.
The Fifth Biennial Old's Cool Tour is scheduled for September 27th - 30th, 2020, and will be a GTA (Game-Tour-Adventure) event. There will also be at least one timed stage, a hillclimb, and an autocross, if we can swing it. Participation is kind of by invitation only. The only specific Old's Cool Rule is that the automobile must be at least as old as your graduation year, or pre-1994 if you didn't get diploma'ed before then. Keep in mind this is not in any way, shape or form a "race" – obey speed limits and all local laws – and the whole point is just to have fun. No diploma required. Originality and creativity encouraged. Life's short.
What's actually on the menu?
Delicious, top-drawer fun. The OCT will be a 4-day event, starting this year at Old's Cool Tour Headquarters in Southport, CT. Each day will be divided into stages, roughly as follows, subject to change.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2020. Arrival and Welcome BBQ. We have reserved rooms at the Delamar in Southport, about a 20-minute drive away for anyone coming into town the night before (not included in the entry fee). Cars and support vehicles can be parked at OCT HQ for the duration of the rally. Welcome BBQ will be from 5-9 pm at OCT HQ. We will have tech inspection for all cars and any last-minute adjustments made on the spot. We'll invite some of the local collectors to bring their vehicles for an impromptu car show, and we'll also have some branded gin from a local distillery, and drinks on the house. Transportation to the hotel is available.
Thursday, September 27th, 2020. Pre-rally breakfast at OCT HQ. Driver's/safety meeting at 7 am. Start time is 7:22, in honor of Sir Stirling Moss's start time/famous Mille Miglia Mercedes number.
Day 1, Stage 1. OCT HQ - Yale, approximately 1 hour. Checkpoint at Yale is United Church on the Green. Stage 2. Yale - Brown, approximately 2 hours. Lunch at The Hope Club. Stage 3. Brown - Harvard, approximately 1 hour. Checkpoint is Harvard Yard (of 'pahk the cah in' fame). Stage 4. Harvard - Dartmouth, approximately 3 hours. Finish of Day 1 is on The Green at Dartmouth. We will have dinner and a gathering for area auto enthusiasts at The Hanover Inn.
Friday, September 28th, 2020. Breakfast at The Hanover Inn. Day 2, Stage 1: Canaan Raceway for some thrills and chills on an actual racetrack. Stage 2: Canaan - Mt. Equinox (for a hillclimb and lunch with a view), approximately 3 hours. Stage 3: Mt. Equinox – Cornell, approximately 4 hours. Finish of Day 2 is in Binghamton. Dinner and second overnight stop at The Holiday Inn Hotel.
Saturday, September 29th, 2020. Breakfast, Statler Hotel. Day 3, Stage 1: Cornell – SCCA Autocross. Stage 2: SCCA to Lazy Brook Park for lunch, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Stage 3: Lazy Brook to U. Penn, approximately 2 1/2 hours. Dinner and third overnight stop at The Inn at Penn Hotel.
Sunday, September 30th, 2020 Breakfast at The Inn at Penn Hotel. Day 4, Stage 1: U. Penn – Princeton, approximately 2 hours. Lunch at The Cannon Club. Stage 2: Princeton – Columbia, approximately 2 1/2 hours. Checkpoint at Columbia is Daniel Chester French sculpture at The Low Library. Stage 3: Columbia - OCT HQ, approximately 1 1/2 hours. OCT HQ: Awards ceremony and farewell. Hotel Zero Degrees is available for anyone who is staying the night (not included in entry fee).
Welcome aboard. Kind of.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, ours is not a kumbaya world, where everyone gets invited to the party, or receives a participation trophy for losing. You don't have to be an Ivy League grad to enter, but they will get preference; then one-of-a-kind gorgeous cars, then celebrities. Not. Celebrities are first on the list: automatic yesses for Amanda Peet, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, and Elizabeth Banks. No hot rod yahoos or Sunday drivers, please.
Seriously, dust off your own classic red Alfa Romeo Spider "Graduate" and call Johnny Mustard at (401) 572-7090 to reserve your spot as soon as possible.
How much does it cost?
Unforgettably charming and authentic road trip with a posse of interesting fellow enthusiasts on the most beautiful roads in this part of the world? Priceless. Poetry and Visa commercial satire aside, the entry fee is $4999 (per team, double occupancy), and the closing date for all entries is June 1, 2019. Payment must be made in full, either by credit card, PayPal, or by check at the time of submission.
N.B. There will be no refunds. If you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound. Let's rally, gents!
See our FAQ page for more details and fine print.
Since a 4-day, 1,000 mile voyage is a big commitment, we're offering an “Old’s Cool Tour One-Day Drive Along” – we’ll start at 7:22 am in Weston, with our first stop at Yale, and then lunch at The Hope Club at Brown at noon. You and your lunch mates can then head home, while we continue on our way up to Harvard, and then Dartmouth for the night.
Special price for this introduction to our wicked smart adventure is $99, and includes the lunch. Limited to the first 10 sign ups.
Do you want to hear the boring backstory?
It's Friday night at Le Rouf, the fool dive bar just off the square in Cannes. Hard-boiled eggs on the counter and lean, gallic-nosed sailors drinking panaches. Tons of bloody Brits drinking warm Guinness. I'm already pleine de joie on the drive back home, when the brakes give out on a steep narrow alpine downhill somewhere outside of Vallauris. Bump and grind and screech and hump the whole right side of the bug against the stone wall of some guy's villa right next to the road to an awful stop simply to keep from being erased. I was looking for a romantic automobile adventure in a foreign country, and I found it: staying alive is as romantic as it gets. Seriously, did you ever wonder 'How the hell did I get here?' Not me – I can always see in my mind's eye every perfectly idiot mistake I made to get me where I am. Which is usually on the wrong side of nowhere.
Just a minor scrape, literally.
Fast forward thirty years: I love driving old cars, preferably without synchromesh, and I always wanted to experience the Mille Miglia in Italy at least once in my life. Sigh, it's just not possible, logistically, financially, or emotionally at this stage in the game. I researched road rallies in here in the States, and 1,000 miles in Texas just doesn't appeal to me. So I came up with my own quixotic idea, that I thought just might be crazy enough to fly: The Old's Cool Tour – Rally Around The Ivy League.
Fernando, his Land Rover "Olive", and Leonora were the first friends on board.
"You have to begin going nowhere, fast... somewhere."
The thunderbolt came to me all of a sudden: cars, college and fall foliage. Could anything be more fun than driving a vintage automobile 1,000 miles through scenic New England, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, visiting by the way each of the 8 most prestigious and gorgeous universities on the planet? How could you not have a blast meeting up with classmates and fellow aficionados, talking shop, enjoying incredible amenities, savoring great foo… wait a sec, the point isn't to have fun, it's to win the rally, of course. Not only win, but totally beat everyone else. And owning the rarest and most expensive machine wouldn't hurt either. All the while being fake self-deprecating and charming in a wild, expensive game of automobile oneupmanship. It'll probably be the most fun I've had since I almost graduated!
Everyone has dreams, and ideas, but almost nobody goes out and actually lives them. Execution is everything. So I called my car buddy Peter Trautmann in Germany, and he said "Oh, mein Gott, Johnny, we absolutely must have to do bingkle zarfft poonnoojer this!" So he flew over and we each bought a car: he found a 1982 380SL in some lady's backyard and offered her $1,500 for it. We dug the thing out of a snowbank and dragged the piece of scheisser home through the mud. We did a test run in the middle of a snowstorm in March. pictured above. Couldn't have been funner. I picked up an almost mint-condition 124 Fiat from a kid in Bayonne, and hadn't driven 2 blocks before some old Italian guy crossing the street in front of me at a red light offered to buy it from me. Bang for the buck, you can beat a Lampredi engine and Pininfarina flair.