What is The Nort​​hwest Classic Rally?

   The Northwest Classic Rally (NWCR) is a Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally for classic cars that has been run by the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon since 1988. It is one of the oldest continuously run classic car TSD rallies in the US. Since the beginning, the NWCR has been a fundraiser for the club and local charities and a way for classic car enthusiasts to enjoy their cars in the spirit of friendly competition on the beautiful roads of Oregon and Washington. From its inception until his passing in 2019, Portland car dealer and race car driver Monte Shelton was the name sponsor. Over time the event has evolved from defining the route by placing arrows on trees to a sophisticated, national-class event attracting teams from around the United States and western Canada. Whatever the changes, the spirit has remained true to its origins.

   The NWCR is typically run the last weekend in July and takes place over four days, beginning with registration and a welcoming party on Thursday night. The rally itself starts on Friday morning, ending at a destination hotel, where it resumes the next day, ending Saturday afternoon at the same hotel. Sunday morning is the awards brunch. Breakfast and lunches are provided for all competitors. The first day traditionally ends with a “lemonade” (margarita) party while Saturday closes the rally with a “beer wash.” Friday and Saturday banquets have featured national caliber speakers.

   While the NWCR has always been a classic car rally, that definition has changed over time and will likely continue to evolve. Early on, only pre-1975 sports and GT cars and sedans were allowed. That was expanded to pre-1981 “sports sedans, sports cars and other special interest vehicles.” For 2022, there will be two age classes: vintage (pre-1988) and modern (1989 to 2000). The NWCR is anything but stuffy and participating cars have been outside what might be thought of as strictly classic; if you think it’s cool, the organizers probably will, too.

   The NWCR allows teams to choose either of two equipment-based classes: un-aided or “seat of the pants” (SOP) and aided or “Calculator.” SOP teams cannot use any calculators or rally tables, while Calculator teams can use non-programmable four-function calculators, rally tables, rally slide rules and Curta rally calculators. All teams are limited to their original equipment speedometers and odometers; no one may use the average speed function of their car’s computer, even if original equipment.

   In addition to the technical TSD rally, the NWCR offers the option of a Tour class for those more interested in a less challenging weekend drive. Any car of any age is permitted on the Tour. The Tour class follows the rally schedule, but, to prevent interference with cars trying to stay on time, may not follow the rally route. All Tour participants are welcome at the social events.

   Whether joining the NWCR for the ​competitive rally or for a spirited drive with fellow car enthusiasts, you will be in for one of the best automotive events of the year. Please message us for any questions about the rally and follow our various social media sites to get updates about the rally.