On Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance held its Iron Mike Rally Pre-Run, an event designed to work out the logistics of the 36-mile Iron Mike Rally to Fort Bragg the Concours will run in May 2013. Among the classics on display were a 1965 AC Cobra, a vintage 1937 Lincoln, a 1968 Ferrari 330 GTC, a 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and a cayenne-red custom 1962 Corvette convertible.
You can read more about the pre-run here and here. In addition to showcasing a sampling on the classic vehicles that will be on display at Pinehurst Resort from May 2-5 at the Main Post Parade field, special media VIP, car owners and guests were treated to an emotional and uplifting tour of Fort Bragg, including stops at Range 37 and meetings with Special Forces soldiers. The group was also entertained by a moving performance by the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, of which highlights can be seen and heard here.
The Iron Mike Rally is named after the iconic “Iron Mike” statue, located near Fort Bragg headquarters, that represents all paratroopers past, present and future. Fort Bragg is home of the United States Army 82nd Airborne and Special Operations Forces and is one of the largest military complexes in the world, with approximately 57,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees and 23,000 family members on site.
Accompanied by police and military escorts, rally participants will drive the 36-mile route from Pinehurst Resort, winding through the towns of Pinehurst and Southern Pines, before entering the Longstreet Gate of Fort Bragg. Participants will then arrive at the heart of the base, wind around the traffic circle at the Iron Mike statue and then enter the Main Post Parade Field. The massive Parade Field has hosted celebrations and ceremonies since World War I, including those involving the President of the United States and foreign heads of state.
Once the vehicles are parked, the Parade Field will open to military members and their families, who will have the opportunity to meet and interface with the Concours vehicle owners and drivers, and learn about the history and heritage of some of the world’s most iconic vehicles. At the same time, the Concours participants will be introduced to some of our nation’s greatest heroes, walking among and enjoying hands-on interaction with military displays and exhibits.
A special award – the “Soldier’s Choice” – will be given to the vehicle with the most votes by military guests attending the event.
“The Iron Mike Rally accomplishes two goals,” said Dean Kessel, founder and CEO of the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance. “First it provides an exciting route for our entrants to exercise their cars and obtain an advantage at Sunday’s Concours, but secondly – and more importantly – it’s a way for the entrants to experience and interact with some of our nation’s finest men, women and families.”