The most common vehicles seen on a typical day in the quaint hamlet of Jasper, Arkansas, are pick-up trucks and SUV's, with canoes strapped to the top. But Thursday, Sept 5, 2013, was not a typical day! That was the day when a whole "herd" of fancy cars would motor into Jasper, as a part of the annual Crescent Classic Car Rally ( www.crescentclassicrally.com )
All this excitement was enough to make the local folks (and their pet dogs!), strain their necks and point, to the magnificent works of art, sitting atop a car chassis.
The director of the Crescent Classic Rally is Mr. Chris Parr, shown here with the Ferrari he was driving for the event.
The custom-designed logo for the rally starts with the crescent moon shape, which ties it in with the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas ( www.crescent-hotel.com ), shown on the lower right of this collage. The Crescent Hotel is the Rally Headquarters. The head of the prancing steed, typical of the Ferrari logo ( see medallion in lower left ), has been replaced with a Razorback. This reflects the fact that all the roads traveled in northwest Arkansas during the rally are firmly entrenched in Arkansas Razorback territory---mascot of the University of Arkansas, headquartered in Fayetteville.
In spite of an entry fee of almost a thousand dollars, the rally filled up its quota of participants! Some of the "perks" of being a participant included the wristband, various designs of rally clothing attire, the official rally, day-by-day, turn-by-turn, notebook (center photo) and use of a GPS preloaded with the necessary routes the group would be traveling. There was also a reception, costume ball, race-watching party, trips to Mt. Magazine via the "Pig Trail", and gala at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
I was able to catch up with the group for photos and interviews, when they stopped for lunch at the Ozark Café ( www.Ozarkcafe.com ), on the square, in Jasper, Arkansas. Jasper is the county seat of Newton County, Arkansas, and, as is typical for county seats in Arkansas, the courthouse sits in the middle of a grassy, square-shaped plaza, while various retail businesses surround the square on all four sides. This design, with the crosswalk leading from the courthouse doors, directly to the front door of the Ozark Café, probably accounts for the fact the Ozark Café has been in business for over 100 years, first opening in 1909!
It is a rare thing to see Ferraris double parked on any street, not to mention, a city street in tiny Jasper, Arkansas! However, when the Arkansas State Policeman observed this phenomena, he asked the owners of the cars that were double parked to move their cars. This was out of concern for the well-being of those pricey vehicles, since this corner of the Jasper square doubles as the busy State Highway 7, world famous as the most popular official "Scenic Byway" in Arkansas.
Fortunately, this Italian "Polizia" Ferrari had obeyed the law, and did not have to move. ( Since I am a photographer taking photos of famous Italian cars, I guess that makes me a true "paparazzi"! However, I think a true professional photographer would not let their reflection be seen in the photo, as I did !)
This photo is enough to make the viewer think there were color-coded parking spots (each adorned with flowers to match the colors of the cars!) for each of the special guests in town that day!
Drivers came from all over the United States to participate in this event! They paid a lot of money for the sole purpose of driving on the very roads that us locals take for granted! This should make us realize the treasure of scenery and culture that we have here in the Ozarks!
The Crescent Classic Rally also includes other brands, besides Ferrari. The USA manufacturer of the popular Chevrolet sports car---Corvette---was also represented.
This photo made me smile, thinking of how us local folks---driving our beat-up old pickup trucks---are sometimes called "Hicks". So here we have this beautiful, and very pricey Ferrari, parked in front of the "Hicks Auto Parts" store. Funny, huh??!!
Judging from the looks of this very impressive piece of machinery, visible through the back window, it will probably take more to keep it running than what is available at a small-town auto store!
This impressive line-up of classy red sports cars along a two-block stretch of Hiway 7, had several drivers of big rigs, giving out peals of "happy honks" from their horns, as they slowly motored past them.
This brand new Bentley convertible was being "chauffeured" by special 2013 Celebrity Guest Driver, Brian Redman, who very graciously let me take his photo before he got behind the wheel. Mr. Redman ( of course, driving a red car, to go along with his name!) started his racing career in 1959, and eventually progressed to become one of the all-time greats in motor racing. After racing extensively in Europe, he moved to the US, winning the US F5000 championship in 1974, 1975, and 1976---beating the likes of Mario Andretti, Al Unser, and David Hobbs. He now is a well known spokesman and promoter of vintage racing, through events such as "The HAWK with Brian Redman" and his Targa 66 Club.
This photo shows the crowd enjoying the atmosphere of the Ozark Café, complete with live music. Race director, Chris Parr, is jokingly pointing out a "traffic offender" to the Jasper Police Chief, who was on hand to welcome the visitors to his town.
Chris Parr told me that this 1939 Lagonda was a VERY SIGNIFICANT car. Later I looked up info on the Internet about Lagonda collector cars, and saw an auction where one sold for over a million dollars!
This photo shows Scott Ashcraft, who along with Doug Crews, helped develop the routes used by participants in the Crescent Classic Rally. It seemed fitting to have his photo with the Ferrari law enforcement vehicle from the last century, taken in front of Newton County's historic old jail---also a relic of the last century!
When I was researching history of the Ferrari brand, I learned that "Ferrari" is the Italian word for "iron worker"! I finally understood why "Fe" is the chemical symbol for iron in the Periodic Table of the Elements. ( I would think this would be a bit of trivia that could help chemistry students memorize those chemical symbols they have to know for the exams!) That word "iron" also brought to mind the Proverbs 27:17 wisdom that says "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another". This wisdom is evident in the Crescent Classic Rally---car enthusiasts being around other car enthusiasts---sharpens both their knowledge and zeal for their pursuits! Scott Ashcraft told me he thought Hiway 123, in Newton, County, Arkansas, was THE BEST auto rally road he had EVER been on!! That should make you want to get up off the couch, and get out to enjoy these beautiful Ozark Mountains---they will bring you "MILES OF SMILES!" Tricia