17 June 2015

The Great Race: Chevy Bel Air provides rolling family reunion for UK team

(Editor’s Note: In honor of Father’s Day, and over the course of the 2015 Great Race beginning June 20, we’re profiling nine teams, each consisting of some variation of a father and daughter, father and son, or grandfather and son. Stay tuned for these stories and results from the race.)

Mike Hallowes (Stowe on the Wold, Goucestershire, UK) and Oli Hallowes (Orlando, Fla.)

1954 CHEVROLET BEL AIR (#96)

Oli Hallowes grew up in the U.K. watching his father, Mike, race vintage cars. Now they sit next to each other. For the second year in a row, the Hallowes – who now live an ocean apart – will come together for the Great Race. This year’s rolling family reunion will be held in a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air.

“Some of my best memories are watching my father race, and I’ve been so lucky to have been surrounded by some of the most prestigious cars in the world due to my father’s passion,” said 40-year-old Oli, who resides in Orlando. “Now that I live in the U.S. and he lives in the UK, I don’t get to see him often. The Great Race is a fantastic event that we can both enjoy and spend some quality time together.”

The Hallowes have taken part in numerous rallies in the UK, including the famous London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run. The two will drive the ’54 Bel Air in the Missouri-to-California Great Race, which follows old Route 66.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Route 66 has to offer and also sharing more amazing memories with my father,” Oli said. “Last year we were rookies, learning the ropes, but I am confident this year we can be competitive in our division. It would be fantastic to get a top 10 finish.”

Mike Hallowes, 73, has both a great sense of humor and high expectations. He said he’s out to win the $50,000 grand prize. “I’m only joking about the $50,000 -- although it would be handy,” he said. “We are really doing it because it is such a great event and we made some good friends last year. It’s a great chance for Oli and me to do something fun together.”

Asked if the experience will help their relationship grow stronger, Mike joked, “Not if Oli gets me lost.”

Tomorrow: John and Scott Hudson and their 1940 Chevy Master Deluxe.

For Stage 5 results, click here.

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