The 2015 Trans-America Nova Scotia to San Francisco Rally

Today’s Post by John Larsen

In early 2015, my partner Cathy and I were informed by our German friends, Barbara and Wolfgang, that during their visit to the US they would be stopping in Niagara Falls, New York. Given that we could drive there in just over an hour from our Toronto surburb, we made plans to meet and enjoy the view of the Falls from the US side.

After spending a relaxing day by the Falls, they suggested we go back to their hotel and walk to the famous Anchor Bar to sample the best chicken wings ever. However, as we parked our cars both Wolfgang and I were very surprised to find a rare and unique collection of cars in the parking lot. They were competitors of the 2015 Trans-America Nova Scotia to San Francisco Rally and had parked their vehicles in the same lot outside of the hotel!

Initially I thought this was a remake of the classic movie Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies starring Tony Curtis. That is, until I did some research on this event and their participants. It turns on out that one team consisted of a 97-year old mother with her son driving a 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III. They would finish fifth overall!

The cars ranged from a 1927 Bentley to a 1977 Triumph Stag. There was even a 1967 VW Beetle. Competitors were from the USA, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Malaysia. Unfortunately I did not have an opportunity to meet any of them but it was a real treat to see the collection of cars in the parking lot. If you would like to see the results of the event, please click here.

All of this already has me thinking about competing in similar events in the future; Hey, does my 1988 Mazda Rx7 qualify to enter? I’m not sure that the rotary engine could survive the event…


John Larsen is located in the Greater Toronto Area, whose PhotoGraffics website contains samples of motorsports and hot air balloon photography from numerous Canadian balloon festivals.