Vintage sports cars and race cars stopped at Leadville’s historic Tabor Opera House on Sept. 13 as part of the Colorado Grand, an annual charity tour.
The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation hosted the tour’s final coffee stop—and received a $2,000 donation to the opera house. The Colorado Grand chooses nonprofits throughout the tour’s route to host meals and coffee breaks, then makes a donation in gratitude.
“As we look ahead to 2020, we are seeking $25,000 in operating costs just to keep the lights on and the doors open at the Tabor Opera House,” said Mary Ann Graham-Best, president of the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation. “The Colorado Grand’s generous donation will help Lake County residents enjoy world-class performances on the historic Tabor stage again next summer.”
The Colorado Grand is a non-competitive annual tour founded by Englewood automotive enthusiast Bob Sutherland in 1989. Approximately 85 cars built in 1960 or earlier take a relaxed drive of 1,000 miles through the Rockies in five days during the peak of fall leaf season. In the early 1960s,Leadville was the breakfast stop for the then-overnight rally, and Bill Bollendonk (pictured at <https://www.dropbox.com/s/i16b5b8el693sl7/Colorado Grand at TOH.jpg?dl=0>) used to set up the rally.
The tour attracts entrants from around the world and always includes several cars from the 1920s and 1930s. Typical makes include Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Porsche, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Maserati and Allard, and such exotic names as Amilcar, Cisitalia, Squire, Delahaye, and Talbot-Lago.
The Colorado Grand currently generates well over $500,000 annually for small Colorado charities and Western Slope towns as well as college scholarships for local high-school seniors. Cumulative donations since 1989 are over $6.5 million. All donated funds come from entrants and sponsors.