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A Day on the Back Roads of Arizona with the Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000

A Day on the Road with the 2014 Copperstate 1000

Tempe, ARIZ. (April 7, 2014) – The Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000 kicked off Sunday morning with the Field of Dreams Car Show at Tempe Diablo Stadium.  Created in 1990 by the Men’s Art Council, the Copperstate 1000 has become one of the premier vintage road rallies.  Drivers bring their pre-1974 cars to Arizona from across the globe to take part in the 1,000 mile, 4 day rally through some of the most scenic territory our great state has to offer.

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For the past several years, Arizona Auto Scene has tried to get a copy of the rally’s route, but weren’t successful.  2014 would prove to be a different year as we were lucky enough to be provided a copy of the route for the prestigious event.

Rolling out of Tempe Diablo Stadium at just about 9:30 am, some 95 rare and unique examples of automobile history set out on their four day trek through the Arizona desert.  With 15 classic Ferraris, 2 classic Lamborghinis, 6 Mercedes (Gullwings and Roadsters), 8 Jaguars, 3 Panteras, 4 Porsches and others from the makes of MG, Triumph, Arnolt Bristol, Maserati, Shelby, Sunbeam, Citroen, Chevrolet, Dodge and more, we knew this was going to be a great day traveling the countryside with these vintage rides.

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Last year’s Copperstate 1000 took to the high country.  The 2014 would rally would make a run towards the border.  The Tohono O’odham would be in for a treat as roar of a 1970 Ford Torino stock car and the high revs coming out of a tuned Italian exhaust rattle the spirits as they worked their way south through the Sonoran desert, each car and driver traveling at their own pace.  For some it was time to stretch their legs and open it up on the open, desolate roads, putting their speedometer needles into territory it rarely sees.  Others just cruised, taking in the sights of the desert landscape adorned with these rare beauties.

Working their way south through the desert, participants in the rally were treated to a catered lunch in Sells.  After lunch and giving their chariots the once over, the rally headed east where it provide a chance to take on the 14 miles of windy mountainous road leading to the top of Kitt’s Peak.  Climbing to 6,875 feet above sea level in just 14 miles, this road was a driver’s dream.  The elevation provided for scenic views that went on for days.

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The Kitts Peak National Observatory sitting atop the mountain was founded in 1958.  It was founded in 1958 and operates three major nighttime telescopes, 22 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes.  Its visitor center is open daily to the public.

Descending Kitt’s Peak, it was off to the west side of Tucson, and then south to the San Xavier Mission.  Founded in 1692, the mission is a beautiful piece of Arizona’s history.  Though it is currently undergoing restoration, the San Xavier Mission remains open to the public.

Those participating in the 2014 Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000 will be out on the road until Wednesday.  The next opportunity to take in these beautiful rides will be Wednesday afternoon when they roll into the JW Marriot Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

Proceeds from the Copperstate 1000 go to the Phoenix Art Museum and the Copperstate 10-90 Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides emergency benefits to the families of dependents of police officers killed in the line of duty.  They also provide tuition assistance to eligible family members.

Arizona Auto Scene covers automotive related events on a weekly basis.  We cannot remember the last time we had as much fun covering an event as we had on Sunday.  The organizers of the 2014 Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000 did an amazing job.  We’re sure the three remaining days will be just as good as Sunday.

We took over 400 photos of these rare and desirable vintage automobiles out on the road Sunday.  Scroll down to take in these cars doing what they do best, going through the gears and burning down the road.

Click here to purchase high-resolution prints and digital downloads from the 2014 Copperstate 1000.

Click here to purchase high-resolution prints and digital downloads from the 2014 Copperstate 1000.

1 Comment

  1. Dirk Howard says:

    Great article and pictures! You really put some effort onto this one.

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