Morgan and her father Tony are back on the road again, raising money for Hope for the Warriors and going for their 4th gold in the Penn Dutch Rally…
For the past five years, Mike Marti has organized a “gimmick rally” which is basically an automotive scavenger hunt, and it’s called the Penn Dutch Rally. This hunt, inspired by Mike’s experiences with the much larger-scale continental Rally North America (RNA), just focuses on the backroads and byways of Pennsylvania.
Mike was influenced by RNA to create his own rally throughout Pennsylvania for a smaller group of fellow car people, and for anyone looking to get into the rally scene, this would be a great starter trip. Any car is allowed to enter, and it only costs 40 dollars, which all goes to charity.
This year Mike chose the worthy charity Hope for the Warriors, a top-rated non-profit serving our country’s heroes .
From Hope For The Warriors:
The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with these rallies all 5 years Mike has been organizing them, always alongside my fellow co-pilot Andrew Preston (middle) and driver (and dad) Anthony Intrieri.
Not to brag, but we had earned the title the “Dream Team” by coming in first in our last three rallies, but today Mike put us to the test with this route:
Starting in the South Mountain Raceway and heading towards Greenvillage Drive-in Family Restaurant we had 13+ checkpoints and 72 opportunities for extra points. While Mike always emphasizes how the rally should be focused on sightseeing and having a nice drive, the dream team and a few others knew we were really there for that 1st place plaque.
Since we were so focused on winning most of our day was mostly snapping horrible pictures in order to get the points I will not bore you with every single stop that we did in order to place instead I wanted to share the must sees on these winding back roads of Pennsylvania.
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We started off competing for reaction times on the South Mountain Raceway drag strip, with each person that placed getting extra points. This charming mom and pop owned raceway invited us with open arms and even offered us the track time for free! Low-key with friendly people and a surprisingly impressive food truck, it was an excellent “starting line” for the rally.
Once we left we were heading to 3 private collections around the area that Mike stumbled upon and somehow got our whole crew invited to check out these rare cars hidden around the area. We knew we were heading into some hidden gold and our expectations were definitely exceeded!
The first of these was at Bowman’s Farm where the gracious owner allowed us to run around his collection snapping picture after picture to complete our checkpoints. The place was HUGE and we didn’t even get access to it all. Here is just a glimpse!
Our second private collection was Ed Wenger’s decked out garage filled with stunning Studebakers.
If these pictures don’t sell you, maybe the fact this collection is so impressive everyone was willing to drive their prized-possession muscle cars into the wet grass and risk scratching their bumpers on their way out just to get a glimpse of Wenger’s collection will convince you.
Our last private collection was titled “Mike Hurt’s Man Cave.” While this title might seem suspicious this place is FULL of antiques that go unseen by most of the world.
These collections were all incredible, and I am so grateful that Mike got us access to them. Though each collection and owner was unique, they were all the friendliest guys in the world. Each seemed to relish in the opportunity to share their collection with our appreciative group.
While we cherished every checkpoint getting there on the back roads was easily the most fun part of the 2017 Penn Dutch Rally. Our two favorite roads were given to us with only the intersections as checkpoints. The first road was the stretch between old route 30 and Green Ridge Rd & Mt Carmel Rd, Orrtanna, PA 17353 and then we continued onto Newman Rd & Antietam Rd, Fayetteville, PA 17222, which took us through Mont. Alto.
To be clear: these roads are not beautiful for their sights. In fact, most of the road was completely surrounded for forest, but the secluded nature of this road made it great for anyone wanting an escape from busy highways and willing to push their car a little bit.
This video was only one small strip:
Though we showed up for the competition (as always) we left with an almost shameful third place. Although victory eluded us, we were still incredibly happy we came up for the Penn Dutch Rally. We got to meet three collectors and were given access to their impeccable collections; we drove all roads we would have never found otherwise; and we spent time with old friends along the way.
Of course, we also helped raise money for a great cause.
Who knows what next year will look like for the Penn Dutch Rally, but rest assured that Team Danger will be there thirsty for a comeback!
Editor’s note: Just because you didn’t make it on this year’s Penn Dutch Rally doesn’t mean you can’t support a great non-profit. We at Two Lane America invite you to browse Hope For the Warriors’ website and Facebook page to learn more about the good they’re doing for so many.
Obviously, they’d love for you to make a financial contribution to their efforts, but there’s plenty of ways to help such as volunteering for one of their numerous events.