Racing driver relives epic journey

4:15pm Monday 24th March 2014

A RACING driver has relived her incredible journey travelling across America in a 109-year-old Oldsmobile with the launch of her book.

Vale villager Joy Rainey shares the story of her epic 2,903 mile drive across the U.S. in her 1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile in her new book, Joy Across America.

The racer, who is of restricted growth, decided to take on the challenge driving from California to Florida in memory of her partner Trevor, who had rebuilt the vehicle and planned to drive alongside her before he sadly lost his battle with cancer.

It had seemed the journey may never happen but Ms Rainey, who scooped speed titles in the 80s and 90s in the male dominated sport, was determined to carry on their ambition.

The 109-year-old Oldsmobile performed faultlessly and 31 days later Joy arrived in Florida, achieving something no woman had previously accomplished in a single cylinder car.

Ms Rainey, of Wickhamford, near Evesham, said the reasons behind the trip made it all the more emotional to revisit in the book.

"It was quite tough but enjoyable revisiting the journey," she said. "I had to revisit everyday of the trip. I just realised how tough it was, I didn't even realise at the time.

"We went through some very tough conditions, climbing 8,500 foot tall mountains in first gear. It was extremely challenging for the car and probably for the driver. It was very emotional when I arrived at the Atlantic.

"Trevor would've been proud because he rebuilt the car for the trip, so I felt I should do all the driving."

The book, reliving every mile in the car which travels no faster then 28mph, was launched at this year's Race Retro at Stoneleigh Park and even features a foreword by racing legend Sir Stirling Moss.

"I have known him since I was 16," said Ms Rainey. "He followed the journey. When I saw him about a month after the trip he said you are mad. He recognised the challenge."

The book, costing £18.95 is available from joy-across-america.com or at Evesham Shop Mobility, Riverside Shopping Centre in Bridge Street, Evesham.

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