Think about the oldest person you know… are they still driving? If they do still let rip behind the wheel, chances are it’s only for a brief trek to Tesco, not a 6,000 mile race across North America. This is exactly what 97 year old Dorothy Caldwell did last month alongside her 72 year old son. Yes, a 97 year old woman co-rallied a 22-day endurance from Halifax, Nova Scotia all the way to San Francisco, California.
Mad props to this crazy bird, if anybody is going to tear up a 6,000 rally at that age then they deserve . It’s worth nothing that Mrs Caldwell won’t actually be behind the wheel but acting as a navigator for their killer 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III which also happens to look mighty fine for its age. The Endurance Rally Association’s ‘Trans-America Challenge’ is a relatively new contest which first kicked off in 2012, a rally which Mrs Caldwell also took part of thus earning herself the “Spirit of the Rally” award.
When you consider the responsibility placed on a rally navigator, it’s actually kind of insane that Mrs Caldwell is still up to the challenge. This isn’t a half arsed map reading; she successfully navigated the pair across perilous terrain, a route which requires more or less constant alertness and forward planning.
Mrs Caldwell appears to have quite the history in racing, in fact her whole family (three kids, five grandkids, ten grandkids, woah!) seem to be at least connected to the track in some vague way. It seems like the last four years have really pumped the petrol back into her veins though, no doubt helping her body stay so fit for this long – she’s even rallied in Burma!
Whether Mrs Caldwell continues racing across the US in the coming years is to be seen but she did complain that her eye sight is beginning to fail her meaning this may be her last major long distance rally.
Please, please let us be this cool when we’re old and wrinkly!
You can read more about this story at The Telegraph.