Rally North America: Kutztown duo hit the road for a cause

Patriot photo by Taylor Eben Glenn Beck, native of Kutztown, and Brian Beck, Kutztown, prepare for the road rally benefit.

Glenn Beck, a native of Kutztown, has always loved cars.

'My father was a car geek way back when,' he said. 'He was always under a hood.'

In fact, his father owned two 1967 Shelby Mustangs: a GT 350 and a GT 500.

The Shelbys from back in the day, like the ones his father owned, influenced him to make a purchase of his own.

'This is my first and only indulgence,' Glenn said of his 2006 Ford Mustang GT. 'I made some modifications to this car to emulate what those cars had.'

Since he got involved with Mustangs, Glenn has been doing business with CJ Pony Parts in Harrisburg. At one of their car shows, Glenn met the company's service manager and noticed a decal on his car from the Rally North America 2010 Route 66 rally. Glenn talked to him about the organization and was immediately interested.

Rally North America (RNA) is an annual road rally that benefits charity. Every year, RNA chooses a different charity to donate money to. This year's charity is the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.

'The goal is $40,000,' Glenn said. 'We already topped $30,000. I committed to raise $1,000 and I topped that just the other day.'

In order to sign up for RNA's Dixie 2012 in the first place, Glenn needed a co-pilot, so he chose his uncle and fellow car enthusiast Brian Beck, also of Kutztown.

'He was the first guy I thought of,' Glenn said. 'We both worked at Ryly's in town here for a number of years.'

From June 18 through June 21, Glenn and Brian will join 80 other teams as they trek across five states, covering more than 1,300 miles and stopping at several scenic and historic sites or checkpoints along the way.

'We're going to have a great time,' said Glenn.

There will be a racing-oriented activity every day. The rally kicks off in Noblesville, Indiana, where they'll get to do figure eight laps at the Indianapolis Speedrome. Then, they'll head for Bowling Green, Kentucky, where they'll get to drag race at Clarksville Speedway and visit the National Corvette Museum.

'The high point has to be the two laps around the Talladega Super Speedway on the last day,' Glenn said.

They'll finish up at Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

'Although it's a car-oriented activity, it's definitely not a race,' Glenn said.

If a team arrives at a checkpoint earlier than they're allowed to they'll be penalized and if they acquire any speeding tickets they'll be disqualified from the rally.

Teams are mostly from the East Coast, but there are some people from the Tallahassee area, upstate New York and Maine. Of course participants include a few high-end collectors and typical 'motorheads,' but RNA doesn't discriminate. Their latest entry is actually a Smart Car.

Glenn has been preparing for the rally since he signed up last December.

'I had the car serviced, got some new tires and upgraded a couple odds and ends,' he said.

Both Glenn and Brian, neither of whom have every done anything like this before, are looking forward to having fun while raising money for a worthwhile cause at the same time.

'I'm eagerly waiting for it,' Glenn said.

Should you feel inclined to donate to Glenn and Brian's team, visit www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/teamlimer.

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