Mom, 97, And Her 72-year Old Son Take On Rally

trans-america road rally


Name: 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III

Year(s) Produced: 1963-1966

Number Built: 2,044

Class: Sedan

Body Type: 2-door convertible

Engine: 6.2 litre, 6223 cc

Power: 200bhp

0-60mph: 10.8 seconds

Top Speed: 116 mph

Transmission: 4-speed automatic

Length/width/height: 211.5 in./ 74 in./ 64 in.

Wheelbase: 123 in.

Base Price: US$16,700

Current Value: US$169,000 (Hagerty)

Living a crazy life is an understatement for racing mother-and-son tandem Dorothy and Alastair Caldwell, especially when you’re talking about the Trans-America Run. Oh, did I mention that Dorothy is 97 and Alastair, 72?

Yes, you got it right – the label “seniors” did not disqualify this racing family in joining the 9,000 kilometer and 22-day journey in their classic 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. “I’m alive and with nothing else to do, so I’m doing it,” said Dorothy, whose sharp mind and sense of know-how defies almost a century of living. 2015 marked her third Endurance Rally Association road tour, having previously accompanied her son on the 2012 Trans-America run from New York to Alaska and the Singapore-to-Myanmar rally.

As a powerhouse tandem, Dorothy acts as the navigator while Alastair drives the Silver Cloud, bringing with him 15 years of Formula 1 racing with the McLaren team. Racing as it seems, runs strong inside the Caldwell veins. According to Dorothy, her family has always been into racing even to the extent that Alastair’s brother was killed in a racing accident in New Zealand.

It was a very sad moment for the family, but this did not deter them from pursuing their passion for the journey. Alastair has competed in more than 30 rallies and amusingly commented that the combined age of their Rolls-Royce and its riders at this time around is 221. “You can sit at home, it all gets very boring,” Dorothy mused. At the end of the run, the Trans-America Cup will be presented to the winners. Indeed, age is just a number when it comes in pursuing one’s passions.

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