The Drive Toward a Cure Classic Car Road Rally Takes the Fight Against Parkinson's to the Streets

We ride along on the rally's adventure through California to experience a different kind of fancy driving event: one fighting an incurable illness.

When you think of a classic car road rally, there's probably a few choice associations that pop into your head. Stunning, achingly expensive sheet metal, sure. Beautiful roads and luxury accommodations, fine. But a bunch of complete strangers coming together to help fight an incurable illness? This is Drive Toward a Cure, and it's far more than your average gathering of well-off people strutting their shiny wares. For many, this annual, multi-day rally is really a fight against the ravages of Parkinson's disease.

That includes founder Deb Pollack, a longtime veteran in the luxury automotive public relations world who's represented names like Singer, Maserati and Ferrari throughout her career. Pollack's mother sadly succumbed to Parkinson's in 2006, and a decade after her passing, Pollack decided the small, one-time charity events she'd been involved with setting up over the years weren't enough. Her ultimate dream is to see an end to Parkinson's in her lifetime. Drive Toward a Cure was born.

Mark Davidson | Drive Toward a Cure

Deb Pollack in her 1957 Porsche Speedster

The group hosts two annual multi-day rallies—one in the Southeast and one in California—and it's also involved in smaller one-day events throughout the year. Even though these kinds of luxurious gatherings are something of a tried and true format, we were still surprised by something as we tagged along on the group's California Adventure drive in a 2018 Kia Stinger earlier this year. Most of the participants were there not because they wanted an excuse to drive their pricey classic, but because they knew someone in their lives with Parkinson's and genuinely wanted to help. As a result, Drive Toward a Cure doesn't feel like your average rally. It feels a little more important.

Of course, it's still full of all the trappings you'd expect for an all-inclusive luxury experience, like fine hotels, great meals, interesting and exclusive tours of places like the Petersen's Vault and the Canepa Collection along the way. Registration for next year's California Adventure opens next week on the group's website. Don't worry if you miss it though—if Pollack has her way, there'll be many more to come.