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Moontower Road Rally – July 20th

July 20, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 1:30 pm CDT

Lithograph of a Moontower.

50th Anniversary of the First Moon Walk

On 20 July, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped from the lunar landing module onto the “Sea of Tranquility” on the earth’s moon. As he made this step he uttered the words: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. In commemoration of this historic event, please join VETMotorsports, the Moontower Saloon, and the Lone Star Region of SCCA in a tour of the historic Austin Moontowers.

In 1884 and 1885, the city of Austin was terrorized by a series of murders, mainly of servant girls. The eight killings are one of the earliest recorded serial murders and predate the infamous Jack the Ripper by 10 years. The eight murdered people included seven women and one man. The killer was never identified. For more information read Steven Saylor’s novel, A Twist at the End.

The city of Austin began looking for better ways to illuminate the city to ward off further killings. In 1894, the city bought 31 artificial Moontowers from the city of Detroit. Tradition said that the 31 original Moontowers were installed in the shape of a Texas Star. The 165 foot towers originally had carbon-arc light bulbs which had to lit each night and turned off each morning by a watchman who had to ascend to the top of each tower. Each tower illuminated a 1,500-foot radius.

Electricity was supplied by the new electric generators in the old Sam on the site at present day Tom Miller Dam. In the 1920s the arc lamps were placed with incandescent lamps which were replaced in the 1930 with mercury vapor lamps. During World War II, a central switch automated turning all of the lamps on and off to assist with city wide “black outs”.

In 1976 the Moontowers were inducted into the National Register of Historic Places. In 1995, the remaining towers were carefully restored.

Each car must have at least two people, a valid driver’s license, a current inspection sticker and proof of insurance.
Rally Fee: $20.00 per car for SCCA Members and $20.00 per cars of non-SCCA members. Minor Children (under 18 years old) are welcome but a Minor Waver signed by both parents will be required [PDF].

Starting PointUniversity of Texas Intramural Parking Lot at 51st and Lamar at 11:00 AM, Saturday July 20th.
Destination: Moontower Saloon located at 10212 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78748.
Route: A 90-minute city road, non-speed, event going past all remaining fourteen (14) Moontowers. End time
Registration: Starts at 10:00 AM with a safety briefing at 10:45 AM. The first car will be sent off at 11:01 AM. [Register Here]

This rally is sanctioned as a Regional Road Rally by Sports Car Club of America Road (“SCCA”) which will not count for points towards the National SCCA Rally Championship. SCCA has over 65,000 members, and offers car related activities in a broad range of automotive events. Sanction Number 19-SRG-7581.


July 20, 2019
10:00 am - 1:30 pm CDT
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Ken McElroy
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