When the documentary about Mt. Carmel native George Beckerman premiered in Nashville on July 12, it received a standing ovation.
Next weekend, at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, the “Rally George” documentary will be airing at Wabash Valley College’s Brubeck Arts Center, and admission is free.
The Prairie Post’s coverage of the documentary’s premiere focused on the director and premiere itself. But, what about the man behind the movie? “Rally George” largely centers around Beckerman’s stint as a rally car driver back in the 1960s through 1980s.
In an interview with the Prairie Post, Beckerman recounted his time as “Rally George.” Beckerman began by describing the birth of his love for cars.
“In the seventh or eighth grade, I started getting interested in cars, which is not unusual for someone that age…”
While most boys during that time were drooling over the rise of the American muscle car, George found himself drawn to cars from the European market.
“… but I was more interested in foreign cars, smaller cars. I would read a lot about them in car magazines, which is all we had at that time.”
His interest in cars grew stronger as he got older, especially when he and his wife Doris arrived at college.
“When we got into college at the University of Illinois in Champaign, there was a very active sports car club. So, we started going to their meetings and their events.”
After getting involved in the club, the Beckermans started participating in the rallies it held.
“We ran small club rallies all throughout college, and over the years, we gained experience.”
Once they felt like they had gained enough experience, they started running in larger rallies.
“We did go to a couple of rallies up in Canada during the winter—that was quite the experience.”
The first time Beckerman ran in a Canadian rally he admits that he and his rally partner, Harold Davis of Indiana, had no idea what to expect.
“We were so far in over our heads. The first time we went up, we ran the rally and the second night we got stuck. Then, on the way home, we were driving through central Indiana, and the head gasket blew.”
However, the next time Beckerman rallied in Canada, his wife was his rally partner.
“Doris and I went two years later, and the snow was so bad they cancelled the second night of the rally.”
From 1965 until the early 80s, the Beckermans ran rallies together. And, though their focus was on the rally, the time they spent together during those races was invaluable.
Interested in reading the rest of the story? Check out this week's Prairie Post!