The Old Pueblo Touring Association (OPTA), an historic automobile group based in Tucson, Arizona, will be paying a visit to the hospitality and wondrous sights of southern Utah and northern Arizona from Sunday, September 9 through Friday, September 14. The tour, titled “Canyons and Cowboys 2012” will hub out of Kanab from the famous Parry Lodge.

From “home base,” a variety of some 20 early historic autos will take day tours to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, Zion Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks, Coral Pink Sand Dunes and many other scenic natural wonders.

Historic makes of automobiles featured on this tour include Locomobile, Buick, National, White, Graham Brothers, Pierce Arrow, Essex, Stoddard Dayton, and Ford, all pre-1927.

This tour will be a special tribute to the memory of Joe H. Whitney, one of the founding fathers of the Old Pueblo Touring Association, who passed away last March. He was also a co-founder of the Pioneer Auto Trails Historical Society (PATHS), a co-sponsoring organization for the Canyons and Cowboys Tour. Whitney was a pathfinder of this wonderful, scenic trip for antique automobiles. Many other old car clubs have followed the route in the decades since.

The tour will also commemorate the efforts of those early motorists who pioneered automobile trips to the spectacular sights of what are now among the nation’s treasured National Parks. A scholarship fund for high school seniors interested in continuing their education at a college or university in the automotive field has been established in honor of Mr. Whitney.

These rare cars can be seen and enjoyed by the public leaving in the early mornings and returning in the afternoons at Parry Lodge. We welcome the community and surrounding towns to come and see the cars, ask questions and take pictures.

For more information regarding the tour or scholarship fund, contact OPTA c/o Brandon Moe at tcpaz@hotmail.com.