The Wait is Over, 32 Hours 7 Minutes Has Been Released
This November a documentary was released on Vimeo for purchase. A documentary I had been patiently excited to see since I first heard about it as a sophomore in college.32Hours 7Minutes is a documentary based on one simple idea. To drive from coast to coast, as fast as possible. No rules, no cash prize, no glory, just a challenge against time and every law enforcement agency between New York and Los Angles.
I Can't Drive 55, the Origins of the Cannonball Run
Documentary starts from the beginning, 1971, when Brock Yates started The Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Run, aka the Cannonball Run. The origin was born out of a protest against the national 55 mph speed limit. A law that made about as much sense as Prohibition, and created similar results. It made people want to drive faster.
By 1979, the Cannonball Run had created a cult following among those who knew about it. However, by the time Burnt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise did it on the big screen the real race had gained fame it didn’t want. The Cannonball became the U.S Express. What made it different was this rally was all about one thing setting the fastest time.
Each driver was carefully screened to make sure no loose cannons were allowed in. Safety was always a key factor and from 1980-83 no accidents were reported during the race. Entry fee was a $500 donation to the Cancer Society.
However, by 1982 stories of State Troopers issuing threats along with speeding tickets was becoming too common. 1983 was the last year an official race was held, and it was also the year a record was set.
Coast to Coast in 32 Hours 7 Minutes
Two amateur drivers, David Diem and Doug Turner, took a red Ferrari 308 across country in a blazing time of 32 hours 7 minutes. For decades the record was the subject of controversy over whether Team Diem /Turner completed the run honestly. Why? Because driving nearly 3,000 miles, cross country, while averaging a speed of 89 mph is not something anyone can do.
It takes planning, resources, precaution, courage, and enough luck to clean out a Vegas casino. They used a “racer’s approach” during the run. That means going flat-out at over 140 mph when the coast is clear, dropping down to 55 mph when it wasn’t, and stopping only for fuel.
The record has stood since then, with a certain degree of doubt depending on who you ask. There was only one for sure way to prove whether or not the record was legitimate. Someone had to make a run and try to beat it. A champion Gumball 3000 Rally driver in a specially modified BMW M5 decided he was crazy enough to make the run.
Team Polizei Cannonballs America
The main plot of this documentary is the story of infamous outlaw rally driver Alex Roy, co-driver David Maher, and film director Cory Wells, on their attempt to drive from New York to LA in under 32 hours and 7 minutes in 2006. The automotive equivalent to climbing Mount Everest.
The documentary shows how the enormous amount of planning and prep needed to make this run as fast, and as safe, as possible. Cory Wells documents the entire run from New York to Los Angles, and all the high speed tension in-between. Police scares, breakdowns, high speed running, bad weather, and the blood clots of the open road… construction.
A Must Watch for Driving Enthusiast
In order to take notes for this article I sat down and watched this film three times in order to capture the spirit of it. My parents sat in during one of the screenings and it was fun watching my mom sitting on the edge of her seat while watching this movie. She is not a speed freak nor a car enthusiast, which is a testament to how entertaining and fascinating this film is.
Not to mention you get to see a Pre-Fast n Loud Richard Rawlings looking vastly different in 2007. He looks more like a Hot Topic shift manager rather than the salt and pepper rockabilly dad we know today.
If you love road trips, history, and stories of the human spirit, then I highly recommend watching 32Hours 7Mintues.Rent or buy it HERE. You won’t be disappointed.
Cannonball Fever is Very Real
I will say that one has to be careful of catching Cannonball Fever while watching this film. It happened to me already. Symptoms included: a twitchy right foot, compulsive urge to buy radar detectors, and strained eyes from looking over the horizon during regular commutes.
The idea is already in my head and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon. A different route perhaps. Border to border maybe, or cannonball highway 83 that starts in Brownsville, TX and ends in San Diego, CA; the entire border of Mexico.
In modern day, any attempt at a record breaking run is now is getting close to impossible. The world has changed since 1971, 1983, and 2006. More drivers on the road and more distracted than ever. Law enforcement is faster and smarter, plus everyone can film you on your phone in a matter of seconds.
Any attempt for the record now would probably require a State Senator’s personal number on speed dial and a hired plane in every state as a spotter. Both of which are out of my tax bracket. Still, it’s a fun fantasy to indulge in and certainly makes for entertaining conversations after the fourth drink among friends and family.
Personally, if I was serious about attempting a Cannonball (not for the record, just to do it) I certainly wouldn’t admit it in writing. However, if you see me buying a fast car and pricing radar detectors… feel free to assume. Point is, I loved this film!