New Cannonball Run record of 27 hours and 25 minutes is downright legendary
We all have moments in our lives where we felt like we were the fastest driver in the world. For me, it was when I had to get my Mom to a Dave Matthews Band concert that she was running late for and I told her, "whatever you do, don't look at my dashboard, you're going to be disappointed in me."
For a brief moment, my land-yacht was doing triple digits and I'm by no means proud of that, but if my Mom didn't get to hear all of Ants Marching and #41, there was going to be hell to pay. My 103 mile per hour sprint down the Garden State Parkway is nothing in comparison to these guys though.
A 2015 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, piloted by Arne Toman, Doug Tabutt and Berkeley Chadwick has broken the record for the Cannonball Run. The Cannonball Run, for those of you who don't know, is a cross-country drive from New York to Los Angeles that was created in 1971 by Car and Driver's Brock Yates, and Steve Smith wrote about their cross-country road trip in a 1971 Dodge Custom Sportsman.
The first Cannonballers, Brock Yates and Dan Gurney with their Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
The Run was created as a celebration for the Interstate Highway System, but also as a protest against the traffic and safety regulations that crippled some of the auto industry's best muscle cars. This motoring rite of passage was adapted into a film in 1981 and starred Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, and Dom DeLuise.
So I'm sure by now you're wondering how a 5.5-liter BiTurbo V8 powered barge managed to cross the country in a little more than a day. Well it's pretty simple. This particular E63 was upgraded with an ALPHA 9 package which includes upgraded turbochargers, intercoolers, downpipes and a new intake. These upgrades brought power up to a clean 700 horsepower.
Going fast is one part of the Cannonball Run equation, the other part is making sure you can keep going fast. To assist in that, the team had two different radar detectors as well as an aircraft collision avoidance system. The car also had a bit of a facelift thanks to some vinyl wrap, which helped cover the carbon fiber and some of the taillights.
Kill switches were also included to hide the brake lights and taillights. They also used Waze which meant that the team was able to track cops based on inputs from other drivers in the areas. To make sure that fuel stops were met with a similar agility, the E63 was outfitted with a customized fuel cell that had two filler necks which was mounted in the trunk and held an additional 40 gallons of fuel. The last element to making sure the team could keep going fast, was the help of 18 friends, who helped the drivers cut through traffic and spot cops along the route.
All in, the trip took 27 hours and 25 minutes and covered 2825 miles, which means that the trio averaged a speed of 103 miles per hour. Top speed on the journey was 193 miles per hour.
Regardless of the overwhelming amount of traffic violations, it has to be said that this was an incredible feat. I commend the ridiculous amount of effort that was put in to making this trip, and I am absolutely blown away by the results. So, with that in mind, I raise a glass to this group of drivers, who defied what we thought possible, and absolutely crushed the competition. Hats off to you, gentlemen.
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