Posted in: Commentary,
by Gregg Laskoski on Nov 6, 2013 03:00 PM
Sometimes you just have to take time to appreciate a true accomplishment. Put your skepticism on 'pause' for a moment.
According to the Daily Mail, Atlanta Lamborghini dealer Ed Bolian drove a 2004 Mercedes CL to speed into the record books October 20. He (and two friends) drove from Midtown Manhattan to Redondo Beach, taking the classic route first taken in the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash of the 1970s.
Bolian's time of 28 hours 50 minutes beats the previous record set by Alex Roy in 2006 when he made the trip in 31 hours 4 minutes by over two hours. With a distance of 2,813.7 miles, Bolian and his two-man team did the Cannonball Run at an average of 98 miles per hour. How did they do it?
For one thing, they planned very well. When you're in this much of a hurry, there's no time to stop at Cracker Barrel or Waffle House. Bolian spent years outfitting the 2004 Mercedes with expensive gadgetry (radar detection), spare gas tanks, and bedpans (maybe that's too much information).
Obviously, since he averaged 98 miles an hour, this is not something anyone should consider attempting. When you travel in excess of many speed limits, that creates controversy. But, in this case the Bolian team apparently managed to do it safely.
The Lamborghini dealership sales director is hesitant to show off the proof, but according to Jalopnik, the 27-year-old has GPS data tracking every inch of the journey he took with a co-pilot and passenger starting October 19.
‘I've wanted to break the record since I was 18 years old,’ Bolian said, explaining away the trip’s huge costs and many risks.
He began putting all the pieces together years ago, first by buying a used CL-Class blue Mercedes from a man in Palm Beach, Florida.
‘I thought about a Ferrari 612,’ said Ed. ‘But gas mileage would've been bad. A Bentley would've been perfect, but you'd want the V8 for gas mileage, and those are still way too expensive."
In order to cut down on fuel stops, Bolian installed two 22-gallon additional gas tanks that let him drive 800 miles straight.
He says he chose the Mercedes chose for its fuel economizing V8 engine and active suspension he needed in order to pack in as much fuel as possible.
But breaking the record was going to take more than just a souped up Mercedes. To ensure a clear run, free from traffic jams and, perhaps more importantly, traffic cops Bolian, also invested in a police scanner, two GPS units that relay traffic information and iPhone apps such as Trapster.
The car was also fitted with two laser jammers and had a truck mounted antenna.
But here's the icing on the cake: Friends were enlisted to travel along the route, about 150 miles ahead of the Mercedes, and check for any potential obstacles.
Looking back, Bolian said things did not go well initially.
‘It took us 15 minutes to get out of Manhattan,’ he said.
Really? I've been on TRAINS leaving Grand Central Terminal that took more time than that.