Cannonball Run Record Set: Takes Less Than 29 Hours To Cross America

Friday, 01 Nov 2013 03:50 PM

By Michael Mullins

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A record has been set for the Cannonball Run by a three-man team from Atlanta that claims to have made the transcontinental journey in 28 hours and 50 minutes. The previous record had been set in 2006 with a modified BMW M5 that traveled from coast to coast in just 31 hours and 4 minutes.

The main driver, Ed Bolian was assisted by his co-driver, Dave Black, and spotter Dan Huang, whose job was to look out for obstacles on the road and maintain the vehicle's "considerable technology" during the Cannonball Run, CNN reported.

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The team used a modified 2004 Mercedes Benz CL55 for the feat. They traveled 2,813.7 miles in from New York to City to Los Angeles, during which time they say their average speed was 98 mph, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The Cannonball race was famously captured in the 1981 comedy with the same name that starred Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise, and Farrah Fawcett. In the movie, teams raced in an epic transcontinental journey.

There were apparently no other cars participating in this year's race. Instead, the three competed against times set by previous racers.

The unofficial race is not sanctioned by any automobile companies. It has reportedly occurred five times since the 1970s and is formally known as the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.

The Mercedes Benz CL55's modification cost about $9,000 and utilized two additional 22-gallon gas tanks. The car comes with a 23-gallon tank. The addition allowed the car to drive 800 miles before having to refuel. 

To avoid getting in caught speeding, the car was equipped with three radar detectors, two laser jammers, and a police scanner. The car also had two GPS units and various smartphone and tablet chargers, plus a switch to kill the rear lights, CNN noted.

The car came equipped with snacks, iced coffee and a bedpan.

"It was a real space station of a thing," Bolian told CNN, adding that the hardest part of the race was bringing together a team before the race.

Despite all the technological precautions, Bolian still got a ticket in New York City. At the very start of the race, he turned down a one-way street as his GPS instructed him.

Bolian said he only slept for 40 minutes during the entire trip.

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