The Cannonball Run record was shattered by three men who successfully drove across the country, speeding the entire way and not being stopped by police, setting a new record of just under 29 hours, reports CNN on Oct. 31.
Driver Ed Bolian, “co-pilot” Dave Black, and “spotter” Dan Huang drove a Mercedes CL55 AMG from New York to Los Angeles, a distance of 2,803 miles, in 28 hours, 50 minutes and about 30 seconds.
The previous mark to beat was a 2006 record set by Alex Roy and David Maher, who made it across the country in a BMW M5 in 31 hours and 4 minutes.
Bolian, calling his driving trio a “fraternity of lunatics,” was inspired by the 1981 Burt Reynolds classic “Cannonball Run” movie and had his mind set on making the road trip ever since he interviewed the man who wrote the screenplay for Cannonball Run – journalist and author Brock Yates.
Yates was an original cross-continent racer, who started the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in the 1970s as a means to protest perceived losses of personal freedoms in America.
In order to accomplish the speed race, Bolian made approximately $9K in modifications to the Mercedes – The gas tank was doubled in size and took up the entire trunk space, the spare tire sat in the back with the “spotter,” a switch to kill the car’s rear lights was installed, and a host of gadgets were added to the “cockpit.”
To foil troopers, Bolian purchased a police scanner, two laser jammers and three radar detectors along with two GPS units and various chargers for all of his high tech gear.
The group averaged around 100 miles-per hour during the trip, a speed that Bolan calls fast but not too fast.
“Most of the time, we weren't going insanely fast,” Bolian said. Of course, tearing up the highway at triple speed digits would be considered “insane” by most drivers.
“The hardest thing, quite honestly, was finding people crazy enough to do it with me,” he said.
The three hardly slept, barely ate, and kept a bedpan in the car to avoid potty breaks.
“I had plenty of people at home praying I'd make it safely, and, more importantly, had my wife praying that I wouldn't have to do it again,” Bolian said, adding he has no children, which was also a factor. “That was one of the spurs to go ahead and get this over with. That's probably the next adventure.”