Cannonball Run Is Real, And A Maine Man Did It In A Rental Car.
When I was a kid, I watched Cannonball Run about a million times. My dad used to work at Stacey's Motel back in the day painting rooms, so often I could sit in an empty room near where he was working and watch endless hours of HBO. And this particular summer, Cannonball Run was on every other day it seemed.
Even now, I feel like I could recite the movie almost verbatim. But what shocked me more years later, was finding out that the race is actually real. A couple years ago, a man did it in a modified Mercedes-Benz in about 25 hours. My mind was blown. How is that even possible?
It required about 20 chase/follow cars and a helicopter, and the guy maintained an average speed of over 100mph. He also had a top speed of 185. Not to mention, he had an extra gas tank in the trunk. So he had a lot of help and made a few modifications to his car.
Well, not to be outdone, Fred Ashmore from Hancock decided to take the challenge himself, according to Road & Track. Except he did it in a rented Mustang. Alone. He made a few similar mods to his car as well. He ripped out all the seats except the driver's seat obviously, and added extra fuel tanks. You'd have to. How can you attempt a world record if you have to stop for gas?
Ashmore left Manhattan, and made it to Rodondo Beach, California in 25 hours, and 55 minutes. The previous record was just over 27 hours. So Ashmore was cruising at an average speed of 108mph. Equally impressive was that he did it alone. Other drivers have all had teams, and done it in shifts, etc.
I can't help but wonder if I could pull that off in my sweet Honda CRV. I could put a bunch of gas tanks back there. But the one question that will really be nagging me is... What did the rental company say when he brought back the car with no seats, extra gas tanks, and some 5000 miles on it? Hmmmm......