Road Trip – New York to LA in Record Time
We live in a big state. Driving from one corner of Montana (Eureka) to the other (Baker) can take almost 11 hours. If you traveled out of state for Thanksgiving, your trip likely took even longer. And I don't know about you, but after about 10 hours in a car, I am MORE than ready to stop for the night. Especially if I'm traveling with kids. So when I heard there was a new speed record set for the coast-to-coast Cannonball Run this year, I had to find out more about this 27 1/2 hour, cross country speed trip.
First off, the Cannonball Run is highly illegal. There are no closed roads or police escorts. Contestants run the very real risk of not only getting a speeding ticket, but likely losing a drivers license.
The new speed record was broken by three dudes named Arne Toman, Doug Tabutt, and Berkeley Chadwick, driving a Mercedes Benz E63 AMG. Sure the car is powerful, cranking out 700 horsepower, but the real trick is avoiding radar, speed traps, construction and cops on the record breaking trip. From Road and Track, check out the details on some of the gear crammed into the coupe.
A built-in Net Radar radar detector, a windshield-mount Escort Max 360 radar detector, an AL Priority laser jammer system and an aircraft collision avoidance system—a bit of gear usually used in airplanes to help them avoid hitting other airplanes. In this case, the technology was meant to help the trio find highway patrol aircraft.
The car was equipped with brake light and taillight kill switches, and Toman had all of its flashy carbon fiber trim covered with silver vinyl, which he also used to change the appearance of the taillights. At first glance, the AMG looked more like a mid-2000s Honda Accord from the rear, not like a car that would be cruising at 160 mph or faster.
For navigation and further police detection, they ran Waze—a popular traffic-avoiding and hazard-detecting app—on an iPad and an iPhone. For the GPS data they would later need to prove that they'd actually finished in the time they said they did, they ran two dash-mount Garmin GPS units and one of those GPS tags tracked by a third party. They also had a police scanner and a CB radio, each of which had a big whip antenna mounted at the back of the car.
Dang! The guys also had a thermal imaging camera they used at night to spot deer and/or cops hiding behind brush or in the median. Along with a team of 18 spotters, who would scout the roads ahead of them for any potential issues. Crazy, right?
They averaged 103 MPH (including stops for gas) and hit top speeds of 190+ MPH, helping the team crush the previous record by almost an hour. They covered 2,825 miles in just 27 hours and 25 minutes. All without a single speeding ticket.