Driving Across America: New Record

Nov 03

If you know me, or have read some of my past blogs, you know that my family and I love traveling and road trips. As far as my father is concerned, he always makes good time when he drives (which is always) and we get to our destination safely. But Ed Bolian and his team, made of Dave Black and Dan Huang, make my pop and any other experienced road tripper look as if their driving time could be done in their sleep! (P.S. Don’t actually drive in your sleep!) And it all started with a dream.

Four years ago in 2009, Ed Bolian began planning for his master road trip starting from the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan and finishing at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California. This long stretch is better known as the “Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sear Memorial Trophy Dash” or the “Cannonball Run,” named by Brock Yates back in the 1970s when he himself did this road trip.

The first part to planning this trip was finding the perfect car and gadgets. Bolian’s car of choice: the Mercedes-Benz CL 55 (even though he works for Lamborghini). He decided to choose this auto as his sweet ride though for a good reason: it has an incredibly sturdy suspension that could hold all the extras he planned to add, such as two 22-gallon auxiliary fuel drums to the 23-gallon tank that already came with the vehicle. For those of you who may not know, that’s roughly 400 extra pounds added to the car!

Alongside his fuel drums, Bolian also decided to add some toys to his car, such as a radar detector, CB radio, laser jammer, police scanner, special switch that could deactivate his lights at anytime, and a multitude of electronics located in the vehicle’s cockpit which he and his team called “countermeasures.” But wait…there’s more! Bolian also added not one, but two GPS devices and mobile Internet connection so he and his team could keep an eye on current traffic and weather updates. Additionally, he wanted to eliminate as many stops as he could, so he added a bed pan.

Once Mr. Bolian had most of his gadgets in place, he realized there were a couple important things missing: companions! That’s when he reached out to an old customer, Dave Black, and facebook friend, Dan Huang.

“When we got to New York and I explained all of the procedures and exactly what it was going to take, I thought for sure these guys were going to get on a plane and head back to Atlanta,” said Bolian. But lucky for him, he was happily wrong. And so he gained a co-driver and a trusted navigator!

From then on, their main goal was to make sure they didn’t get arrested or pulled over, since technically speaking, speeding of any kind (especially their max speed of 158mph) is not legal in any state, and some of their gadgets aren’t legal in certain and/or most states.

“There’s no governing body for outlaw street racing,” Bolian said. “That’s the whole idea. But there is an unwritten rule book and we wanted to mirror as closely as we could to that chapter of American automotive history. We wanted to mirror the Cannonball start and end point.”

Beginning at 21:56 on Saturday, October 19th, Bolian and his team set out to reach California. Their trip came to a finish on Sunday, October 20th at 23:46.

“We were unfathomably fortunate,” continued Bolian. “We had no accidents, no traffic, no weather, no major construction. We wanted this to be a benign use of highway. We didn’t want to hurt anyone, we didn’t want to get hurt and we didn’t want to get arrested.”

With Ed Bolian and his two partners making an outstanding time of only 28 hours and 50 minutes, he knows that someone is going to try and top him. But for now, he says he is just “enjoying it.”

Just a quick reminder: when you are out on the roadways, always drive responsibly! The best way to avoid accidents is to be a defensive driver. Before taking a long trip such as the one Ed Bolian, Dan Huang, and Dave Black took, consider taking a defensive driving or driver safety course. To do so, pay a visit to www.olts.com.

All photos courtesy of Mogul Media Group

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