Last October I set a new record for the drive from New York to Los Angeles, colloquially known as the Cannonball Run Record ( My team and I did the drive in the spirit of the 1970’s event organized by Brock Yates from Car & Driver Magazine leaving from the Red Ball Parking Garage in Manhattan and finishing at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, California on October 19-20, 2013. I used a Mercedes CL55 AMG with a lot of modifications. My co-driver was Dave Black and our navigator & support passenger was Dan Huang. I spent approximately 10 years preparing for the drive and we were successful at breaking the record in our first attempt.

The total distance of the trip was 2,813 miles and we completed the drive in 28 hours and 50 minutes, besting the previous record by 2 hours and 14 minutes. The overall average was just under 98 mph and the moving average, removing the 46 minutes that we were stopped for gas and driver changes, was 100.3 mph.

You can learn more about me at my web site -

And some history of the record -

Here is a compilation of the major press -

A little bit about me and my background: I went to Georgia Tech and started an Exotic Car Rental company while I was there. For my day job I now serve as the Lamborghini & McLaren Sales Director at a multi-brand exotic car dealership in Atlanta. I have owned a great variety of interesting cars and driven just about everything that there is.

Ask me anything!

EDIT - This has been a lot of fun. Feel free to continue posting questions. I will keep checking back every couple of days and do my best to answer as many as possible.

Comments: 223 • Responses: 95  • Date: 

nilestyle15 karma

I guess my biggest question is...why? Not judging or anything, but where did that desire to achieve that come from?

edbolian15 karma

That is a great question. The "Why?" question is one of the hardest and most enjoyable to grapple with. The itch came from all of the cultural reference and to the intrinsic joy of getting out on an open road in a fast car. As I contemplate putting the experience into a book, that is actually what I want to focus on. For me, this was perfect. It was a challenge that appealed to the car enthusiast, competitor, and problem solver in me. I felt that the skills and talents that I had lent themselves to overcoming the obstacles to success. It also seemed like something that would appeal to the audience that I hang out with on a daily basis in the exotic car business. The reality of it is sort of shallow and deep at the same time. Like Everest, a 4 minute mile, or a chicken across the road - you do it because it is out there. It is an idea that can permeate everything about you and potentially help to define who you are. I aim for Christianity and my relationship with God to be the first thing that people see when they are around me but as we live in this world and pursue different things, this was one of those personal mountains and a resume item that really mattered to me. I have truly enjoyed the ride. I would offer this to anyone looking for a personal challenge or quest - if you can find something in your life that you are able to commit this fully to and pursue as hard as I was able to chase after this record - you have an opportunity to be the happiest person on Earth. Go for it!

thukjeche3 karma

Since all top level posts need to be a question, i just wanted to comment here and say that this is one of the most well done AMAs ever! I really appreciate your detailed answers to the questions, and even multi-level replies (replying to a reply). Thank you!

edbolian2 karma

Thanks. I am fairly new to the Reddit site. One of my friends that I went to college with at Georgia Tech (a fellow Public Policy major nonetheless!) works with this page and invited me to participate today. Fortunately it has been a quiet day at the dealership and I have really enjoyed it. Makes the world seem much smaller which is fun.

Salad_Person2 karma

Woot! pub policy @ Tech!

edbolian2 karma

That's right. Class of 2008. I think I am probably the only Public Poligist that became an exotic car salesman.

ghlibisk2 karma

Because fuck Alex Roy, that's why.

edbolian1 karma

Haha. There is always a competitive streak there but Alex is a great guy. I have enjoyed our conversations and learned a lot from him. I owe much of my preparation and countermeasure strategies to his book and the discussions that he made public. As I said, the fraternity of people that surrounds this record is a great group and full of interesting stories.

Panukka11 karma

So, how much money was spent on gas?

edbolian14 karma

I used approximately 200 gallons of gas, averaging approximately 13 mpg. So that was about $800. I was actually calculating my range based on an expected average of about 11. Fortunately we did a bit better than that. The stock tank is 23 gallons on the CL55 and we added two additional 22 gallon fuel cells.

edbolian12 karma

We made 3 stops for gas and with a total capacity of 67 gallons we were able to drive 832 miles on the first leg. We had an issue during the drive to New York where we accidentally overflowed the main tank using the transfer system. It was working faster than we anticipated. We had a car pull up next to us yelling that we were leaking gas. Despite the mental images of an impending fireball, we were able to fix the leak and recalculate the transfer times.

WinglessFlutters1 karma

I'm assuming transfer pumps from the auxiliary tanks into the main tank? One way a lot of aux tanks function to avoid that is proceedural:

-When the main tank is at 80% capacity, turn on the fuel transfer. -When the main tank is at 90% capacity, turn it off, etc.

That way the factory fuel gauge still gives useful information.

edbolian1 karma

We had a transfer system that actually piped into the stock filler neck through the trunk. It was really clean and worked well without the risks of leaks associated with trying to engineer a gravity feed. The stock fuel cell is behind the rear seats so the factory heat shielding remained a barrier between us and the fuel. Fortunately the stock gauge still worked. The transfer system popped a CEL for an evap leak but the car ran great.

We transferred fuel 3 times per drive for 10 minutes and it emptied the aux cells with room to spare in the main tank. Worked well but something a bit more automated would have been nice!

Shouldbeworking2210 karma

Fastest speed during the trip?

edbolian13 karma

Mercedes generally complies with the German agreement to not build cars that go faster than 250 kph/mph. The CL has a speed limiter that actually cuts the fuel around 158 mph. We hit that many times.

I looked into some ECU files that would remove it but they are aimed increasing power. That tends to decrease fuel economy which I couldn't cope with in this challenge.

In hindsight it was actually helpful to not be shooting for 170-180 mph due to the fact that the exhaustion of driving goes up exponentially with speed. You end up trying to slow down to decompress. We kept it at 125-145 most of the time and that worked well.

Shouldbeworking228 karma

any tickets?

edbolian17 karma

Thankfully no. No tickets the whole time. I actually did get pulled over as we were scouting our way out of Manhattan earlier on the Saturday afternoon before we left. I made a right on red which is apparently illegal there. I also turned the wrong way down a one way street which they frown upon as well. Fortunately I was able to talk him out of a ticket.

Shouldbeworking227 karma

bathroom breaks? just go in a cup?

edbolian10 karma

We had facilities on board (urine bottles, bedpans, etc.) but fortunately they were not required! We ended up driving in 2-3 hour/200-300 miles shifts and we would just pull over, urinate on the side of the road, and then get back in at the changes. Worked well.

Shouldbeworking2210 karma

going to attempt to break your own record sometime? I have an 08 Honda Civic... so I think I might be able to beat your time

edbolian9 karma

I am not. I gave it my best shot and am very happy with the result. It took a lot of planning but fortunately I got everything out of it that I could have wanted. It has been a great experience. The advice that I was given and what I am quick to give to anyone who wants to pursue it - be safe! The pursuance of this record has a phenomenal safety record. The only known injury was a broken arm in the 70s due to a passenger in a large van not wearing a seatbelt.

OralAnalGland1 karma


Edit: Half exclamation, half serious. Any radar detectors etc?

Propane5 karma

That's quite the URL

edbolian3 karma

Yeah. WP screwed up my permalink there.

Nygmus10 karma

Were there any close calls, either in terms of accidents with other drivers or in terms of the law?

edbolian14 karma

Everything went very smoothly. The only close call that we had was a truck in New Mexico that tried to merge on top of us. I ended up putting two wheels off the road at a bit over 100 mph getting past him. It was an honest enough mistake on his part because the glare was miserable for both of us due to the timing of driving straight into the setting sun.

SmithBobo7 karma

What is the most interesting car you've ever driven? Favorite?

edbolian15 karma

My favorite is the Murcielago LP670 SV. I have owned 2 LP640's and have not been able to step up into an SV but they are as cool as cars get to me.

In terms of fun and interesting - Veyron, Carrera GTs, TT Gallardos, pretty much every Ferrari, Lamborghini, and the new McLarens are an absolute blast.

edbolian6 karma

I am curious. What are all of your favorite cars?

TerdNugent4 karma

1975 Monte Carlo

edbolian2 karma

Some great unique choices. Keep them coming.

CactusPete7 karma

Did you hit any traffic jams? What about traffic in general? I'm surprised you didn't have all kinds of cops after you - I imagine a trail of cell phone completes slowly stretching across the US, about the Mercedes that just went by at 130 . . .

edbolian7 karma

Correct. Brock Yates and Dan Gurney both were quoted saying that they thought it was great that they had done this crazy thing and no one really knew about it. Either they were lying or we did it differently. I think we also broke the record for getting flicked off the most times in a day as well.

Traffic was great. There was some construction in OK that bottlenecked us down to one lane and 55 mph for about 10 miles but beyond that it was quick and smooth.

CactusPete6 karma

But if your typical road speed was around 120 or higher - you were just screaming past cars and trucks all day, right? I'm amazed no one blundered in front of you. You don't really expect a silver gray Mercedes to just materialize, especially if you're the mini-van mom rushing to soccer with four screaming brats . . . .

fishy_snack4 karma

This. This is why although I respect the achievement, performing this feat is actually sociopathic. It is not reasonable to expect every driver (any driver) to allow for the possibility of a 150mph Merc to materialize suddenly when you're changing lanes. And your high performance car and your own driving skill won't prevent an accident because they could pull out just in front as you pass. The result at that speed would be mayhem and the soccer mom didn't ask to participate.

edbolian3 karma

I appreciate that perspective and the idea of the record certainly begs for this type of discussion. It is ultimately an argument that can't be won when discussed in this context or any of the other decisions that we make that result in us being distracted while behind the wheel. Although the gut response is always to defend what we have done as being "as safe as we could make it," I never expect that to hold any water with someone who fundamentally thinks that it is unsafe. The only point that I can make, which I hope can make some sense, is that this drive was one of the safest feeling road trips that I have ever been on. When I am out driving with other people in the car, they are never contributing to the safety of the drive. They are on the phone, talking to each other, distracting me, playing with the radio, or doing other things that detract from my attention being on driving. With Dave and Dan constantly focused and helping, it really felt controlled and fairly simple most of the time. Preparation and driving protocols ended up working very well.

BadPanduh6 karma

I read that you used the Valentine One (V1) radar detector, is this true? Is this thing really what its cracked out to be?

edbolian3 karma

I have used them for the past 10 years. Great product and the best user interface on the market. I had two of them in the car since the front receiver is stronger. One was mounted backwards on the rear glass. It ended up interfering with the main one so we took it down in Ohio.

Piranha19936 karma

Did you guys run the A/C the whole time you were moving? I know running it can rob some power from the motor and decrease efficiency. Having the windows down does not sound like a comfortable thing while traveling at 100 mph+ speeds.

edbolian6 karma

The drag from having the windows down is actually more parasitic than the AC compressor. We ended up running the AC most of the time and it didn't seem to be an issue. Maintaining driver comfort was a very high priority.

GrandMasterT5 karma

Have you ever met Burt Reynolds or Dom Deluise?

edbolian9 karma

I have not. Burt relayed some congratulations through Richard Rawlings to me which was really cool.

Vivisecter5 karma

I'm really amazed at the average driving speed. It almost feels like a Camry would be the ideal car for this trip. But seriously why a Mercedes? Why not something with better fuel economy?

edbolian6 karma

The Camry, a diesel, or some other fuel efficient car would be good but realistically it could not sustain the 125-145 cruising speeds that it would take to maintain the average that we had. It also couldn't handle the fuel load. The Mercedes ended up being a great balance of all of the operative variables. The fuel economy was sufficient and the performance was phenomenal.

ncagegod5 karma

Did you speak to Richars Rawlings about it? I think he was the previous title holder , he even has a tattoo which represents that. (Sorry my grammar , i'm not a native eng. speaker)

edbolian2 karma

I did. During the time that I was planning the drive the record was claimed by two people.

Alex Roy/Dave Maher did in a BMW M5 in 31 hours 4 minutes. Richard Rawlings/Dennis Collins did it in a Ferrari 550 Maranello in 31 hours 59 minutes.

Rawlings stuck to the Cannonball start and end points of the Red Ball Parking Garage and the Portofino Inn (now the Portofino Hotel & Marina). He was very pleased that we did as well. Alex drove from the NY Classic Car Club and finished at the Santa Monica Pier. He calls it a Transcontinental Record.

Both have been very positive and helpful. Rawlings was interviewing Burt Reynolds for Fast & Loud when we last spoke the both passed along their congratulations.

oozeinoz5 karma

On a scale from 1-10, how anxious were you about getting pulled over?

Also, when can we expect the return of Lecture Crashers?

edbolian13 karma

I would say it started at a 10 and got down to 0 by Missouri. Initially it was a huge concern and we had no idea how much law enforcement we would encounter. Fortunately we only saw 5 fixed speed traps and probably only passed 10-15 total police. Eventually you figure out that the risk of getting a ticket at 150 is very similar to getting one at 100 so you keep your foot down!

hodyoaten5 karma


Sliderisk6 karma

It's a dice roll if you're going to pass a radar equiped police officer anywhere. Sometimes you just have to press your luck.
And running from them isn't a viable option. So it's really an all or nothing chance. Clearly you can make it 2800+ miles without issue if you happen to know what your doing and get lucky.

edbolian3 karma

Agreed. Some of it was controllable. Much of it was a very fortunate coincidence of things going really well.

edbolian6 karma

I still have people come up to me and say - Are you the guy from Lecture Crashers about once a month. Fun times but not much time in my schedule lately to be crashing Georgia Tech lecture halls!

Gibson194 karma

I've read the story a while back and forget some of the details.

But if you had a CB Radio (which I assume you must have), what was the chatter from truckers as you flew by them?

Also, any plans on doing a Gumball (even though it's less about the actual racing portion these days)?

edbolian5 karma

The truckers were generally pretty critical of the "littler silver four wheeler" that was flying by. I used a big whip antenna that didn't work very well when we went very fast. I used the CB mostly for outbound messages to negotiate safe passes.

edbolian3 karma

I would love to do Gumball. I did an event in 04 called the AKA Rally and was actually featured on an MTV True Life: I'm Rallying to LA special about it. I drove an APR Tuned B5 Audi S4 in that. Scheduling didn't work this year for Gumball but hopefully next year it can. Even if it is not a race it is always a great party.

shotglasss4 karma


Seriously though, was there any arguing over the radio station? What do you discuss during the race?

edbolian6 karma

Interestingly, there was so much data to deal with coming into the cockpit of the car from the detection and navigation devices that we were using, we honestly didn't have small talk, listen to the radio, or learn much about each other. It was very un-road trip like in that way. We stayed very focus on the drive.

VoilaVoilaWashington5 karma

Crazy. Then again, you were going 100 mph while keeping a lookout for cops and other cars, all while somewhat sleep-deprived.

edbolian5 karma

Adrenaline does some amazing things!

patchydapirate4 karma

Hey Ed, thanks for taking the time to do this AMA. I'm interested to know if in your exotic car sales experience, have you ever dealt with a client who won a lottery or had a rapid rags-to-riches story that accompanied their purchase?

edbolian8 karma

Interestingly, in the combined 100 or so years of car selling experience that our sales team has at the store, we have only encountered one lottery winning client. She won around $75 million and spent about $1 million on cars. We do find a lot of very new money though!

patchydapirate8 karma

Nice! I also had a question about the cannonball run. What kind of preparation went into the car before the run? What devices were used to make the trip possible?

edbolian8 karma

We had the following equipment on board:

Valentine 1 Radar/Laser Detector x 2

Passport/Escort Radar/Laser Detector & Diffuser

Laser Interceptor Laser Diffuser/Jammer

2 x Garmin GPS Units with XM Traffic

3 x iPhone Cradles with Chargers

iPad Cradle and Charger

Satellite Tracking Device

Uniden Police Scanner with GPS & Radio Antenna

Cobra 29 CB Radio with K40 Antenna

Toll passes for the pertinent areas

2 x 2 Gallon Auxiliary Fuel Cells with Transfer Pumps

Custom Switch Panel with kill switch for rear lights, fuel pump control, power to all devices, Passport & LI Controls

Power Inverter with Outlets in Center Console

Full Size Spare

Fire Extinguisher

Full Size Hydraulic Jack


Here are some more pictures of the car as it was set up -

applereviewguy4 karma


edbolian9 karma

They absolutely can work but it depends critically on the install. 95% are installed in a way where they would not work due to obstructions from body panels or being too far away. Police aim at headlights and license plates because they are most reflective. The heads for the jammers need to be as close as possible to those areas. Also, no jammer can work all the way to the gun so you eventually need to slow down or they will get you anyway.

jstanderulo4 karma

As someone who has just taking a long country road trip. I'm pretty amazed that you took my 6 day trip and did it in a little over a day. How did you avoid getting speeding tickets?

edbolian8 karma

We had a lot of devices that we helpful but the biggest thing was just paying attention. All three of us we as vigilant as we could be in watching for police and other drivers to navigate it all as safely as possible.

simpat1zq3 karma

Dude, you should have had one of those drivers ed setups where they put the steering an brakes on both sides. You would have to do the same for the gas pedal too. But that way, you wouldn't have had to get out of the car to switch drivers, or even take a piss. You probably could have shaved off another 10 minutes.

edbolian3 karma

We actually talked about that. We thought that it would diminish the steering and pedal feel to the point that it would make the drive tougher. Obviously going fast in a straight line is not testing the limits of an AMG car but it was great to enjoy the handling and brake feel as we navigated through traffic and the curvier stretches of road.

walfredo_primavera4 karma

I know I could do a quick calculation and figure out average speed, but what was your fastest speed/fastest leg of the trip? What mods were made to the vehicle you used to make the journey? Was there ever a time when you were doing this where you encountered something that would slow someone down like massive road construction? If so, what did you do to deal with that?

edbolian6 karma

Absolutely - here is a picture of the nav screens from the trip -

They show the info in a quick and easy to read way. 2813 miles 28 hours 50 minutes total 98 mph average speed 46 minutes stopped 100.3 average moving speed 158 top trip speed

We were extremely fortunate with the uncontrollable elements like weather, construction, accidents, traffic jams, etc. We did as much research as we could before starting and we knew that the odds were as in our favor as we could expect them to be but we did get very fortunate.

hodyoaten4 karma


edbolian5 karma

Thanks. I am pretty new to this but I am enjoying it.

Most of it was in great shape. Pennsylvania was particularly awesome and that really set the tone for the trip. It was a great roller coaster road through the Allegheny mountains.

HokieScott4 karma

  1. Did you scout the route (e.g. drive it) before going for the record?

  2. Was it all interstate, or did you have to jump onto side roads due to accidents/traffic?

edbolian5 karma

We had scouts in PA, OH, MO, NM, and CA. They ran about 100-150 miles ahead of us and reported back based on police activity, weather, and traffic. Fortunately the coast tended to be pretty clear. The scout cars were very helpful in increase the confidence that you need to drive that fast.

We had Garmin traffic data and Waze but no detours from our planned route were necessary.

edbolian4 karma

I had done the drive along a different route a few years prior. We actually thought the chances of success were pretty low initially. I thought we had a 70 percent chance of finishing and a 30 percent chance of breaking the record. That was higher than I had ever imagined someone's chances to be which I attributed to the amount of information that Roy and Rawlings made available in the years leading up to our attempt.

zipcitytrucker4 karma

If bad traffic or mechanical problems prevented you from breaking the record, would you have tried again? Also, who drew the short straw and had to drive the car back to ny?

edbolian6 karma

Yes. I was expecting it to take 2-3 tries. It would have been hard to make another attempt in 2013 but I would have probably gone in April or May of 14.

We decided that our punishment for not breaking the record would be that we would have to drive the car home together and endure each others' company for another 2-3 days. Fortunately we did it. I stashed the car at Lambo Newport Beach for a few days and we all flew home. Shipped the car a few days later. It actually came back right after the story broke.

Darth_lolz3 karma

Would you be tempted to try a similar run across Europe?

edbolian5 karma

This is obviously heralded by many as the Great American Road Trip. There are other great long distance driving records that have been pursued over the years such as the Panamerican Highway record, London to Cape Town, and Peking to Paris. No current plans to pursue those right now but they all sound like fun!

bozobozo3 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur?

edbolian3 karma

I am a big fan of the dilophosaurus. Jurassic Park painted them in a bad light but I think they are cool. I almost got a pet Australian Frilled Dragon to own the modern day equivalent but ended up with many other reptiles instead.

Plyngntrffc3 karma

Read the Driver by Alex Roy, great read. Will we ever see video of your exploits? After SOL has passed by chance? Or will this never happen? By how much did you beat Alex' record? Thinking about trying his NYC route that he was planning/practicing right before 9/11?

edbolian2 karma

I agree. Alex is a great guy and he was very helpful as I was planning my attempt at this. His book, the 32 hours 7 minutes documentary, and the Cannonball Book by Brock Yates were all very helpful.

I was actually planning the trip for about 10 years so in that window I had Richard Rawlings and Dennis Collins (From Discovery Channel's Fast & Loud) and Alex Roy/Dave Maher break the record publicly. Their stories and data were very helpful.

I am working on a book to discuss everything further around October when the SOL run out. We will also release more of the tracking data.

Plyngntrffc1 karma

and video?

edbolian5 karma

There is a production company working on a feature film about the record. We may work on a documentary project at some point as well.

edbolian4 karma

We did take some short phone videos. I decided that fixed cameras and a lot of video use was a big risk we got arrested and the car impounded. We sent some of them to the media outlets that requested them. You will see some here -

TheMcG3 karma

They should bring Jackie Chan back as a bit part because Cannon Ball Run 2 was his first English movie.

edbolian2 karma

Yes. That would be great. Interestingly their approach was much more consistent with the modern interpretation of strategy. Tech equals speed.

lotus_plaza3 karma

What's your music of choice for a road trip? What kind of snacks/drinks did you have for the drive?

edbolian6 karma

We never even turned the radio on. The cockpit was all nav instructions, mumbled CB and Scanner noises, radar detection, and passenger instructions.

I ate nutrition bars and blended smoothie drinks. We drank a lot of water and took some vitamins (multi, C for dry mouth, B for energy, etc.). Kept it simple.

vilesithnight3 karma

If you could do it again...would you? Or are you content with the record

edbolian5 karma

I am extremely content with the record - honestly if I had $250k to throw at it and 10 more attempts, the likelihood that all of the uncontrollable variables work in our favor like they did this time is so remote that I doubt I would come within an hour. As you look back on getting away with it successfully, you start to realize that you would probably have a lot more concerns trying it again. I am good here!

johnnymoto3 karma

Did you sleep at all between driver changes and what did you do with the car after trip?

edbolian6 karma

I slept twice for about 30 mins each time. Dave, my co-driver slept 3 times.

edbolian7 karma

The car is still set up just like it was when we did the drive. Fun trophy to keep around. It is in need of some major service at this point. 3,000 miles like that probably translates to 30k miles or normal driving.

rootless3 karma


edbolian5 karma

We actually packed all of the food and drinks that we needed on board. We ate nutrition bars, fruit smoothie drinks, and candy mostly. It was steady enough to keep us going and made managing digestion fairly straightforward. Fortunately caloric needs in a 30 hour period are fairly easily managed. We did go through a good amount of gum. Your breath gets really funky being in a car for that long.

pressmechanic773 karma

Did you have any mechnical setbacks during the run? If not were you prepared for them?

edbolian9 karma

Prior to the trip I had the car completely gone through by the local Mercedes dealership and we made sure that it was in the best shape possible. They replaced the tires, brakes, all fluids, all filters, spark plugs and wires, suspension components, battery, all bulbs, etc. for a retail total of over $17k and a discounted price to me of $8,800. The technicians and the shop foreman were very intrigued by the project but they looked at me like I was crazy when I proposed it. The car was barely worth the price of the service bill and it was obviously not the type of request that they expected to encounter in their careers of servicing daily use cars for businessmen and their overly entitled wives. They have really enjoyed the press and publicity since then.

During the drive the only real mechanical issue we encountered was a lot of oil consumption. I had driven nearly 100k miles on cars with this 5.5L SC V8 engine and had no issues but this style of driving was resulting in about 2 liters of oil burning every 1,000 miles.

nsgiad2 karma

How did you manage the unexpected oil burn? Did you have oil with you? Added it when you gassed up?

edbolian2 karma

We packed 2 extra liters, probably needed 5. We ended up adding it on the side of the road during driver changes.

nsgiad2 karma

That's pretty insane, at those speeds I guess the rings start to let a bit of oil past. Thanks for the reply!

edbolian1 karma

The dealer told me that they had heard of people burning some oil on longer road trips but they were still surprised at the level of consumption.

The car had 115k miles when we did the trip. I am sure that contributed to the internals loosening up a bit.

MrSwearword3 karma

Did you have any friendly rivalries during the run?

edbolian7 karma

The group of people who have pursued this record in the past are awesome. I like to call them a Fraternity of Lunatics. The stories are great. The cars are awesome and everyone is really helpful. 1983 was the last time that this was really operated as a large scale race. Now it is just individuals making attempts as they are able. It is definitely a great group to be a part of now and I would say that it is much more friendly than a rivalry. Brock Yates did a great job in the 1970's setting the tone for how people approach the idea and it has continued.

Luke_Fletcher3 karma

Hi Ed, If you could do the run again but not worry about the completion time what would be your dream car to complete it in?

edbolian8 karma

For a cross country drive it is really tough to beat something comfortable and Italian. I am a huge fan of long road trips in my Murcielago. A GT Ferrari in the spirit of the Cannonball Run by Yates and Gurney would also be great - 612/550/599 is a great choice.

pmmcl3 karma

What would you consider to be the hardest leg of your journey across the states?

edbolian3 karma

The hardest part was driving down from Flagstaff and into the mountains of Eastern California. The sun was setting and in my eyes. The twisty roads in the mountains were very challenging and I was pretty delirious. We averaged 95 for that 250 mile segment and it just about killed me. It was by far our slowest leg.

pmmcl3 karma

Thanks for the answer! I figured through most of the country you can find pretty flat interstate roads, which is why I was curious as to which part was the hardest. I figured you had to traverse the Rockies or Sierra Nevada ranges eventually to make it to LA, so I figured it was somewhere in the west, or maybe getting out of the traffic in NYC.

edbolian2 karma

Getting out of NYC was really tough. We tried several routes earlier in the day before we left with little success. Essentially when you take a left out of the Red Ball Garage you can keep straight all the way to the Lincoln Tunnel. There are probably faster ways using larger streets but we chose that and decided that if we made it out in less than 20 mins we would consider it a victory. If it took longer we would have tried to restart it. Fortunately it only took 15 mins.

deejay_13 karma

Did you run into any highway patrol officers?

edbolian4 karma

We passed 5 fixed speed traps and about 15 moving police cars.

The closest call was in Ohio. My co-driver was driving and he did not see a cop camped out in the median. Apparently the officer was not paying attention either because Dave got down to about 95 from 135 as we passed. Fortunately he never pulled out or saw us.

OhHelloPlease3 karma

A few years ago, when the Ariel Atom was brought over to North America, they were doing track day events with the Atom and I went to one and got to drive it for a few hours and it was amazing, one of the best times of my life. Afterwards, when I got back into my car and realized that I would never drive anything with that kind of power to weight ratio or acceleration/handing ever again.

As someone who has driven a plethora of supercars, has any car ever given you that sort of feeling?

edbolian4 karma

I get that feeling a lot lately due to the technology that is going into all of these cars. The DCT gearboxes, low displacement engines, and sensors everywhere takes a lot away from some of pure driving experiences that I love. When I drive a stick Murci, a Carrera GT, or even something like a Honda S2000 I realize that improvement is very seldom improvement.

tylerstig13 karma

Do you own the red Diablo or the red l.p.640?

edbolian2 karma

I have a 2007 Rosso Vik (now called Rosso Efesto) LP640 Coupe.

Here are some pictures -

edbolian3 karma

Great pic. I love it. Thanks!

I am planning on being at the show Sunday from about 7:30-9. I leave early to make it to church but it sounds like it should be a good turnout.

pattyfatsax3 karma

I went to college with your wife! I knew I recognized the last name. Small world. I have to ask a question or the bot will delete my post though. What radar detection did you use?

edbolian5 karma

That is great. I just left the OBGYN with her. Our baby is due in 11 days!

We used several radar detectors. 2 x Valentine 1, Passport/Escort, and Laser Interceptor.

pattyfatsax2 karma

Congratulations to you! We haven't spoken in years but she is definitely one of the most genuinely good human beings out there. Tell her Patrick said hi!

edbolian4 karma

I will. Thank you Patrick. You are right, she is. I am not sure how she ended up married to an outlaw like me but I guess I managed to do something right and marry beyond my pay grade.

MrNillows3 karma

Very cool record to hold!

Any stories from the trip or were to busy winning? How did most of the super cars do under such stressful conditions?

Ideal car to break your current record?

edbolian6 karma

The problem of which car works best to challenge this type of record is really an interesting one to approach.

I chose the CL AMG due to the speed, leveling suspension, space, and value.

Other great options would be a Panamera Turbo (required heat shielding for extra fuel), Bentley GT Super Sports (expensive to start drilling holes in), Audi RS6, and I even looked into a Lotus Evora due to the fuel economy.

edbolian5 karma

This is obviously not a prime event for a supercar - the conspicuousness, fuel economy, and general lack of comfort would be counterproductive. I do daily drive exotic cars frequently. Lately I have been driving a 2007 LP640 coupe. It comes with its hassles but I really enjoy it.

Echo_Spartan2 karma

Any tips for driving across country in a relatively fast manor?

edbolian4 karma

For normal driving I do not go to these extremes. I use a radar detector, usually a V1, and mostly navigate with Waze. The best way to make good time is to minimize stops. It takes a lot of going really fast to make up for every minute you are stopped.

Echo_Spartan1 karma

Thanks for the reply!

edbolian3 karma

Absolutely. Are you planning a trip of your own?

Echo_Spartan2 karma

I'm assisting in moving a friend across the country, so any tip helps.

edbolian3 karma

Absolutely. Good luck!

TreadLightlyMyFriend2 karma

and you didnt even get pulled over once?

edbolian3 karma

Correct. We made it without incident.

TahoeTweezer2 karma

What if someone has to pee?

edbolian5 karma

We had bottles on board but fortunately we never had to use them. We stopped every 2-3 hours and used the side of the road as needed. The adrenaline does crazy things to your body. I don't think any of us ever got to the point where a bathroom need was a big issue.

QQff2 karma

Did you have any plans for avoiding capture, such as a disguise or ruse of some kind?

edbolian12 karma

I had a few ideas that I kicked around over the years, some based on the Cannonball Run movies. I actually bought a pig heart from a butcher that I was going to put in a cooler with shirts that said Transcon Transplant Transport. Ultimately I was not sure that everyone in the car would be able to keep up the ruse.

We talked about a black low adhesive vinyl wrap that would allow us to change the color of the car in less than two minutes, oil lines running to the top of the exhausts to create an on demand smoke screen, ultra bright front and rear LED lights to blind people chasing us and to illuminate the road ahead, international driving licenses, running for state senate and using Article 1 Section 6 of the US Constitution as a loophole for tickets, replacing the badges and emblems with Audi/Lexus/BMW insignia to confuse drivers trying to report the make of the car, impersonating a police car, and a few other things. Ended up being pretty straightforward about it, though. Alex Roy's Storm Chaser guise was excellent. I am glad that we never got to the point of needing to explain all of the devices in the car.

everyonegrababroom2 karma

Are there any restrictions on the vehicle you can use?

edbolian3 karma

No. The accepted practice is to have two drivers and it considered acceptable to have a third person in the car to deal with data and navigation. In Alex's case the passenger was Cory Welles who was capturing the footage for 32 Hours 7 Minutes.

Car choice is really up to the strategy of the driver. In Cannonball lore you will hear about everything from Ferraris to fake ambulances.

Crushnaut1 karma

Did you say fake ambulance?

One cracker team!

edbolian2 karma

Absolutely. The gold standard of Cannonball Ruses.

Grphx2 karma

Did you go through Oklahoma any? Saw you took i40, and if you did go through Oklahoma, I apologize for the roads out west of Oklahoma City.

edbolian6 karma

Yes we did. It was certainly the lowest quality roads and the most construction. I appreciate the apology!

Stinkfootjones2 karma

What roads did you take?

edbolian5 karma

We took the traditional Cannonball route down through St Louis, predominately on I40.

nsgiad2 karma

I find the 40 between Flagstaff and Kingman to be one of the most poorly maintained stretches of interstate I've witnessed, did you run into anything worse on your trip?

edbolian3 karma

Some areas of Oklahoma were is a bad state of repair. The largest hindrance in the segment that you are talking about was the sun. We were driving literally straight into the sun for nearly an hour. It just about killed me.

nsgiad1 karma

The sun can be brutal in that part of the drive at normal highway speed, at 145, man, makes my head hurt already.

edbolian2 karma

We were zombies afterward.

VoilaVoilaWashington2 karma

What was your snack pack and cooler like?

edbolian3 karma

clif bars, blue donkey iced coffee, naked smoothies, water, candy, vitamins, gum. Dave drank some red bulls but we kept it pretty simple.

VoilaVoilaWashington2 karma

Awesome. Thank you!

Did everyone get along the whole way, or were there any outbursts?

edbolian5 karma

The real team morale issues happened on the way up to NY. Everyone that I had planned the trip with actually backed out within the month leading up to the departure. I ended up asking Dave to go with me just 3 days before we left and Dan agreed to go the night before we left.

As we were trying to figure out the driving protocols and communications strategies on the way up there, there were some definite fiery moments.

I called my wife a few hours before we left and told her how badly it was going. I told her that I could not imagine that we would be able to break the record and that I expected that we would probably be turning south back to Atlanta sometime in Missouri.

DoItForTheKidz2 karma

Without a ticket? Crazy.

edbolian3 karma

It was. Fortunately the preparation paid off. Driving records intact.

thisrockismyboone2 karma

Where at in the journey did you realize you were going to beat the record?

edbolian4 karma

I had given the login information for the tracking device service's online portal to a friend of mine who had stayed in Atlanta. He knew when we had left and he could see where we were at any time. When he got up on Sunday morning he checked our location and did the math. He sent me a text saying that “You guys are really flying. You need to maintain an average of 90 to break the record.” He followed saying, “It is actually a bit less than that but I am not telling you the real number.” It was really around 85 mph. The idea that we at least had a fighting chance to break the record started to creep in.

Around the end of Oklahoma the Navigation system gave us an ETA that meant that we would actually break Alex Roy's record if we averaged the speed limit for the rest of the trip.

We knew early on that we had a great shot as long as nothing crazy happened. Fortunately we didn't run into anything that would slow us down too much.

KayakBassFisher1 karma

how/when did you potty?

edbolian2 karma

We managed to contain it until the gas stations and side of the road driver changes.

pinkpanthers1 karma

Which car would you want to ride in in the movie "Gumball Rally"?

edbolian2 karma

I loved the Cobra. Fun movie.

WinglessFlutters1 karma

I'm curious about your crew management. Can you give an example of what a conversation would be like between Driver, Navigator and Backseat if someone's equipment reported bad weather, traffic bad enough to divert, a LASER/RADAR hit, or sighted a speed trap?

edbolian2 karma

Great question. It was very formulaic. Nav instruction coming up in 5 miles, overpass clear, ramp clear, fuel is fine, all lights are on, you good on water?, car ahead is civilian, right lane clear after this bus, all systems clear, etc.

InfernalWedgie1 karma

What routes did you use? Which freeways? Did you go offroad?

edbolian4 karma

The route was all highway other than the start and end points. It was predominantly along interstate 40.

tylerstig11 karma

Assuming you know a lot of people with collections. What do you think is the most expensive/rare car in Georgia?

edbolian3 karma

There is a very rare older Maserati that occasionally shows up for a show. There were 3 Bugattis registered in Georgia about 2 years ago but all have moved. The 288 GTO that lives at Ferrari of Atlanta would be a contender. There are 3 really strong Ferrari collections in south Georgia but nothing too much beyond the $1-2 million mark.

tylerstig11 karma

When you say "lives" you mean it doesn't get driven? That's sad, I have read some things about the Ferrari of Atlanta basement and apparently nobody is allowed in there any more because of a kid. :/ I'd like to see that Maserati though. Thanks for answering both of my questions!

edbolian3 karma

Correct. It doesn't really get driven. They did the service work recently and I believe it is back in storage. They are fairly particular about letting people down there to protect the privacy of the owners.

We are working on getting a P1 in the area.

tylerstig11 karma

WOW that would be amazing! I got to see the P1 from Gumball and I was surprised how small it was.

That makes sense. Isn't there also a MC12 down there. No telling what other goodies are in there. Too bad I'd probably never get down there.

edbolian3 karma

I believe that the MC12 has left the area. I have not seen it in a few years. The P1 looks much larger in pictures than it actually is. Same for a Veyron.

tylerstig11 karma

I remember seeing pictures of it. Thanks for telling me about the not so secret secret cars of Ferrari Atlanta. Hope to see that P1 in the future. Also have you heard anything of a 918 or a Ferrari the Ferrari coming to Atlanta I remember seeing pictures of Porsche dealerships testing them at Road Atlanta.

edbolian3 karma

Yes. They are still trying very hard to sell the remaining 918s. In all likelihood there will be some sitting around in dealerships at some point. There will be at least 1 LaFerrari in Georgia and a couple in TN.

edbolian3 karma

I will at the Caffeine & Exotics show at Lenox Mall tomorrow from about 7:30-9. Should be a fun event.

RB1989FromWildomar-2 karma

Why would you purposely and irresponsibly drive this fast on public roads? People upvoting this are just idiots and encouraging this kind of irresponsible behavior. All Ed is doing is encouraging more idiots (like him) to try to break the record. Next time why not drive faster while playing Candy Crush on your phone?

edbolian11 karma

I appreciate the question. You definitely cannot separate this question from the idea of the record. I am typing on my phone right now so I want to devote some more time to this one when I get back to my office. Driver safety is a great discussion to come out of this subject and I will continue this soon. Thanks!

edbolian5 karma

Back in the office now.

I don't think that anyone is entitled to make decisions that impact the safety of others but that is somewhat inevitable in many social situations. Speeding is definitely one way to increase the risk of motor vehicle operation but it is by no means the most risky. I never mean to argue this subject but actions such as texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, being distracted by a child, driving a poorly maintained car, having a legal amount of alcohol, etc. pose a much greater risk to other people on the road.

Spending 3k miles driving was definitely a difficult risk to anticipate. Imagine doing all of the driving that you have done in the past 3 months inside of one day. Think of all of the times you were cut off, came across something in the road, or encountered a driver who was not paying enough attention. We saw all of that and it was crazy. Fortunately we stayed calm, controlled, and the drive was uneventful. As we discussed the possibilities of a movie or documentary we all felt like the whole drive might have actually been too boring.

Dfawad2 karma

I dont know why you deleted your response but, I was talking in general. I think highway speed limits should be around 85, with certain rural unrestricted areas. Manage it similar to the autobahn

edbolian4 karma

I agree that it would be great for speed limits to increase but driver education and practices would need to be significantly improved first. It is far too easy to get a driving license in the US and the penalties are not where they need to be to create an environment where higher speed limits are appropriate in my opinion.