Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A New ‘Cannonball Run’ Record from New York to LA, Averaging 103 mph

 

The Cannonball Run’s record was broken by over an hour recently. The total time was 27 hours, 25 minutes and 7 seconds. They averaged 103 mph. What a great article! I recommend it highly.

For 2,825.3 miles, the trio dodged highway patrol officers, avoided roadside deer and roared through 13 states in 27 hours and 25 minutes. They crushed the previous record by nearly an hour and a half.

And they didn’t get pulled over once — except for after the run, on their way to celebrate with a late-night meal.

“Every cop I know saw the story of the record and said ‘Aw man, that’s so awesome,'” Doug Tabbutt told The Washington Post on Friday.

On Nov. 10, Toman, Tabbutt and Berkeley Chadwick started their souped-up, silver Mercedes just before 1 a.m., at the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan. Their destination: the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, which is the customary finish for the illicit Cannonball Run challenge.

The record run, first reported by Road and Track, was a combination of skill, preparation, experience and luck, Tabbutt and Toman explained. They chose a day in November ahead of Thanksgiving so the highways were relatively clear. It didn’t rain. There wasn’t construction to bottleneck traffic. And Tabbutt’s hundreds of hours of planning ensured the route was optimized.

With 11 runs between them, both drivers acknowledged they broke traffic laws in every state, and some of the gear they used was lawful in some but illegal in others.

Read the whole thing.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 35 comments.

  1. Hoyacon Member

    Their secret weapon, though, were spotters along for the journey in other cars . . .

    Great story, but I call cheating on this.

    • #1
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Mark Camp Member

    I’m not going to say “Like”*.

    But I am that close!

    Knowing that there is a Cannonball Challenge, and that people have done it, and now having internally celebrated that the rebellious masculine American spirit still abides, I am satisfied: I am (from now on) unequivocally un-amused by future Cannonball Challenge tries.

    *The life, limb, and property of many innocents was risked for a vain prank, after all.

    • #2
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. JimGoneWild Coolidge

    What happened when they hit L.A. traffic? There’s 2 hours right there!

    • #3
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:26 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Mark Camp Member

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    What happened when they hit L.A. traffic? There’s 2 hours right there!

    I guess they didn’t quite hit it. I bet they came close.

    • #4
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Bishop Wash, Blk X-man/Wh pilot Member

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    What happened when they hit L.A. traffic? There’s 2 hours right there!

    Starting at 1 am on the east coast and taking a day plus three and a half hours eats up the time zone changes putting their arrival around 1:30 am. Hopefully L.A. traffic let’s up a little by midnight.

    • #5
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:47 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Bishop Wash, Blk X-man/Wh pilot Member

    Crazy to think not all that long ago it took weeks to months to cross the continent and these guys did it in a day.

    Sure Britain is smaller, but I enjoyed the time on Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson raced the sun. He watched the sun set on one coast and then raced to the opposite coast to watch the sun rise.

    • #6
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:55 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    This was so much fun to read. While it is behind the WaPo paywall, if memory serves, you can read up to 10 articles a month. Also, if you have Amazon Prime, I think that you can access WaPo.

    • #7
    • December 6, 2019, at 2:11 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Gary , never knew you were into fast cars & the whole “I can’t drive 55” thing.

    Thanks for sneaking this one past the WaPo speed trap.

    • #8
    • December 6, 2019, at 2:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. PHCheese Member

    The SR-71 did LA to DC in 1 hr 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

    • #9
    • December 6, 2019, at 3:35 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. Mark Camp Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    The SR-71 did LA to DC in 1 hr 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

    And yet it is just a footnote to history.

    If those guys had only taken off from the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach and landed at the Red Ball Garage, we would not be having this discussion today.

    • #10
    • December 6, 2019, at 3:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. PHCheese Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    The SR-71 did LA to DC in 1 hr 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

    And yet it is just a footnote to history.

    If those guys had only taken off from the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach and landed at the Red Ball Garage, we would not be having this discussion today.

    Exactly.

    • #11
    • December 6, 2019, at 4:25 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Gary , never knew you were into fast cars & the whole “I can’t drive 55” thing.

    Thanks for sneaking this one past the WaPo speed trap.

    I am a habitual speeder. And I have talked myself out of all but two speeding tickets in the last 51 years.

    • #12
    • December 6, 2019, at 5:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    The SR-71 did LA to DC in 1 hr 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

    If memory serves, they started their epic run well over the Pacific, and did not start breaking until they hit the Atlantic Coast. Sadly, the SR-71 was retired thereafter.

    • #13
    • December 6, 2019, at 5:50 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    The article in Road and Track notes that they had over a dozen cars acting as spotters. Just other guys wanting to silently share the glory.

    I would love for more details about their departure from the address in NYC and their arrival in LA. For example which freeways did they take in the LA Basin?

    • #14
    • December 6, 2019, at 5:53 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins: The coast-to-coast route took them from I-80 in New Jersey all the way through to Denver, switching to I-70 further west before taking I-15 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

    Stupid reporters.

    I-80 doesn’t go to Denver, or even touch Colorado. You have to take I-76 diagonally from the corner of the state down to Denver, then pick up I-70 there.

     

     

     

    • #15
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins: The coast-to-coast route took them from I-80 in New Jersey all the way through to Denver, switching to I-70 further west before taking I-15 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

    Stupid reporters.

    I-80 doesn’t go to Denver, or even touch Colorado. You have to take I-76 diagonally from the corner of the state down to Denver, then pick up I-70 there.

    Good call. The more complete article from Road and Track notes that the route went from I-80 to I-76 to I-70.

    • #16
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:16 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Their secret weapon, though, were spotters along for the journey in other cars . . .

    Great story, but I call cheating on this.

    What about blockers? Are those cheating too?

    • #17
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:17 PM PST
    • Like
  18. A-Squared Inactive

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The article in Road and Track notes that they had over a dozen cars acting as spotters. Just other guys wanting to silently share the glory.

    I would love for more details about their departure from the address in NYC and their arrival in LA. For example which freeways did they take in the LA Basin?

    FWIW, There are some more details

    https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a30085091/these-guys-just-drove-an-e63-amg-across-america-in-a-record-27-hours-25-minutes/

    and here

    as for the official starting and ending point, they start at the Red Ball garage on the east side of Manhattan and end at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach.

    • #18
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Concretevol Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    I’m not going to say “Like”*.

    But I am that close!

    Knowing that there is a Cannonball Challenge, and that people have done it, and now having internally celebrated that the rebellious masculine American spirit still abides, I am satisfied: I am (from now on) unequivocally un-amused by future Cannonball Challenge tries.

    *The life, limb, and property of many innocents was risked for a vain prank, after all.

    Booooooo!!! Terrible take. This is a record crying out to be broken! Not a “vain prank” and at all, rather a noble and well planned excursion to see what can be done!

    • #19
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:02 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The article in Road and Track notes that they had over a dozen cars acting as spotters. Just other guys wanting to silently share the glory.

    I would love for more details about their departure from the address in NYC and their arrival in LA. For example which freeways did they take in the LA Basin?

    FWIW, There are some more details

    https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a30085091/these-guys-just-drove-an-e63-amg-across-america-in-a-record-27-hours-25-minutes/

    and here

    as for the official starting and ending point, they start at the Red Ball garage on the east side of Manhattan and end at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach.

    What a great clip in Comment #18! I will be looking forward to the documentary in a year after the statutes of limitations passes.

    • #20
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:37 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Hoyacon Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Their secret weapon, though, were spotters along for the journey in other cars . . .

    Great story, but I call cheating on this.

    What about blockers? Are those cheating too?

    Close, but I’d say no because they’re arguably “participants” that are moving. I could be convinced otherwise and I’m influenced by loving Smokey and the Bandit.

    See Gary at #14 too.

    • #21
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:50 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I love this.

    As for safety concerns, hey. I’ve driven down to work, roughly 250 miles depending on the job, and then back up at the end of the week, every week for the last 6 years. I am tired, it’s mid-afternoon along the Schuylkill through Philadelphia, or across 84 from Connecticut, or up 15 from Harrisburg, and I have zero planning or spotters. I guarantee that I am in worse shape than these dudes seem to be. They seem to be stupidly competent, and undoubtedly safer and more responsible than most of the cars on the road with them.

    I remember loving this race when it started – wasn’t it called the “Sea to Shining Sea Trophy Memorial Dash”? Brock Yates and co., and an attitude.

    One thing that strikes me: how do they overcome the increasingly common scourge of @#$!%*&! drivers who cruise along at speed in the left lane? And who seem to be utterly unaware of the concept of the “passing lane”. I am driven crazy several times a trip by someone oblivious to all efforts to get him to get the hell over into the cruising lane and let those of us who prefer passing to move on out of their lives. Usually they are cruising along next to a semi or some other slow-moving vehicle, blocking the hopes for a life and a future for the rest of us to pursue someday at the end of this journey.

    I wonder how these awesome Cannonballers got through the entire East without blowing their brains out? Cow-catcher? Rocket launcher?

    • #22
    • December 6, 2019, at 9:39 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    I love this.

    As for safety concerns, hey. I’ve driven down to work, roughly 250 miles depending on the job, and then back up at the end of the week, every week for the last 6 years. I am tired, it’s mid-afternoon along the Schuylkill through Philadelphia, or across 84 from Connecticut, or up 15 from Harrisburg, and I have zero planning or spotters. I guarantee that I am in worse shape than these dudes seem to be. They seem to be stupidly competent, and undoubtedly safer and more responsible than most of the cars on the road with them.

    I remember loving this race when it started – wasn’t it called the “Sea to Shining Sea Trophy Memorial Dash”? Brock Yates and co., and an attitude.

    One thing that strikes me: how do they overcome the increasingly common scourge of @#$!%*&! drivers who cruise along at speed in the left lane? And who seem to be utterly unaware of the concept of the “passing lane”. I am driven crazy several times a trip by someone oblivious to all efforts to get him to get the hell over into the cruising lane and let those of us who prefer passing to move on out of their lives. Usually they are cruising along next to a semi or some other slow-moving vehicle, blocking the hopes for a life and a future for the rest of us to pursue someday at the end of this journey.

    I wonder how these awesome Cannonballers got through the entire East without blowing their brains out? Cow-catcher? Rocket launcher?

    If I understand correctly, they had “spotters” or “blockers” who drove even faster ahead of them who would come up behind the idiots in the left lane, and would flick their high beams to encourage the slow traffic to move. The spotters would also let them know of a potential problem, so they could, for example pass in the right lane. Then the spotter would zoom ahead to clear the road.

    They were benefitted by their time of day in driving. They left New York City at 1:00 a.m., EST and had open freeways. With the three time zone changes, they arrived at Redondo Beach at 1:25:07 a.m., PST, again with empty freeways.

    • #23
    • December 7, 2019, at 3:10 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    The SR-71 did LA to DC in 1 hr 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

    I was at an air show in Dayton Ohio and the SR 71 was supposed to do a supersonic flyby, very rare now in the continental US.

    The announcer got on the PA and said ” The SR 71 is taking off from Beale now ( AFB in Northern Ca) and we expect it overhead in 45 minutes”…..

    • #24
    • December 7, 2019, at 6:46 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  25. Doctor Robert Member

    Great post, Gary, thanks!

    I would like to do this one someday.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_4ghLXaEVM

    • #25
    • December 7, 2019, at 8:07 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A question – by publishing their route and speed data, aren’t they opening themselves up to retroactive speeding tickets in every jurisdiction they passed through on the trip?

    They’ve published the evidence. What would their defense be at trial?

     

    • #26
    • December 7, 2019, at 9:25 AM PST
    • Like
  27. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Great post, Gary, thanks!

    I would like to do this one someday.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_4ghLXaEVM

    A fun youtube video to watch.

    • #27
    • December 7, 2019, at 9:27 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    A question – by publishing their route and speed data, aren’t they opening themselves up to retroactive speeding tickets in every jurisdiction they passed through on the trip?

    They’ve published the evidence. What would their defense be at trial?

    This sounds like a good reason to wait a year and let the Statute of Limitations to pass before releasing their documentary.

    • #28
    • December 7, 2019, at 9:28 AM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Arahant Member

    Not the course of wisdom.

    • #29
    • December 7, 2019, at 9:50 AM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins

    I’d love to hear from Doug Watt or other current or former law enforcement member about if they had ever come across one of these racers, and what they did or would do.

    • #30
    • December 7, 2019, at 10:18 AM PST
    • 1 like