Three men. One 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG. Three on-board gas tanks -- and three stops to fill up. How long they say it took them to drive across the United States? 28 hours and 50 minutes.
Covering 2,813.7 miles in that time frame would require going well above most speed limits. So one might wonder, how in the world did they avoid getting pulled over by police?
The team, led by driver Ed Bolian, drove from Manhattan to Redondo Beach, Calif., traveling at an average speed of 98 miles per hour (average!), according to Bolian's website.
Final trip data from the team's speedy cross-country journey. (Image source: Ed Bolian)
"It was a very crazy trip where everything went truly as well as we ever could have imagined," Bolian told TheBlaze in an email. "The weather, traffic, construction, enforcement and other factors that could have easily derailed the attempt or slowed us down to make the time impossible simply didn't materialize. I know that my wife was praying feverishly at home that I would never have to try it again so I guess it worked!"
In addition to radar and laser detectors, GPS, CB Radio, a police scanner, iPhones and iPads, the team had a passenger on board, Dan Huang, who was a human cop spotter (he also served to track fuel and keep Bolian and co-driver Dave Black awake, according to the automotive news site Jalopnik).
What's more, from New York City through Pennsylvania, Jalopnik reported the team had a lead car driving up to 200 miles ahead who would send them warnings of upcoming cruisers and other potential issues that could have slowed them down.
A look through the Mercedes' bug-splattered windshield. (Image source: Ed Bolian)
Overall, Bolian said they didn't have many problems with law enforcement, even though they saw a lot of police cars.
"The odds of traveling this far without any incident -- police or otherwise -- are obviously astronomical," Bolian told TheBlaze. "This is a crazy record that only a small fraternity of lunatics (care) that much about and that doesn't have an upside financially so I would not encourage anyone to try it."
The team said the closest call to getting pulled over came in Ohio, according to Jalopnik. The tell-tale Ford Crown Victoria was sitting in the highway median, but when Bolian yelled at Black, who was driving at the time, it was too late. Flying by at 95 miles an hour, the cop didn't budge, which, if you've ever sped in Ohio, is amazing.
The team (left to right): Dan Huang, Ed Bolian, Dave Black (Image source: Ed Bolian)
Overall, the ride wasn't a challenge to skirt around law enforcement.
"We did it out of an interest in contributing to the history of the record as part of automotive Americana and for the challenge that it presents. It was much more of an Everest/Ironman/Frontier Quest type of motivation than an attempt to make a statement about speed limits or authority," Bolian told TheBlaze. "We have the utmost respect for police and the speed limits they enforce. They were one of the many challenges that we had to overcome to break the record."
This cross-country journey beat the previous record of 31 hours and 4 minutes set by Alex Roy and Dave Maher.
"My favorite part of the trip was feeling the driving rhythm that we go into and coming to realize that we were actually on track to not only break the record but do so by such a considerable margin. It took years of preparation but we did it and I couldn't be happier," Bolian said.
But he added that he's "pleased to not have to do it again." He wrote that his "interest in trying to break this record is as asymptotically close to zero as I think it can get!"
Check out Jalopnik's full story for more even details about all the planning, car retrofitting and factors that played into the record-breaking trip.
Featured image via Shutterstock