We Have A Winner

I love this country.  Here’s yet another reason:

Only a few months have passed since we reported that the New York-to-Los Angeles Cannonball record was broken. It’s allegedly been broken again. The 26 hour, 38 minute time—which beats the record set in November by more than 45 minutes—appears to be legitimate.

It did not escape many long-time Cannonballers that an immobilized workforce and hard times might create ideal road conditions for fast driving thanks to much lower traffic volumes. Musing in online chat groups ensued. But most decided that it was better to cast their lot with the rest of humanity and stay home. Most, but not all.

All we know about this new set of scofflaws is that there were three, maybe four of them, and that they were driving a white 2019 Audi A8 sedan with a pair of red plastic marine fuel tanks ratchet-strapped into its trunk. They started at the Red Ball Garage in New York City at 11:15 pm on April 4, and ended less than 27 hours later at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, California, the traditional start and end points of a Cannonball attempt.

Which leads me to my question to you, O My Readers:

If you were going to Cannonball, what car would you choose to do it in, and why?

Remember that the only criteria are speed, reliability, comfort and (maybe) fuel efficiency.

Your answers in Comments.  But I have to tell you:  the Audi A8 was not the worst choice in the world…


  1. Bentley Mulsanne, old bean. The extended wheelbase version. Got to do it in both comfort and style, don’tcha know? 🙂

    Effortless cruising at 100+ mph, a top speed of 184 mph, and a ride so smooth you can quaff the champers when you’re not at the wheel.

  2. Personally I’d have to go with one of the late-60’s/early 70’s American Land Yachts, because ‘Murica, and the trunk is big enough to carry PLENTY of extra gas.

    There was a time when such a trip sounded like fun. Now, my ass is numb just thinking about it.

    Funny though, back in college I had a friend (he was a grad student while I was an undergrad, and he was probably 15 years older than I was) who, in his mis-spent youth, had acquired Astin Martin roadster and shoehorned a Chevy 440CID aluminum racing engine under the hood, it had so much torque that the car would walk sideways if you gunned it in neutral. Nerd that he was, he figured out that his sister, in her VW Beetle going 60 mph, could beat him from NY to LA because he still had the eight -gallon gas tank, which when going ball-to-the-wall, from full to sucking air, would last 45 minutes, so 30-35 minutes under the real-world requirements to find a gas station (in the pre-internet age of course).

    1. I’m in the same mind as Quentin on this one. Maybe the V8 Continental instead of the fat-ass Mulsanne, but the same marque.

  3. What would be better than a 2019 Audi A8 sedan?

    Why, a rented 2019 Audi A8 sedan of course!

  4. My choice, ’cause I own it already, it’s just been a little neglected for a few years due to the crap gas that California sells. It attacks rubber products and makes them brittle over time.

    The new fuel pump I had installed in 2006 failed after 8 years. The original pump it replaced worked for over 30 years!


  5. One thing the article failed to mention: yes, the roads are pretty much clear, not just of traffic, but of COPS.

    Cops have been told to go almost entirely hands off on traffic enforcement, unless they’re driving recklessly/dangerously, or there’s reasonably suspicion that the driver is intoxicated.

    Now, a car barrelling down the interstate at 150+ would probably clear the bar, but that assumes the cops are out there looking, which they mostly aren’t, because they’ve been told not to.

  6. Here in DeWhiner land the OSP has been instructed to ignore anything under 85 mph yet they still sit in the median in plain view. That way the moron flying down the left lane will slam on his brakes when he sees Officer Friendly thereby fucking up everyone behind him.

  7. Bentley continental or Mercedes S65amg both top out over 200mph and are designed to be driven at autobahn speeds. Assuming fuel costs are not a consideration.

    Given you would probably be doing a lot of miles cruising not accelerating hard, the diesel version of the A8 might be an interesting choice.

  8. For practicality? Anything that can finish the Nürburgring.
    What would I want to actually drive? That Mercedes you featured last week that could run all day at 100 mph. It would be comfortable enough to sit in all day, too.

    By the way, what is the record for West to East? The Portofino Inn is less than a tankful away from me. All I’d have to do is see about the check idiot light and double check the tires.

  9. MarkD: If you go for “one of the late-60’s/early 70’s American Land Yachts”, plan on completely rebuilding the suspension. I grew up with cars like that. The manufacturers aimed to completely insulate the driver from the road; even though they didn’t quite achieve that goal, they did ruin the handling with grossly soft springs and shocks. I never learned how fast my 64 Pontiac Bonneville could go, because I was afraid to hit a curve at over 80 (it felt like the front end was about to lift off the ground), and there wasn’t a road anywhere in Grand Traverse County that had more than a couple of miles of straight line for acceleration.

    1. It was about to lift off the ground. The 1963-64 Corvette, shaped like a wing cross section had tremendous front end lift. The auto style of the times liked big shoulders for power, and aerodynamics were only used by aviation engineers and Craig Breedlove.

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