Cannonball Run and common sense record shattered in less than 29 hours

Ed Boilan

Ed Boilan center, shows the sort of smugness you can only get by endangering others for 29 solid hours.

Burt Reynolds would be rolling over in his grave…if he were dead…and if he weren’t planning on being frozen for the enjoyment of future generations of bleached blonde beach bunnies. That’s because the Cannonball Run record for driving coast to coast just got smashed.

According to CNN, Atlanta native Ed Boilan managed to drive from Red Ball Garage in New York City to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California in 28 hours, 50 minutes and about 30 seconds. 

Apparently Boilan had been obsessed with the idea of the Cannonball run since high school and had even interviewed Brock Yates – one of the original participants – in the Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash for a school project.

Boilan perhaps should have listened to Yates’ opening lines in the film wherein he referred to his exploits on Cannonball Run, “You all are certainly the most distinguished group of highway scofflaws and degenerates ever gathered together in one place.” 

That may not be an exaggeration because to accomplish this feat Boilan, his co-driver Dave Black, and assistant Dan Huang, averaged 98 mph including the 40 minutes they spent stopped. Averaging a reckless driving charge for almost 28 hours is no mean feat, and certainly one to proudly recount to your grandchildren from the visiting room of your local penitentiary.

The car itself may not have been completely legal for the drive either. To reduce the amount of time spent stopped at filling stations, the Mercedes CL55 AMG was fitted with an additional 44 gallons of fuel tanks mounted in the trunk. 

To avoid getting caught by the police, Boilan employed police scanners, laser jammers, radar detectors, and a kill switch on the rear lights. He also commissioned a radar jammer, though it wasn’t delivered in time for the run. 

And if adding enough stealth technology to blow through the average third-world air defense network wasn’t enough, Boilan spent $9,000 in maintenance and upgrades on his rolling felony. 

All this, and a good helping of luck, was enough to break the previous record set in 2006 by a modified M5 by over two hours.

Thankfully no one was hurt, and, fortunately for Boilan, the only time they got pulled over was turning the wrong way down a one-way street shortly before they set off.

If that officer had known what they were attempting, Boilan and his comrades would have been lucky if they didn’t wind up wearing automotive boots, instead they just got a stern warning. 

So just remember kids: It’s always okay to put other people’s safety at risk if you are inspired by lunatics from the ‘70s and a bad Burt Reynolds movie. 

(Main photo credit: CNN)

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