Two Fellas Drove from NYC. to LA and Back again in 74 Hrs and 5 Minutes

Freda Walters

In May 2020, when all people and their brothers have been attempting to defeat anyone else’s New York-to-L.A. time, Chris Clemens and Mark Spence quietly and definitively set their possess oddball report. Not much at the rear of Arne Toman and Doug Tabbutt, who finished up reclaiming a history that experienced been snatched out from below them a month earlier during the website traffic-free times of the early pandemic, Clemens and Spence pulled up to the Cannonball’s common end line at the Portofino Lodge parking good deal in a cramped 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL500 coupe.

Where by they took a five-moment breather, turned again close to, and headed back again towards the Cannonball’s beginning line at the Purple Ball Garage in Manhattan. They produced it again to their starting point in 74 hrs and 5 minutes, shattering a a few-day report that had stood considering the fact that 2015.

Editor’s Be aware, July 21, 2021: Because of to a transcribing mistake, this posting originally stated that Clemens and Spence realized this feat in 79 several hours, 5 minutes. The suitable report is 74 hrs, 5 minutes. This report and headline have been current, and we regret the mistake.

Chris Clemens

“For me, likely coast to coastline to coast commenced off as a joke,” stated Clemens, 40, the car’s owner. “When you finish driving from New York to L.A., I believe everyone turns to their co-driver and states, ‘Wanna do it once again?’ The joke turned into a little something we desired to do, an accomplishment unique from the normal Cannonball.”

Clemens at first experienced problems getting a driver. A couple men and women mentioned they’d do it, then backed out. Fred Ashmore said he’d do it after completing his now-report solo operate, and to his credit rating, he experienced planned to hop on a airplane and fly again to New York to do it again, twice. But the folly of the endeavor strike Ashmore as quickly as he arrived, utterly used, in Redondo Beach front. At the last moment, Clemens was left without having a co-driver.

Which is when Ed Bolian, a previous report holder who stands tall among the the self-anointed grand poobahs of the illegal transcontinental street racing neighborhood, suggested Mark Spence. Spence rode with Toman and Tabbutt to New York, the place he hopped into the gold SL500. They all still left at the exact time in their respective cars and trucks.


Chris Clemens

Clemens and Spence failed to have nearly as substantially elbow place. “It’s not the best vehicle, but it retains a good deal of indicating for me,” Clemens claimed of the gold Mercedes, which as soon as belonged to a much larger-than-everyday living uncle with whom he’d been shut. When his uncle handed absent, and Clemens advised his aunt why he wanted the auto, she mentioned it was one thing her departed husband would unquestionably have supported.

“He was the stereotypical interesting uncle who would enable me do all the matters my mom and dad would not,” Clemens explained of his uncle, a 7-foot 350-pound guy with a identity to match his stature. “When I was 8, he bought me a distant-managed helicopter that ran on nitromethane. He gave me my very first specific lyrics tape, Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood. Items like that.”

So Clemens and Spence took off in the relatives heirloom, which Clemens experienced mounted up with all the goodies: laser jammers, radar detectors, infrared cameras for cop detection, GPS monitoring products for proof, all the goodies that have come to be popular among the people who get into this form of issue. For a whilst, they even stored speed with Toman and Tabbutt, getting advantage of the other crew’s extensive community of spotters. That is, till they obtained pulled around for dashing in Iowa.


Chris Clemens

“The moment we received stopped, there was no catching up,” Clemens explained. “They ended up performing 160.”

Toman and Tabbutt were being asleep when they arrived at the Portofino, which Clemens mentioned was great, since they weren’t tempted to amazing their heels kibitzing with their colleagues in the parking good deal and dropping their adrenaline edge as a final result. There ended up a handful of hiccups on the way back: Nebraska was lousy with deer they have been followed by police in Michigan and Iowa and of course, exhaustion commenced to get its toll. But they manufactured it in a single piece, and now maintain a document that couple of will very likely want to obstacle. Clemens reported he felt these a rush when they concluded that he merely dropped Spence off and stored driving solo until he was dwelling in Massachusetts.


Chris Clemens

“It was a wild knowledge,” said Clemens. “I will in no way do it once again.”

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