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Guy from Atlanta shatters cross-country record

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Google says it will take you more than 40 hours, but a 27-year-old in a souped-up CL55 Mercedes claims he drove from N.Y. to L.A. in only 28 hours and 50 minutes.

Besides breaking the speed limit how did he do it? Preparation, Ed Bolian, sales director for Lamborghini of Atlanta, tells Jalopnik.com.

In addition to spending $9,000 on typical maintenance items, such as new tires, Bolian tricked out the car with:

  • 2 22-gallon gas tanks in addition to the 23-gallon factory-installed tank. Ooh-whee — the gas smell was bad, but the car was able to hold 67 gallons of fuel, which meant that Bolian only had to fill up every 800 miles.
  • Police scanner, CB radio and other techie devices to ward off traffic cops and slow truckers
  • Bedpans (ew, wee)
  • A buddy who served as co-driver, and a Facebook friend who acted as “tail-gunner,” looking out for potential trouble

Sometimes a lead car — a friend who happened to live near their route — hopped on the turnpike ahead of their Mercedes to scout for state troopers or construction delays. That’s how Bolian sped through most of Pa.

The idea for the coast-to-coast contest originated in the 1970s when “noted auto racer and Car and Driver contributor Brock Yates conceived the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash – also called the Cannonball Run – to protest highway speed limits,” writes Doug Demuro on Jalopnik.com.

Bolian and his crew left Manhattan at 9:56 p.m. on October 19 and by 11:46 p.m. on Oct. 20, they had made it to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, Calif., the Cannonball Run finish line. The old record, set in 2006, was bested by two hours and 14 minutes.

They had traveled 2,813.7 miles, speeding at an average 98 mph. The car may have reeked of gas, but they had to stop for fuel only three times.  

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