Thanks to the Unlimited Class:
I have to admit that sitting in Times Square Kevin and I had no clue at all what to expect from the upcoming Bullrun. For two hours we sat around Times Square talking with friends and fans of the Studebaker. We got some food. We took some pictures. Here I am with Skiny.
We put fresh ice in the Cool Suit cooler, checked the batteries in our Comtrex headsets, made sure the late night wiring of our laser jammer and Magellan Roadmate was in order … and then waited.
Near the top of the hour (10am) we were told to get in our cars. We were luckily in row number two, right behind Mario Andretti.
VIDEO- BEING VERIFIED
The first snafu hit us after turn number one. I had forgotten to initialize the Magellan, so it thought that we were in San Francisco! Ooops! I had also forgotten my paper map in the back of my Land Rover back home in Venice. Ooops #2!
We were not all that stressed, as we had Mario and Troy in the Mossler in front of us, and we assumed that Mario must have been given a cheat sheet with directions. Stick behind him, and we would be a-ok! (Little did we know that Mario actually has a street named after him at the speedway!)
The sound of Mario’s car, the Mossler, a GT40 and the Stude going through the tunnels in NYC … WOW!
Mario, the Mossler, the GT and the Stude ran 1-4 for a while toward the Pocono Speedway …
… until we learned a new Rally trick from the saltiest of old dogs himself, Mario Andretti. Mario’s trick involved staying in the far left lane of traffic, leading a group of rally cars behind him, and at the VERY last second near a change in freeways, cutting across traffic and effectively loosing 9/10 of the train following him. We were unable to make the change fast enough and were sent to who knows where as the gps wasn’t initialized and we had no map!
After a quick U-Turn at the tollbooth through many lanes of cones, we navigated ourselves back toward Pocono Speedway after a quick stop and purchase of a hard map. We had lost many positions due to our ineptitude, but we soon came across multiple Bullrunners on the side of the road giving their autographs to eager state patrol men.
A bit of rain later, we arrived at the Pocono Speedway. It was supposed to be a full stadium NASCAR day, and it would have been just an amazing way to start the rally had it not been for the rain.
All the same, Kevin was happy to throw the Stude out on the oval for all of the waving fans that stood in the rain.
After a bit of lunch and a few pictures with the race babes, it was back in the Stude and off to Toronto! The Magellan navagation system was now working, as a quick call to technical support (an incredible 30 seconds on hold before help was available) told us how to initialize the gps while we ate lunch. SWEET!
As the Stude is very loud, our Comtrex headsets were brought into play as we motored away.
Toronto was not in the cards for the Studebaker, however. About an hour after we left Pocono, the Stude started making an awful clatter. We pulled over to see what the angry engine had in store for us, and were amazed when Bullrunner after Bullrunner pulled over to help.
Colin and Eric Herrick, Tim in 79, The Father/ Daughter Boxter team, and the #100 Bentley with Greg Simms, Keith Previte, and also Wu and his girlfriend in the back seat after being the first DNF with the Lambo.
Greg Simms, being the smart guy that he is, had more tools than we did and made the Stude work a lot easier.
Kevin traced the noise to the right bank, and when he pulled the valve cover, found an intake valve with about 50 thousandths clearance! The rocker and push rod seemed fine, and the rocker stud wasn’t coming out of the head, so Kevin elected to readjust it and head on down the road. Tim and the Herricks graciously offered to follow behind in case we had more failures.
1 AM found us on the south side of Lake Erie, not headed to Canada. After an amazing random roadside dinner with Tim, who is just the nicest guy around, Kevin started wrenching the Stude in a parking lot near our hotel in Dunkirk, NY.
Valves that mysteriously gain a bunch of clearance are not what you need on the Bullrun.