Topic: Cannonball Opel

Here's a little project I've been working on: http://www.kstreetstudio.com/OMC/articl … onball.pdf

It's been interesting, researching a whole new-to-us race, figuring out the best way to approach the challenge, then getting the car ready.

Getting it ready involved first repairing the damage from Buttonwillow and replacing yet another engine. After that, modifying the passenger-side door bars (Thanks, John Pagel) and installing a passenger seat. Boy this car is small. Two Kirkeys almost didn't fit. Next, because wind can get to be pretty aggravating after hours in the car, I dusted off the Lexan windows we made for Bonneville and modified the door windows so we had sliding vents. Finally, cameras. We replaced out old but rugged 4-camera SD system with four Go Pros. I finally got to test them last night and they do pretty good in the dark.

The car runs well but recently started making noise in the diff. It appears to be the gears, not the bearings. It'll last another 3000 miles, right?

The car should ship to NYC tomorrow or Saturday and should be there by Wednesday. We fly out on Wednesday (free, cashing in points) and will stay at a La Quinta near the airport (free, cashing in points). The car will be delivered to a friend's house. After picking up the car, getting a little rest, and making final preparations, we start our marathon to Redondo Beach late Friday night, hoping to miss traffic, construction, and work commutes throughout the weekend.

I had wanted to do the Lemons Rallies but couldn't quite mange that. This will sort of make up for it.

Mike

Re: Cannonball Opel

This project, dubbed "Horrible Idea", has been canceled. Our shipper stood us up and there's no time to get another. So...

Horrible Idea 2!

My co-driver Don, a former long-haul trucker, suggested this, and sounded like pure misery: two big-ish guys in such a tiny car, no heat, no defroster, no reclining seats to make sleep easier. Nevertheless it sounded intriguing. We'd drive the Tinyvette out to NYC, then turn around and do the Cannonball back. After chatting about that a bit, the idea morphed into a Cannonball Loop, a non-stop there-and-back, maybe starting at 24HOL world headquarters and ending in Redondo Beach. Of course, the details matter, one of those being a noisy diff. With Horrible Idea 2 I'd have time to fix it and start the run out in the middle of next week, roughly when we were scheduled to fly to NYC.

Below is video from Wednesday night's test run, the GoPros do well at night, and we'll be seeing a lot of night. You can also hear the diff, though it was not as noticeable to me while driving.

Link: https://youtu.be/zxnD-5C77W4

Re: Cannonball Opel

Sir, you are totally crazy.   I am proud to know you!

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!"
IOE winner in the Super Snipe -- Buttonwillow 2012
IOE winner in Super Snipe v2.0 -- Buttonwillow 2016
"Every Super Snipe in Lemons has won an IOE!"

Re: Cannonball Opel

Nice. I love stupid road trips. Someday I'll do a cross country one. Furthest I've done so far is MA to Denver in a Lotus Elise with my dad to attend the annual lotus owners gathering. Marathoned it out there, and then enjoyed a nice long ride home down to the tail of the dragon and then up the east coast.


keep us updated, will be fun to watch.

17 Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Cannonball Opel

Researching this I heard so many cool stories of people's road trips, for example, cross-country in winter in an MGB, solo, with no working heater. He wrapped his legs in a blanket with only his foot sticking out to work the throttle. Good times.

I've done a number of cross-country trips in cars and once on a bicycle. This one will certainly be different. Still not sure if we'll do a there-and-back Cannonball. That event needs updating, I think. We'll see.

We'll be posting to Facebook during the drive.

Mike

Re: Cannonball Opel

There's been a bit of drama and a lot of wasted time and gas trying to deal with the troublesome rear end. I was about to give up and just go with what we had but a friend came over and drove the car and pronounced it dead as far as a 6000 road trip goes. Eventually we figured out the wheel bearing was damaged, probably during the contact we had a Buttonwillow. That was the side that got hit.

Today I put the rear end back together and finish up some other things. We should be good to go for this and for Sonoma when we get back.

The plan is to leave from 24HOL on Wednesday around noon. Jay says there is a traffic window there at noon. He'll also be there to "berate us for our foolish decision", aka send us off.

We're currently shooting for a there-and-back cannonball (now an ordinary noun) but if that gets to be too much we'll go more leisurely on the way out, saving our energy for the cannonball west.

We'll have a tracking device in the car. You'll be able to see our progress here: https://www.findmespot.com/mylocation/?id=pS37J

Our goal is to, well finish, and if possible, beat the Subaru wagon's east-to-west time in the Youtube video about a 2904 video. Yea, like a Lemons race. In fact, planning, preparations, research, getting a team together, last minute thrashing, and just hoping to be able to finish, this feel like a Lemons race.

The 2904 Video: https://youtu.be/Wu3JfXS-NV0

Mike

Re: Cannonball Opel

The car is ready. I just need to find my toothbrush and we're off to Emeryville, then on to NYC.

8 (edited by almitydave 2017-11-08 01:28 PM)

Re: Cannonball Opel

Awesome.  I'll be following your progress - I've wanted to do this for years.  Good luck!

Edit: You should call your current attempt Horrible Idea 2: Twice as Horrible.

10x+ Loser, Free Agent
Team Resignation - We are not really from Iran - Byte Marks - The f..king new guys
Heroic Fix - I Got Screwed - Organizer's Choice - Class B Winner

Re: Cannonball Opel

Any idea on a projected day you'll be in NY?

Good luck.

17 Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Cannonball Opel

TheEngineer wrote:

Any idea on a projected day you'll be in NY?

Good luck.

Obviously it is Wednesday (obscure Dave Barry paraphrase)

11 (edited by m610 2017-11-14 11:42 AM)

Re: Cannonball Opel

We're back. Sorry that I wasn't able to update here. Have you ever tried to text in a stiffly sprung car bouncing along the freeways at 80+ mph (About all we could wisely sustain, we want to race at Sonoma when we got back.) We did update the team's FB page along the route and especially during fuel stops.

Briefly, the drive out was a test to see what it would take to make a good run back. If we could do the out trip non-stop, great, if not, learn what we can and save our energy for the return trip. With temperatures outside in the low to mid-teens heading into Chicago, and no heater in the car (because racecar), we had to grab a room and thaw. The next day we drove to within 30 minutes of our destination and got a room, regrouped, and headed into NYC the next day, late morning. There we met NYC traffic for the first time, which would have been OK except for the street closures for the parade. Three hours later we made it the ten blocks to the Redball Garage. There we rested, grabbed a NYC bagel, then just as traffic started to clear we left for LA.

Our goal on the return was to do it non-stop. Completion time was not a priority, pretty much like in a Lemons race. We knew we'd be needing to stop and thaw, those stops taking 25-30 minutes typically, which turned out to be cool as we got to chat with locals. We more or less learned how to sleep while strapped into a Kirkey, wrapped in blankets, and wearing ear muffs. (Pro Tip: Kirkey's will do a job on your tail bone after 30-40 hours. Plan accordingly.)

Our sleep strategy was simply to sleep as much as possible while in the passenger seat and do driver swaps at every fuel stop, about every 3 hours. That worked out reasonably well, although twice I had to turn the car back over to Don, my co-driver, about mid-way through my stint. It got a little scary a couple of times, and for the final leg back to our homes Don had to give up his stint.

We got to the LA area around noon Monday and from that point on was the most dangerous part of the trip. My gawd, driving in LA. We were so luck we came in on a holiday and that Don, who was driving, had been a long-haul trucker who'd made many a run to and through LA. LA was also the only place we got off route, but it didn't slow us much and we arrived at our destination, to be met by friends and family of Don, at around 2 PM.

After our first real meal since the previous Wednesday (We ate nearly nothing during the whole trip.) we headed the 560 miles or so to my place up near Sacramento.

As tired as were were on the way home from LA last night it was a great drive, too. I joked with Don about continuing on to Seattle, which at this point seemed like the natural thing to do. In fact, the notion of waking up in the morning and not spending the rest of the day elbow-to-elbow in the Tinyvette felt unnatural.

Anyway, the Tinyvette survived and in fact ran flawlessly the whole way there and back. It'll need a little TLC before Sonoma, but it will be racing. No more of that glitter bomb crap.

Mike

Re: Cannonball Opel

I wish I had know when you were arriving in Los Angeles -- I would have come to greet you.
Anyway, congratulations to both you and Tinyvette on a magnificent performance!

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!"
IOE winner in the Super Snipe -- Buttonwillow 2012
IOE winner in Super Snipe v2.0 -- Buttonwillow 2016
"Every Super Snipe in Lemons has won an IOE!"

Re: Cannonball Opel

Sounds like it was an awesome trip!

Terribly Awesome Racing
Dozen time loser. You'd think I'd know better by now.

Re: Cannonball Opel

sounds awesome. Glad it was mostly drama free.

17 Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice