As the resident law and order guy there are few recalcitrant’s that I admire. Generally speaking I got little patience for rule breakers, most of them are liberals anyway who feel privileged and special, that somehow rules apply to the other guy. But every once and awhile, somebody ups and does something monumentally awesome and daring, figuring he has to have elephant size stones to even attempt such a feat, you gotta tip your hat, even a charter member of the “fraternity of lunatics”:
Knowing a fair amount about the traffic laws and how people skirt or ignore them, I have a special appreciation for breaking this record and an understanding of exactly how difficult (and lucky) it was to accomplish.
It sounds like great outlaw fun — and certainly, Hollywood added its embellishments, like the supremely confident, infidel-cursing sheik with a Rolls Royce and Sammy Davis Jr. in a priest getup — but Bolian said it took considerable research and groundwork.
Beginning in 2009, about the time he started working for Lamborghini Atlanta, Bolian researched cars, routes, moon phases, traffic patterns, equipment, gas mileage and modifications.
He went into preparation mode about 18 months ago and chose a Mercedes CL55 AMG with 115,000 miles for the journey. The Benz’s gas tank was only 23 gallons, so he added two 22-gallon tanks in the trunk, upping his range to about 800 miles. The spare tire had to go in the backseat with his spotter, Dan Huang, a student at Georgia Tech, Bolian’s alma mater.
To foil the police, he installed a switch to kill the rear lights and bought two laser jammers and three radar detectors. He commissioned a radar jammer, but it wasn’t finished in time for the trek. There was also a police scanner, two GPS units and various chargers for smartphones and tablets — not to mention snacks, iced coffee and a bedpan.
All that gadgetry is nice but there are immutable constants wrt vehicular traffic that no one can get around. The first is human nature and being what that is, nobody equipped with a cell phone (probably 95+% of every driver out there) is going to sit idly by and allow any car to tool by them at 100+ MPH and not rat them off to the cops. People love to tattle, and coast to coast there must have been hundreds of cell phone calls reporting the speeder to the local cops. Granted at night the calls would be less complete ,” Some jackass just blew by me at mach 20, but I have no idea about the make, model and color of the car”. But during the day, come on, police helicopters are in the 140 range, but fixed wings can go 180, to make this run without any police intervention is truly amazing.
The other factor to consider is the human nature of the cops. Generally speaking, bagging anyone at speeds of 120 mph or more is a major feather in the cap of any LEO. Even sitting down to a still warm just out of the oven donut, hearing a dispatch report of a major speeder approaching his area, no donut (or a Kate Upton waitress look alike serving it) is going to be more appealing then getting into the chase for this trophy catch.
“The hardest thing, quite honestly, was finding people crazy enough to do it with me,” he said.
Crazy? in my younger days, sign me up. The driver was obviously a professional (not like 99.9% of the clowns out there behind the wheel now), there was little legal risk for the passengers (a police stop would have warranted Bolian only going to jail) and the notoriety alone, having your name attached to this prestigious record, how many times you think “support passenger” Huang has gotten laid over bragging rights?
“Everything possible went perfect,” Bolian said, explaining they never got lost and rarely encountered traffic or construction delays.
Clearly, luck was a major factor in breaking the record.
No doubt others will in the near future take up the challenge, after all, records are meant to be broken. But something like this is not something that you tackle on a bet or a whim, major preparation and a reverence for the actual feat itself carried the day. Go big, or go home.