By on October 31, 2013

Have you heard? There’s a new “cross-country record”.


Three guys tossed a couple extra fuel tanks into a Mercedes CL55 and drove from the Red Ball to the Portofino, like, really fast. This has been done so many times in the past decade that there’s definitely starting to be a little ennui associated with it. For those who are interested in the super-secret technology used to make it happen this time, you can check out my article at R&T.

Hint: it was gas tanks and bedpans.

Our friends at Jalopnik had the exclusive on this one, by the way. The article is by TTAC alumnus and noted QOTD creator Doug DeMuro, who kind of plays Neil Strauss to “Ed”‘s Courtney Love. Or vice versa. It’s not easy to tell.

The one completely amazing part of the record is that they did it in a CL55. Your humble E-I-C pro tem once had a CL55 as a company car, lo these many years ago. It never made it 3,000 miles without some of those miles being a back-and-forth to the dealership. So there’s that.

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43 Comments on “This Cross-Country Record Brought To You By Efficient Human Waste Management...”


  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Alex Roy craps panache. So there’s that too.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I don’t know, did you see the pic of the team? None of those guys looks like the crap panache. I guess they crap money, because this is a fairly expensive endeavor. But I guess when your 27 and you have money, this is a pretty perfect way to spend it.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    And I thought I was killing it averaging 70 over 1200 miles. I’m not on those guys’ planet. Plus, I noticed NBC got the context of the story wrong.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Swell, the day started with penis and ends with poop.

    Where’s tomorrow start, prostate?

  • avatar
    Chris FOM

    “Alumnus?” Doug’s bailed on TTAC? Dammit.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I believe he wants to communicate with a different audience. We’ll see what happens.

      • 0 avatar
        MrFixit1599

        This saddens me. I know Doug does much more on Jalopnik, and if I am honest, I rarely read an actual article on there other than his. Sadly I think his wit and wisdom is lost on this site, since it is The TRUTH About Cars, and his stories tend to have a lot of untruths and hyperbole. FWIW, bought both of his books, and found them very entertaining compared to the money spent and well worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        Acd

        Let’s hope that occasionally he still wants to communicate with this audience. He is kind of like the P.J. O’Rourke of TTAC and I will miss his articles being here.

        Also what’s up with Jack turning into Mr. Responsibility? The neighbor kids better be careful when ogling the Porsches in his garage to stay off Old Man Baruth’s yard.

      • 0 avatar
        jbreuckm

        Shoot. Hopefully he comes back soon or eventually. I was wondering where he’s been the other day. I don’t/can’t bring myself to read most of the other car blogs so I haven’t seen him over at Jalopnik.

      • 0 avatar
        mmahon04

        One of the few (possibly only?) writer who’s articles I actively sought out.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Gonna really miss Doug’s articles, that sucks. I read the Jalopnik article, I still hate that site I can’t deal with the idiots even though I like some of the content.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Sucks that I have to read Jalopnik to find Doug’s articles now. There is some good content over there, but the layout makes it really aggravating to sort through stuff I’m interested in and stuff I’m not.

        I’ve been a big fan of TTAC’s simplicity.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      crapballs. Doug’s “Dave-Barry-esque” writing fit in well with the more humorous side of this site.

  • avatar
    Atum

    Doug is gone from here? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :( I know he’s on other sites, but I liked his special pieces here.

  • avatar
    andyinsdca

    There’s a bit of a problem with their story, as reported by the Daily Fail: (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2480654/Coast-Coast-29-hours-Mercedes-CL-driver-sets-new-record-averaging-98mph-car-spent-months-fitting-gadgets-eye-police.html)
    “They got to California as the sun rose on October 20. They could have played it safe and gone the speed limit as the rising western sun blinded them Instead, they pushed it in order to make their feat all the more impressive”

    Last I knew, the sun rose in the east in CA (yes, we’re a bit different here in CA, but I think some things are still true here as elsewhere in the US)

  • avatar
    twotone

    Interesting choice of car. I would have gone with a MB E320 CDI and extra fuel. While their run was a challenge, I was more impressed with this record:

    http://www.worldcarfans.com/10505029115/world-record-for-mercedes-e-320-cdi

    three stock e320 CDI cars
    30 days of driving (only fuel, driver, oil and tire changes)
    100,000 miles
    no breakdowns
    average speed (including stops) 140 MPH
    can do up to 40 MPG (not at 140 MPH of course)

    • 0 avatar
      Battles

      Diesel!
      Yes!
      My (mostly ignored but in this case ridiculed) comments on Jalopnik’s occasional articles about cross country runs are always about Benzes with that OM642.
      I was getting mid twenties to the gallon in my C320CDI at 150 but 29-31mpg at 130mph.
      The boot wasn’t big enough for the massive fuel cells though.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I could see this being fun the 70s, maybe even in the 80s. Cool even, because it was a lot more difficult and a lot less dangerous, both physically and legally. But in this day and age traffic enforcement is way way up and more advanced, traffic in general is horrible, the legal repercussions are worse, and the road system has degraded to the point where it wouldn’t even be fun. They had just as much of a chance of getting stuck for 3 hrs in some random backup as they did to set a record.

    And then really… who cares about that record? Not saying its easy but you stack the deck so much in your own favor with the giant fuel cells and radar jammers and chase cars and crap, it’s not really amazing that you did it but amazingly stupid that you bothered.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      Next they will have: “fastest across without scout cars”; or “fastest with stock fuel tanks”; or the record I am going to go for as soon as I put together a couple thousand bucks to waste, “fastest without bedpans”

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Gee, mnm4ever, I guess I’ll have to respectfully disagree.

      Why climb Mt Everest?
      Why were the Brits so enamored about Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed Record? (“Thrust SSC”)
      Why are lap times the Golden Standard of Automotive wherewithal on the hazardous Nürburgring?

      Please take a look at a road map of their route. Yes, there are congested areas (which they avoided or minimized). Yes, the pavement is no longer pristine (but Mercedes suspensions can take a lot of punishment). And Yes, there are risks that may be created buy other “lesser” species of drivers.

      However, part of the human spirit is to push limits, conquer new “lands”, obtain dangerous victories, and test stamina. That is as much a part of the American psyche as old pick-up trucks, mom, and apple pie.

      So, who cares about that record? I care about the record.
      And I applaud their ingenuity in using whatever gadgets were necessary to do this as “safely” and successfully as possible, — including the help of other people. Why bellyache about bed-pans, — take a look at the back-up teams and human waste management needed for the Apollo missions that also set records; or even the Formula 1 drivers (diapers abound) and their host organizations.

      If we all sit in our arm chairs saying “ho hum” at events like this, a great big something will have been lost from our culture. And if those three guys get charged with multiple traffic tickets, I would be in favor of setting up a fund to help pay them off!

      Maybe next time, do it very publicly, and request a “rolling closure” on all the highways from NY to CA, ahead of challengers to this title, — and let’s see if we can get this thing down under 24 hours!
      (3000 miles / 24 hours = 125 mph average: eminently doable).

      ———————–

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        @nmgom — We are not talking about a moon shot here, we are talking about 3 guys driving really fast and avoiding gas and piss breaks. This isn’t an event, it’s glorified street racing.

        I am happy that you are still so impressed with this “record”. When the Cannonball Run movie came out, me and my friends thought it was really cool too. But we were 11, we still thought it was cool to stick cards in our bike wheels and make vroom noises as we rode around. But even in my teens and twenties, I still thought the Gumball Rally was cool, because of course in your 20s you’re still invincible and smarter than everyone else.

        So what happened? I grew up. JB put this much more eloquently than I could ever do, so read his article on his own site about why this is a silly and reckless thing to do these days. But I will say one thing about it. The original Cannonball Run was a RACE. You showed up at the same time, with other drivers, and you made your best run, same conditions, same time frames, law enforcement was at least aware of the hooliganism and made it that much tougher. And they had no electronic aides, routing, maps, traffic monitoring, etc. Running the route solo, with modern technology, with no advance notice for LE and competing against no one sort of takes a lot of the challenge out of it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I heard this on NBC Nightly Snooze last evening.

    They still do this? I thought it ran out of gas – pun intended – in 1981 or so.

    “Gumball Rally” or “Cannonball Run”, anyone?

    When someone manages to do this in record time with a flying car, THEN they will get my attention.

    Doug, come back where you belong – nothing to see over there, and the least time I looked was almost three years ago for about 3 minutes. Amateur night, jr. high school-level all the way. TTAC is where it’s at.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    LS swap?

  • avatar
    Redshift

    Am I the only one who was significantly less impressed when I saw it was a team of drivers?

    (As a note of my bias, a friend of mine holds the record for going coast-to-coast in Canada, solo, on a motorcycle. 59 hrs, 51 minutes.)

  • avatar
    ash78

    “It never made it 3,000 miles without some of those miles being a back-and-forth to the dealership.”

    To be fair, most German cars are pretty reliable if they’re turned on, driven mostly on the highway, and never turned off, never have their doors opened and closed, never have anything loaded into or out of them, or never have to be cycled in the normal course of daily usage for more than a couple years.

    Pretty reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      Quite the feat when you think about it. They were running mid 150s for significant stretches when possible. *Not too many 10 year old cars can do this sort of thing with the same level of control, comfort and durability – and over 100k on the clock*.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    There needs to be a kickstarter so three of the B&B can do this in a panther. It would also make Nacho, Sheena, and Brad jealous.

    But then again, I would rather have fun driving across America. Breaking the speed limit everywhere while sitting on a bedpan doesn’t seem like a good time.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    Doug is destined for bigger and better things. Maybe he’ll move on to WSJ, taking Dan’s slot. A note of caution, it’s rumored that they strictly enforce the “no prostate jokes” rule.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Why isn’t this guy being ticketed?

  • avatar

    Is there a record for the North to South run, let’s say the length of I-75 from Sault Ste Marie to Key West?

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Coast to Coast and never stopping in even _one_ junkyard ? .

    That’s not only no fun , it’s absurd .

    -Nate


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