While the winners of the 1971 Cannonball Run – a street race across the USA – were driving a Ferrari Daytona, the 2nd place finishers had a Chevy van fitted with a 248-gallon auxiliary tank to minimize the refuel count. The van took only 53 minutes longer than the Ferrari to finish the race in.

Happy 40th, Cannonball Run

It’s been four decades since the original Cannonball Run. Tom Stewart tells the tale of the original wacky race…

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If ever there was an event that offered competitors significantly more in the way of penalties than prizes then the coast-to-coast Cannonball run of the 1970s was it.

Conceived by American motoring writer Brock Yates in early ’71 – a time when the legislative emasculation of the American automobile was in germination and the Vietnam War was at its horrific peak – the second Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash started from the Red Ball parking garage in downtown Manhattan on Monday 15th November 1971.

…and 2863 miles-worth of detritus

Named in honour of Erwin George ‘Canno… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

5 thoughts on “While the winners of the 1971 Cannonball Run – a street race across the USA – were driving a Ferrari Daytona, the 2nd place finishers had a Chevy van fitted with a 248-gallon auxiliary tank to minimize the refuel count. The van took only 53 minutes longer than the Ferrari to finish the race in.”

  1. threenamer

    It’s all about the pit stops.

  2. spyan_

    I bet they would’ve won had they painted it to look like an ambulance.

  3. itsthatdamncatagain

    People will call PD in a highway for a Ferrari speeding. A van will.just get beeped at.

  4. 4RichNot2BPoor

    Wonder how well/safe that extra fuel tank was made considering they hit 128 mph driving it.

  5. DarkSideEdgeo

    There is a group that still attempt to top each other in that coast to coast run. Not as a large group per se but individual teams attempting to beat the current record. Last attempt in 2020 took advantage of covid-19 having less traffic on roads and claimed the fastest time to date.

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