Bullrun 2007: Driving to Montreal
Well, heres' how it went down. Thursday, May 10th:
Jason Wallace (Team F-150) from Spike TV's Bullrun landed at LaGuardia Airport at 9:40am. Now Jason is a country boy from the Great state of Texas who had never been to NYC before and I think from the beginning he was a little shocked at all the concrete, dirt and amount of taxi's that rolled around the airport. Jason is an all around great guy, he's a firefighter an EMT, one hell of great driver and honestly could be a stand-up comedian if he chose to - simply put, I love that boy, but is faux-hawk hairstyle perplexes me somewhat. Once in NY we headed to Queens (where I live) where Jason got a chance to meet some of my neighbors. Richie and Charlie are both Flushing, Queens natives and good old fashion hot rodders. They got on Jason's case a little bit for his skoal habit and his choice of running a perfectly good F-150 through a brick wall. Jason, being the southern gentleman that he is took the ribbing in stride - he is now welcome in Queens at anytime and we'll be protected there for life.
Next up was Rich Brannon (Team Mustang) from Spike TV's Bullrun. He landed about an hour late due to some crappy weather and unfortunately he didn't get the same Queens intro. that Jason got as we just bolted to get up to Montreal for the start of the Bullrun. Now, there are some things that you should know about Rich Brannon - first off he is from Hartford, Alabama. What this means is that Rich has a bit of an accent, so much so that it life would be much easier if Rich just came with his own sub-titles. He is however one of the most honest, non-selfish and straight forward individuals that I have ever met. Rich holds no pretense and just tells it like it is - plus he doesn't have a goofy haircut like Jason has, so for that he gets big points. Simply put, Rich is just good people and a great friend.
So, with Jason, Rich and all our luggage stuffed into the Charger we head on up to Montreal. We cut through NYC where we made a brief pit stop to say hello to my wife Aisha so I could give here a quick kiss goodbye and so she could finally meet Jason and Rich. From there we headed through Times Square and up the Henry Hudson Parkway to XV Motorsports where we stopped by to see my buddy Peter Bergman who is also part of Team Charger. Pete would later meet up with us in Boston where he would jump in the Charger with Me and Rich and Jason would roll in the Trans AM with Morgan Aslop.
After drooling over the multi-million dollar Mopars at XV and stuffing yet more luggage into the Charger (THANKS PETE!) we jumped on 87 North and jetted to Montreal. We had the TomTom GPS unit guiding us up to Canada while Valentine One Radar Detector paved us a clear ticket less path to the boarder. On the way up we watched (well... they watched and I drove) Cannonball Run on the in dash JVC DVD player and listen to it through our new Polk Audio speakers. The ride up was uneventful until we stopped at a gas station about 60 miles from the Canadian border. When we pulled up we noticed some a smoke coming from under the hood (not good) so, of course we investigated only to find out that we the right side header bolts had come a little lose and we were pissing anti-freeze onto the headers... nice right. Once tightened up were back on the road. Next stop, the Canadian boarder.
Now I have been to Canada before but never under my own steam, meaning I've never driven it. You also have to picture the situation. We pulled up to the border crossing in a black 68' Charger with stickers all over it. Inside we have luggage for 4 people (but only have 3), an Italian guy from Queens, a Firefighter with a goofy haircut from Texas and a good ole' boy Alabama... needless to say we were not surprised when they told us to pull over. The customs officers where extremely polite an after checking out some stuff started to get very inquisitive about the Charger. How old was it, is it fast, can you do a burnout when you leave... HUH?!? Yep, they really asked us - so we rumbled up to the border exit, planted the pedal in crossed the boarder in blaze of glory... HELLO CANADA!!!
We had arrived in Montreal and proceeded straight to the pub. where organizers Andy Duncan and David Green had a little Bullrun pre-party set-up for the Bullrunners.
Bullrun Day 1.: Montreal - Boston:
Ok - This was truly a day of mayhem as we had no idea what to expect. We were given our route cards and told to proceed down to Montreal Old warf section. This was a beautiful old section of Montreal that was lined with cobblestone streets and wonderful old buildings. We pulled into the starting grid and were great by THOUSANDS of fans and onlookers... it was simply wild as we had no idea. As we pulled up people where cheering and looking at the car and asking questions - it was an unbelievable experience. Andy Duncan (Bullrun Founder and all around good guy) put us at the front of the starting grid positioned right next to the cross country record breaking Ferrari 550 Maranello of Dennis Collins and Richard Rawlings (did I mention these guys just broke the 31 year old cross country record... not too shabby gents).
After a few hundred pictures and some autographs later (which is still REALLY strange to me) we were told to start em' up! First stop, New Hampshire for lunch. While waiting at the starting line we had hooked up with Marcus, this cool dude who works for Lojak. He hooked us up with an alternative route to the border where we were able to cross back into the USA without even getting out of the car! NICE! We then jetted to the lunch stop. Now I really can't go into the particulars of the speed we traveled except to say that we made VERY good time. The type of time you may make if you put Lamborghini's, Ferrari's and Porsche's together on the open road. We hit New Hampshire and had a belly busting lunch of pulled pork and cold slaw... ooof, not exactly the best meal to ingest during an open road rally.
We then hooked up with the only other muscle car on the rally, the 79' TransAm of Chris and Freeman. Let me tell you, these two gents are both top notch guys. We hung out with them for a large portion of the rally and had a wonderful time. They threw a couple of belts at one point and we leaked out a little more anti-freeze so we both just took it slow into Boston... that was until Team Cockney slid (and I mean that literally) through a red light and an intersection and scared the ever lovin' crap out of us. Aside from that incident we all came through AOK. We then partied it up at Felt (a Boston Club) then kicked back until morning for the next leg.