Published October 31, 2013
Ed Bolian had a serious cross-country need for speed.
The 28-year-old Atlanta man and a two-man crew shattered the unofficial record for fastest drive from New York City to Los Angeles earlier this month by making the 2,813-mile trip in 28 hours and 50 minutes, besting the previous mark set in 2006 by more than two hours.
“I’ve thought about doing this for the last 10 years,” Bolian told FoxNews.com on Thursday. “This was always to me sort of the holy grail of American automotive culture.”
Using a souped-up 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG, Bolian, co-driver Dave Black and support passenger Dan Huang left the Red Ball Parking Garage on 31st Street in New York City at 9:55 p.m. on Oct. 19. The trio later arrived at the Portofino Hotel and Marina in Redondo Beach, Calif., at 11:46 p.m. local time on Oct. 20. The ride went as smooth as anyone could’ve imagined, Bolian said.
“The trip went completely perfectly, in ways I could not have guessed,” he said. “We had no traffic, no construction, no accidents, we didn’t find any speed traps and had no bad weather … It was perfection.”
The trio stopped only three times to refuel, add oil and to take restroom breaks. The Mercedes’ average speed was 98 mph, Bolian said.
“We honestly went pretty much as fast as we could the whole time,” Bolian continued. “We drove in a very careful way and we didn’t do aggressive passing or do any driving on the shoulder, but in order to maintain that kind of average, you’ve got to go really fast.”
Bolian, a Lamborghini sales director at the Motorcars of Georgia in Atlanta, declined to detail the exact route he took, but said the bulk of the ride was on U.S. Route 40, an east-west roadway that crosses 12 states. The group encountered light traffic getting out of Manhattan but had smooth sailing most of the way, he said.
With an average speed just under 100 mph, Bolian acknowledged he easily eclipsed local and state speed limits while driving the Mercedes that was outfitted with additional 22-gallon gas tanks, a police scanner, several GPS units and two laser jammers to avoid detection by police radar.
Bolian went public with his story just days after completing the stunt ride and said “there’s obviously concern" of potentially being ticketed or charged criminally.
“But this is not me trying to say that everybody need to drive 100 mph everywhere they go," he said. "The dangerous part about this is that we drove 3,000 miles on roads where people eat their breakfast, text on their phones, you name it.”
Bolian’s time bested the previous mark of 31 hours and 4 minutes set by Alex Roy and Dave Maher in a BMW M5. Such a demanding physical ride — one that could have ended in a fiery wreck or in the back of a patrol cruiser — isn’t for everyone, Bolian reiterated.
“I don’t want to come across as inciting anyone else to do this,” he continued. “At the end of the day, I did it for what I think it stands for — a challenge and a piece of automotive Americana.”