Records, as the say, are made to be broken. Whether that's cramming the most hot dogs down your gullet, running a faster mile, or yes, driving across the United States, odds are that there's someone out there wants to eat more, run faster or drive harder. Speaking of that last example, the record for driving from a set location on the east coast, in particular the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA, has been one that has fascinated gearheads since a guy named Cannonball Baker made the trek from New York to LA in 53 hours, 30 minutes, in 1933.
The competition saw its glory days when Car and Driver's Brock Yates came up with the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash (more affectionately known as the Cannonball Run), although the record was most recently set by Alex Roy and his 32-hour, seven-minute trek behind the wheel of a BMW M5 in 2006. Now, there's a new champion, who made the trip from east to west in a scarcely imaginable 28 hours and 50 minutes, behind the wheel of a 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG. That's works out to an average speed of 98 miles per hour over the course of 2,813.7 miles.
His name is Ed Bolian, and Jalopnik has a writeup of the epic voyage that details everything from the history of the Cannonball Run to Bolian's preparation and trouble finding co-drivers, to the trip itself. It is well worth a read.