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Peterson Automotive Museum Interviews Guinness World Record Holders Deena Mastracci and Carl Reese

By Carl Reese

When Carl Reese set out to claim his place in automotive history, he did not choose the normal breed of German super sedan or coupe that Alex Roy and Ed Bolian had opted for. He bought a Tesla. In addition to saving over $900/mo on gas, he has set several transcontinental records in the car this year. He sits down with Car Stories at Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles to discuss that idea and how he has made ambitious cross country driving a way of life.

Check it out here.

Listen to the podcast here.

 www.carlreese.net
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Empty Cars to Enter Cannonball 2018

By Carl Reese

In the near future the coast to coast record will be set by a completely empty cars.  Thats right.  You heard correct, no pilot, no passengers.   Let’s catch up for just a moment.   Saturday Tesla owners got 7.1 update to their cars. This update comes with the much awaited  “summon” feature.  With a push of your FOB allows you to summon your car from the garage.  You can summon for your car up to 39′ away.  Cool right? Well not exactly, the update also neuters the Autopilot to 5 mph over the posted speed limit.  This will diminish anyones hope of beating the EV autonomous record. Read my article to stop the update.

Photo Credit Deena Mastracci

Today on a call with the press Elon Musk dropped another bombshell.  He said in 2-3 years, the Tesla “summoning” feature range will increase from todays range of 39 ft, to a mind blowing distance from Los Angeles to New York! Holy Cow Batman!  This is a drop kick to the transportation industry.  Literally your car can be in New York and you are in Los Angeles, you’ll be able to open your iPhone app and ask the car to drive to you.  Without anyone in the car, it will note your location and start driving to you.  What about charging?  They got that covered too, Tesla is working on the automatic plug-in supercharging stations.

The car will simply know where and when along the route to pull into the charging station.  The charger will connect on it’s own.  When finished it will unplug itself and continue on its way to you.  You can drop yourself at work and send the car home to charge. When your ready to leave work, summon the car to pick you up. Think about the money you can save on parking.

Musk and his team regularly do the impossible.

Don’t believe he can do it? Don’t be so quick to dismiss Musk’s capabilities. May I remind you this Musk just launched a rocket into space last month, and was the first to recover the first stage by landing it vertically back onto the launch pad (go to 32:40 to see the landing).  Previously all first stages landed in the ocean and were unusable.

 

It’s not rocket science, electric power is renewable.

So this summoning thing coast to coast isn’t going to be a terribly big deal for Musk and his team.  He has already produced a car that can run 300 miles on yesterday’s sunshine. Talk about disruption to the industry.  If you have about 10 solar panels on your home, congratulations you have your own fueling station. Say goodbye to foreign oil and gas stations, your fuel will come from the free fussion plant in the sky.

Of course the big three automakers still don’t get it, they are still struggling with outdated “infotainment”.     Meanwhile, Telsa has released autopilot in October of 2015.

  The good ol’days.

Ed Bolian and Dave Black names may go down in history as the last to set the gasoline New York to Los Angeles cannonball record.  As the future brings newer technologies.

Say What?

Think about it, not just an autopilot coast to coast record.   No occupants whatsoever.  Empty cars traveling from New York RedBall Garage to Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach for the first ever Pilot-less Cannonball run.  I’m talking the the real future of Cannonball.  Perhaps as soon as 2018 teams will cannonball their empty Teslas coast to coast.  Watching the cars progress across country, on the screens of their smartphones, while enjoying dinner in Baleen Restaurant at Redondo Beach. 

Which begs the question, who will get the ticket if the car doesn’t have any occupants?

Sir do you know why I pulled you over…………. uh?

I predict that a Tesla will be the first car coast to coast with no driver.   If you see an empty Tesla pull out of the Red Ball Garage at 9pm heading west, on some fall evening in 2018……. you know where to find me.   You’ll likely find me in the corner of Baleen, with my iPhone in my hand.  Shall I make a reservation for anyone else?

www.carlreese.net

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Man sets first Electric Motorcycle record from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL

By Carl Reese

In 2013 Terry Hershner became the the first man to drive coast to coast on an electric motorcycle. He rode a 2012 Zero S ZF9 electric motorcycle. Terry studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University.  This knowledge came in handy as he made serious modifications to the Zero Motorcycle.

Terry’s solo trip from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL in five days, or 135 hours.  He came in 36 hours before another team that was also out to set the record.

Terry did have some trouble along the way. One charging station was locked up and he managed to use a 240 outlet at a nearby welding shop.  He also had to swap out the motor due to a loose sprocket.  The mechanical problems were only compounded by the sleep deprivation.

During his trip used the existing charging network infrastructure that was available to the public to complete his run.  Terry did not a support vehicle for his run.

Terry lowered the coefficient by installing a Vetter Streamliner fairing, and installing two charging ports to increase charging time. Talk about hacking skills!  You can keep track of “Electric Terry” on Facebook 

 

www.carlreese.net

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Grandpa’s Speeding Ticket and His Excellent Adventures

By Carl Reese
 Before I can tell you about grandpa’s speeding ticket, I need to tell you about some of his adventures and his many epic road trips.
 In 1975 my grandfather Joseph H Ferringer thought it would be a great  idea to take us on a Greyhound bus trip from Pennsylvania to sunny California. My very first transcontinental trip.  Its safe to say, we didn’t set any records aboard that lumbering bus, as it stopped in every town along the route.  My five year old mind was fascinated by the changing landscape from that bus window. This was just one of many road trips I enjoyed with my grandfather.
 Greyhound Bus
   During the 1935, Joe was forced to quit school and started working in the coal mines at the age of 10.  Laying on his side, on the ground of the dark shallow mine and  swung a pick ax up over his shoulder.  He experienced a minor cave ins as a child and was pulled out by his feet.
 At twelve years old he was directed by his father to walk 170 miles to Buffalo New York, to stay with relatives during the depression.  When he arrived they handed him a loaf of bread and slammed the door in his face.  Realizing he couldn’t return home, he lived on the streets of Buffalo selling newspapers. He had to street fight for the best corners to sell the morning paper, just to survive. Depression era was tough, but he never quit.   After a few harsh years in Buffalo, he started to walk back home to Pennsylvania.  As luck would have it he picked one of the the heaviest snow storms on record, for his journey home. With snow up to his knees, every step was a chore.  The second hand coat he wore was two sizes too big, and dragged in the snow.  Seventy-five miles from home and nearly frozen, he wondered into a cafe to get warm.
 Walking in the snow
   Before the cafe owner could throw him out, a kind woman bought him a coffee. He said he had the shivers so bad, he couldn’t keep the coffee in the cup.  She offered to give him a lift part of the way. He said the woman had an old jalopy with no heat, and just a horse blanket to keep them both warm.  She dropped him off just twelve miles from his home.  When he walked thru the door, not a word was spoken by either parent.  His mother simply heated him up some potato soup.

 1940 CCC Camp Carlsbad Project New Mexico

1940 CCC Camp Carlsbad Project New Mexico

About this time in his life, the Civilian Conservation Corps advertising for work in New Mexico.   So he hopped a train headed west. There he enrolled in the CCC, where he dug irrigation ditches.  Shoveling sand was miserable work for even more miserable pay (most of which he sent home to his mother).
 
Joe Ferringer
 By the time he turned sixteen he lied about his age and joined the Navy during WW2.  Assigned to wooden hulled boat (YMS-125), with a home port of Seattle, WA.  Their mission was to patrolled the Aleutian Islands, looking for mines.  This is in the heart of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska; the deadliest seas known to man.
 He told me fighting in the Navy was easier than fighting his brothers. Grandpa told me once when his brothers and him ran out of people to fight, they would fight each other just for entertainment. He grew into a barreled chested man with fists the size of hams.  The whole family was convinced he could punch the earth and break it in three places.
 After the war my grandpa held many jobs. He was a surveyor for Taylor Engineering whom built sections of Interstate I-80 in Pennsylvania.  He was a true entrepreneur, he owned his own a gas station, restaurant, vending, towing and several other small business.
   I once witnessed a man try to rob him at knifepoint at his Exxon station.  At the time, my grandpa was removing a tire from the rim for a customer.  When the man lunged with he knife, he broke the robbers arm with the flat iron bar, used to spin tires on and off the rim.  The would be thief begged for an ambulance and my grandfather told him to go use the pay phone.

Atlas Tire Changer

Atlas Tire Changer with flat bar

 Though not displayed often, my grandpa also had a soft side. Over the years,  I also witnessed him bestow kindness to many destitute travelers that passed thru his station.  Usually a cup of coffee or a tank of gas for those in need.  From time to time PA State Police would frequently hang out at the gas station, and tell jokes and drink coffee with my grandpa.
Both my grandparents survived not one but two house fires.  The last one they both jumped out a second story window.
 Shortly after high school, I was traveling through Wyoming on I-80 with grandpa. He was “cleaning the carbon out of the pipes” in his S-15 GMC pick up truck . We got pulled over and he was clocked at over 100mph.   When the officer came up to the window, he said “Do you know how many miles it took me to catch you?”  I tensed up, while waiting for my grandpa’s answer.
WyomingAs the Wyoming patrol officer stood at the S-15 window waiting for my grandpas response, I remember my hands starting to sweat.  My grandpa didn’t even make eye contact, he just twisted his handlebar mustache and with perfect delivery, said “If I knew it was a contest, I wouldn’t have let up on the gas.”  Then my grandpa turned toward me, and cracked a devilish smile.  The officer wasn’t amused, he invited my grandpa back to his patrol car.  When he emerged from the patrol car, he stated the officer told him it took 7 miles to catch up to us, and the fine would be 5 dollars cash.   My grandpa paid it on the spot.  Grandpa said “the officer likely was just going to use the cash on breakfast”; as we drove away.
 You see you never knew what would come out of my grandpa’s mouth. He would tell you his mouth got him into more than one bar room brawl.  Once he knocked out an off duty Pennsylvania police officer whom attempted to ambush him with a black jack, over what my grandpa described as a “disagreement”.  I wouldn’t advise anyone to do this. He would tell you, in those days they settled things with fists, then bought each other a round of drinks afterwards.  Well not exactly, it took several of them, but they managed to arrested him for that stunt.

    Road-trips with him were always an adventure. You rarely knew where you were going, or when you would be coming back.  He would just walk toward his car and ask “Are you coming with me”?  You didn’t know if that meant you were going to the Dairy Queen or the Florida Keys.  You just had to jump in and see where you would end up.

 

Grandpa playing Air Guitar on road trip with his Daughter Shary and his son David.

Grandpa playing Air Guitar on road trip with his daughter Shary and his son David.

One afternoon my grandpa took our family to Erie, PA (some 90 miles away) to pick peaches. That turned out to be a 6 week camping trip to Canada’s Northern Territories. Talk about packing light.

Ford Truck

Grandpa’s Ford with “3 on the tree”

He had an old Ford Pick up truck as well. That thing had nine lives.   My grandpa and my uncle David had a blow out, speeding along I-80 somewhere west of Cheyenne.  The ol’ Ford was loaded down with a heavy cab over camper, he  barely saved it from a rollover.

 On a separate occasion my grandpa fell asleep while at the wheel of that Ford.  Coming back from Texas,  somewhere around W. Virginia we both woke up to weeds hitting the hood, as we rocketed downhill in the median. We simultaneously, glanced at one another with a combination of panic and shock.   He instinctively jerked the wheel back up hill and we literally flew back out onto the highway.  Like some Dukes of Hazard scene.  Afterwards he scolded me for letting him fall asleep, and we pulled over at the next hotel.
My grandfather loved automobiles, but his favorite where Cadillacs. He owned a limited edition Eldorado El Deora with 500 cubic inch motor.  If you asked him why he needed a V-8 ? He would tell you, “The power is there when he need it”.  Which was pretty much always.

One of his Caddy's parked at his Exxon

Grandpa’s Caddy and his Exxon Station

  Some of my fondest memories spending time and traveling with my grandfather. In the fall of 1987,  We drove out west to Downieville, CA to go gold panning. My grandpa would entertain himself with telling me what the animals were saying along the road, as we passed by.  We laughed so hard at one of his comments, we had to pull over.  I laughed so hard and so long, with tears streaming down our faces, neither could gain composure.  I’ll never forget that laugh or that road trip.
   He taught me many lessons, perhaps the greatest of them, the value of hard work. He also taught me the road doesn’t end at the county line.
 One of my last visits with him in a nursing home, When I arrived and he was sleeping.  Minutes later he woke up and said “Carl I’m glad your here!  I need you to break me out of this place. Last night I was going to tie the bed sheets together and climb out the window.”  I looked outside…..we were on the ground floor.  Later that week, I did break him out, for one last road trip.  We flew from CA to PA where he wanted to speed his remaining days.
   If he was here today, I know he would have got a kick out of the the battery powered Tesla, the “insane” acceleration, and the self driving capability.  I took two items for good luck on my  motorcycle run one was a photo of my grandpa and the other was an American Flag.   While many not approve of my coast to coast runs, somewhere my grandpa’s spirit is twisting his mustache and smiling.
This story is written in memory of Joseph Henry Ferringer.
Joe Ferringer
Born January 1st, 1925.  Joe passed away on December 13 2012, at age 87.
www.carlreese.net
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Carl Reese Breaks Solo Cannonball Motorcycle Record from LA to NYC in 38 hours, 49 minutes

By Carl Reese

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 27, 2016)—Carl Reese of Santa Clarita, California broke the solo cannonball motorcycle record from Los Angeles to New York City in 38 hours, 49 minutes. Reese completed the 2,829-mile feat on a 2015 BMW K 1600 GT six-cylinder motorcycle, breaking George Egloff’s previous record of 42 hours set in 1983.

No one in history, with the exception of Erwin “Cannonball” Baker himself, has set as many cross-country records in such a short period than Reese and his team. Reese set six records in under seven months from April through October 2015, including the official Guinness World Record for the shortest charging time from Los Angeles to New York City in an electric vehicle. In October 2015, Reese and two other drivers set the first semi-autonomous driving record from Los Angeles to New York City in 57 hours, 48 minutes in a Tesla Model S P85D.

“There is a reason this record has gone unchallenged for over 30 years. Unless you have completed Army boot camp, it is difficult to relate the mental and physical exhaustion,” said Reese. To prepare his body, he gave up all stimulants before the run, including coffee, tea and sugar. “The immense level of fatigue driving a motorcycle solo for 38 hours is like finishing a UFC fight, then getting hit by a freight train. This was far more difficult than any other transcontinental record I’ve set to date.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.47.15 PMReese is now working with Hollywood-based filmmakers to produce a documentary highlighting the history of transcontinental driving records. The production team is seeking funds to complete the documentary. The documentary trailer can be viewed on YouTube and donations made on Indiegogo. Transcontinental driving records date back more than 100 years, when “Cannonball” Baker drove an Indian motorcycle from Los Angeles to New York City in 11 days. Historians attribute interest around such trips to advancements in transportation and manufacturing in the U.S.  See more details at www.carlreese.net .

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