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Cars > Groups > The Bandit Run > Forums > Discuss The 2007 Bandit Run > My Bandit Run Blog Posts

 
     

    Forum: Discuss The 2007 Bandit Run

    • Topic: My Bandit Run Blog Posts
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    • Started by goodluckfox May 21, 2007 at 12:20 am
    • Last post by marksta May 21, 2007 at 12:48 pm
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    Topic: My Bandit Run Blog Posts

    Forums > Discuss The 2007 Bandit Run > My Bandit Run Blog Posts

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    1. #1 May 21, 2007 at 12:20 am

      goodluckfox’s Profile Photo
      goodluckfox
      Total posts: 12
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      These are the posts I made to my personal blog about the Bandit Run. I thought I might ought to share them with y'all. I hope you enjoy reading it.

      Bandit Run: Day Zero

      Charles, it's entirely TOO late for me to be calling to let you know what time things are getting a move on. With that in mind, Registration is going to get started around 7AM in the morning, and the plan is for everyone to start rolling out at 10:00 AM in the morning. FYI. smile image

      So, yeah, I got to meet Charles! I was rolling up, and according to him, he saw my valence and said, "Hey... I *know* that car!" He walked up to me as our cars were lining up to get our pictures taken with the Big Damn Coors Truck and asked if I was, in fact, Robin Hood. smile image He has a lovely live and two great kids, and it was great to meet him. I'm sorry that he's working in the morning and can't see everyone off.

      The day started late (of course). I had done some minor elective surgery on the Cheshire Cat, messing with the electrical system of the Cat; the side marker lights had never been hooked up, and the driver's front signal wasn't working. I decided to splice things together, and apparently made a hash of it; while the signals did, in fact, work, the next morning, the car wouldn't crank. I immediately figured that I must have shorted something and run the battery down, so out came the charger, and I disconnected the spade connectors I'd crimped onto the wires of the marker lights.... and the car cranked right up, almost as if the battery was fine. So. I'm thinking I must have shorted something. It's okay, I guess I don't REALLY need the side markers until later.

      I stopped at Wally World on the way out of town to pick up a Car Electrical Repair Kit to go with my existing toolbox, and picked up a Booster Box (one of those portable jump-your-car-off-boxes so that you don't need to move another car in nose to nose with the dead vehicle). I also picked up some cling-on window tiinting... for the USB webcam I've attached to my rearview mirror, facing forward. I plan on recording the run on my laptop. smile image I doubt the mike will pic up antthing other than the engine's roar, but maybe I can speed it up and set the thing to Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down."

      When we got to the hotel in Texarkana, there were a bunch of Car Guys(tm) with their TAs and FIrebirds backed into the parking places in the parking lot. Even with her paint job, the CHeshire Cat was far outshined by the all the shiny red and black cars. smile image But everyone really liked my car, and LOVED the way she sounded. A local attorney (easily in his fifties or sixties) was dressed up as junior, and his father was playing the role of Buford T Justice. I got pictures and video of them (and a bunch of other stuff) and if it wasn't so damn late and I wasn't so damn tired, I'd work it all up into a short multimedia video or something. But. Sleep calls. smile image

      We all hung around and visitated, got cleaned up, and headed to the Texarkana Auto Museum for snacks and a showing of Smokey and the Bandit. We're heading back in the morning for the rendezvous and heading out. We'll be tracing a route similar to the one that Bandit and Snowman took in the movie. It was a movie, of course, so they didn't REALLY run those roads, and even if they had, those roads are now 4 lane interstates instead of 2 lane blactop, but they've made us a route that's true in spirit to the movie. My CB radio is working great, and I'm really looking forward to this.

      I promise pictures and videos and whatnot. Just not right now. smile image

      Robin

      Here's a taste, if and when Youtube clears it...
      http://www.yo...v=wdcW3QZ3_HI

      Jackson MS (home) was on the way to Texarkana, so I stopped by and fed my fish.



      Bandit Run: Day One

      I woke up, shaking the cobwebs from my eyes and fuzz from my brain. 7AM sure comes early when you've been driving hard the day before. I tried to give my big sister a bit more rack time by going down to the lobby, and using the hotel's wireless internet connection to check email and make a blog post.

      I hijacked a bellman's cart, and got the car loaded, and Shain (77 black and gold TransAm, uh, like that narrows it down) followed us back to the TexArk Auto Museum, which was our official jumping off point. The Restore A Muscle Car guys were set up in a tent hangling registration, and we soon had our packets, badges, tshirts, and iteneraries. The "con book" has big maps taken from Google Maps that show the route we're supposed to take to the next event.

      It was quite an impromptu car show; there were more Firebirds than you could shake a stick at, a couple of GTOs (both old and new), the General Lee, and the Cheshire Cat. The Cat got tons of compliments. Most of them seemed to start out with "My Dad had this car!" or at least one very similar. smile image


      http://i164.p...0133Small.jpg
      Photo: Some of the cars

      The mayors of Texarkana came out see us off; there's a mayor for the Texas side and a mayor for the Louisiana side. That must play merry hell with their legal systems (common law and civil law) and Conflicts of Law situations. Mr Barnette and his father were back again, dressed as Junior and Sheriff Buford T. Justice. We also had a real police presence; the lady sheriff from the Texas side, and an Arkansas state trooper was there to provide us with a police escort.

      http://i164.p...0104Small.jpg
      Photo: Me assuming the position

      I seemed to have blown a fuse, so now the cigarette lighter I installed doesn't work anymore, meaning I can't run my inverter to power my laptop, so my webcam clamped onto my rearview mirror facing forward won't be recording any video this trip. frown image frown image frown image And I had planned to record the trip and compress it all down to 3 and a half minutes, sped up and set to the tune of "East Bound and Down." Crap.

      http://i164.p...0143Small.jpg
      Photo: Working on the fuse box...

      When the time finally came, the better part of 100 cars filed out of the parking lot. We were each handed a ceremonial can of Coors beer. Supposedly, the graphics on the cans were the old style from back in the 70's. We were given a police escort out of town, and were towards the rear of the pack; we could see the line of cars stretching majesticly into the distance. People were waving and semis were blowing their air horns. It was beautiful country, with nary a sign of human habitation.

      http://i164.p...0196Small.jpg
      Photo: Ceremonial Can of Coors

      http://i164.p...0228Small.jpg
      Photo: Line of cars

      Naturally, I had forgotten in all the excitement to gas my car up the night before. I was perilously close to 1/4 tank, which means "empty" on my car until I can figure out how to recalibrate my gas needle. At long last I spotted a Texaco, and I broke out of the train... but all the pumps were out of order! "NO!!!!" I wailed, thwarted, and immediatly accused Mother in absentia of PRAYING at us again. A guy walked up to where I'd stopped the car at the pumps. He'd been watching all the cool cars go past.

      "WHY are the pumps out of order? I'm running on fumes."

      "Lightning struck the pumps last Thursday night. Knocked 'em all out." Yep. Sounds like Mom allright, calling in favors from the Allmighty in an effort to make us give up early and forget this sort of tomfoolery. The guy did give us directions to a gas station in town, though.

      Once we were properly fueled, (and I was kicking myself for making such a stupid mistake), it was pedal-to-the-metal to catch back up with the convoy, which I did in Magnolia Arkansas, where the plan was to leave the highway to do a loop around the town square. I had to come in from a side street and ran the police road block to join back up. The townsfolk were out with cameras and waving. Over the CB somebody made the comment that this was prolly the most excitment Magnolia has seen in a long time. The local police gave us an escort all the way out of town, blcoking the intersections, etc.

      Fun fact: a convoy of cool cars can get away with speeding... but if you're a lone singleton, you're just a random speeding ****. Moral: stay with the pack. smile image

      http://www.yo...v=VbGmsER7eMM
      Video: Running with the pack. The General Lee makes an appearance at the end.
      (videos may take some time to process on YouTube)

      Several cars had to drop out on the way to our lunch destination; the high speed (90+) and tiny gas tanks of the Firebirds was taking its toll. Speaking of high speed and taking tolls, I nearly rearended the TA in front of me when a log truck pulled out into the middle of our pack and we all had to drop from 90 to 50. Extreme pucker factor.

      http://www.yo...v=vGD3XpYmXCg
      Video: "Keep your foot off the goddamn [gas] pedal!"

      Just a few minutes before we reached our lunch location near the MS river, it bagan to rain. T-topped firebirds bailed off the highway to reattach their roofs. I was smugly making fun of them until my windshield wipers stopped working and *I* had to pull over to unstick 'em.

      Lunch was great, and full of good food and good company while the storm raged outside.


      http://i164.p...0212Small.jpg
      Photo: Lunch!

      At least the storm brought cooler temperatures.

      About the time we reached Greenwood MS, I decided we might as well gas up one more time, even though we didn't really NEED to just yet. When we pulled into the gas station, another Bandit Run car was there, driven by Dave and Joe. They were inspecting their tires. "Everything okay?" asked Reg, my big sister.

      "Nope... tires are making some kind of noise," was the reply. All four tires appeared to have air and good tread, though. Just then, a local, in a THICK Delta accent, pointed out that the back wheel was wobbling. Sure enough, there was only ONE LUG NUT holding the back left wheel on!

      "Well hell, that won't be any problem to fix. We'll just take a nut off each wheel, piece of cake. Dave (one of about 15 Daves on this trip) carefully drove the car to the diesel pumps so we'd have a dry out of the way place to work on his car. When I arrived with my tools, jack, and tire tool, his wheel was cocked at a funny angle, just abour ready to come off. In retrospect, perhaps not the best idea to move it any further.


      http://i164.p...0239Small.jpg
      Photo: Dave and Joe

      I used my jack to get the wheel up off the ground, and the tire was soon off. Two of the wheel studs were broken off entirely, and another was badly damaged. "Ok, the good news is that we can fix this; we can either pull wheel studs from the other wheels, or find a parts store here in town; it should be a pretty common item." In either case, I was ready to do whatever it took to help my fellow Bandidos get back on the road.

      About that time, however, the Restore A Musle Car guys (bringing up the rear, towing the support trailer) pulled in. There in the rain, we (and by "we" I mean the RAMC guys) changed out the wheelstuds like a NASCAR pit crew. It didn't take long, and we soon reclaimed our tools and everyone was able to get back on their way.


      http://i164.p...0229Small.jpg
      Photo: The Restore a Muscle Car guys leaping into action.

      The weather worsened. The Cheshire Cat doesn't have any sort of climate control. No heat, not cool, no defrost. Also, the weather stripping doesn't really work anymore either. In order to deal with the fogging windshield, Reg let down her window to equalize the temperature/humidity inside the car with the outside. Since I was soaked from dealing with Dave's wheel, I was freezing. I yelled at her to let the window up. "I don't care! I'll just wipe the windshield if I have to defog it! It's raining in my car over there!" I yelled over the wind noise and roar of the engine.

      "It's raining in your car in SEVERAL PLACES!" was Reg's reply. There wasn't exactly much I could say to that. smile image This hadn't been an issue in the desert West, so it was a problem we didn't really know about. So. I now have a keen appreciation for weather stripping. I think once the disk brakes are on, creature comforts are going to be next on The List.

      I huddled up in a ratty yellow blanket kept in the car for just this type of reason. "You know, Burt had a brand new car when he did this in the movie." Musta been nice.


      http://i164.p...0240Small.jpg
      Photo: Dignity dying an ignoble death as I huddle in my ratty yellow car blanket.

      Eventually, we reached Vanelli's restraunt in my home town of Tupelo MS. As we squished onto the back porch, the live band was playing "East Bound and Down," and a bunch of the Bandit Runners were already there. About 30 minutes later, Dave and Joe walked in, and we called them over to join us at our table. It turns out they're both writers, covering the run for certain mainstream media outlets that will remain nameless. smile image Their poor photographer (lost at the moment with a bunch of other cars) got hit by a bird as he hung out the t-top of the car he was in while trying to get a good photo. Poor guy, but eventually he dripped on into the restaurant. Dave and Joe absolutely INSISTED that they pay for our meal, which was incredibly gracious.


      http://i164.p...0249Small.jpg
      Photo: Joe and their photographer

      And then the band played "East Bound and Down" one last time, and we took that as our exit cue. I had, in fact, gotten to FINALLY get the pina colada I'd been craving for MONTHS, so Reg drove to a nearby hotel. It was sooooo nice to be warm and dry after a hot shower. smile image



      SLEEP!


      Bandit Run: Day Two

      At least today wasn't as hard as yesterday was.

      I gassed up (ahead of time!) and headed over to the Tupelo Automobile Museum where the Heart Of Dixie Firebird Association had made arrangments for everyone. They even cooked and served us lunch! BBQ. Reg won a tshirt in the raffle, by the way.

      Photo: Lunch! BBQ again, not that I'm complainin'
      http://i164.p...nch1Small.jpg
      http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u10/goodluckfox/BanditRunDayTwoLunch2Small.jpg

      The Auto Museum had a whole bunch of cool cars. The local news was there, interviewing folks about their cars. The reporter was rather attractive. smile image

      Photo: A bunch of Bandits
      http://i164.p...ditsSmall.jpg

      Photo: Just one of the many interesting cars at the museum. I had no idea that the Delorean's weight distribution was 60/40 rear/front.
      http://i164.p...reanSmall.jpg

      Photo: Tupelo Auto Museum and the Heart of Dixie Firebird Association really rolled out the red carpet for us.
      http://i164.p...seumSmall.jpg

      There were some burnouts and doughnuts in the vacant lot across the way.

      Video: Burnouts and donuts. (allow time for Youtube to process video)
      http://www.yo...v=RAteksgP87g

      I think best of all was the short trip from Tupelo to Birmingham. Several of the cars would race ahead to set up beside the road, at the top of a hill, or on an overpass, so that they could shoot the caravan as we drove past. Then they would hop back into their cars and race hell for leather to do it all over again, passing the entire pack in the pack. We were one big moving violation.

      Photo: The Hersheys are also amateur filmmakers, and are shooting the event.
      http://i164.p...sheySmall.jpg

      The highway patrol just waved and smiled as we passed them. Truckers all over the country are talking about us.

      Video: The convoy. I hope this gives some idea of the size of the pack. We are the World's Fastest Parade
      http://www.yo...v=uq8LrJjiW2s

      Some folks in a 2002 LT1 developed some sort of rear end trouble, and when the next few cars pulled in to checkk on them, everyone pretty much pulled over in front of a gas station/mobile home dealership. It was a good time to try and tighten the formation back up before heading into downtown Birmingham anyway, so people got out and mingled some more. Truckers were blowing their air horns at us and kids were waving, as there was a sea of Trans Ams, with a General Lee and a Cheshire Cat thrown into the mix for good measure.

      Photo: Lame LT
      http://i164.p...meLTSmall.jpg

      Photo: Mass Pullover
      http://i164.p...overSmall.jpg


      We finally reached our hotel; the guest services lady met us in the parking lot, and she made sure that a bunch of us who had been told that there was no room in the inn not only got in, but got the group rate. You rock, Guest Services Lady. Unfortunately as we were unloading the car, Reg stuffed the ceremonial can of Coors into my camera bag, and it busted, getting beer all over my my digital camera, which no longer wants to work. frown image I suspect I'll have to clean it with rubbing alcohol or something. At least the video camera still works. Hmm. Some experimenting shows that I can put my 1GB memory stick from my digital camera into my video camera. Exxxxxcellent, Smithers.

      We ate dinner at the hotel restraunt, and met some new people who were just joining up with us. Jeff, and his litle boy Brentley, just got their Trans Am back together. It didn't even have the seats reinstalled until after 4AM this morning, so we're damn glad to have them.

      Tomorrow morning, the most sadomasochistic of us are getting up at 5:45 in the morning to head over to someplace to do Good Morning Alabama or some such show. Not me, Jack. We'll be leaving for Atlanta at 9AM tmorrow morning, stopping for lunch in Talladega at the Superspeedway there. Supposedly, there's some surprises and such in store for us there. smile image I'm hoping it involves a lap around the track or some such.

      Sleep is fast overtaking me as I write this, and I still have to select the photos/videos I want to include.

      Edit: Up early the next morning, I've edited the video and selected the best photos. smile image Hope y'all are enjoying this...

      Robin

      Bandit Run: Day Three



      Wasn't this supposed to be the easiest leg of the run yet???

      Photo: And I was tired and worn out BEFORE the day even started! (I was cold and didn't have my jacket, so borrowed my sister's).
      http://i164.p...0372Small.jpg


      There was some confusion, I think, on the part of the hotel in Birmingham with regard to parking. Some of our people had to move their cars by 7AM or something retarded like that. I don't know the full story there, though.

      Video: Our supposedly "secure" parking (where "secure" means some old guy with a flashlight in a street level vacant lot that some of us had to be out of by 7AM the next morning)

      It was a bright, sunny day, and pleasantly cool. It was the prettiest weather yet for the Bandit Run, and once again, we raced hell for leather in a big line to Talladega Motor Speedway.

      Video: Pulling out, some of the trip, pulling into Talledga Motor Speedway, and Stuff Heard On Channel 19.
      http://www.yo...v=ugZElDxRFG0


      The museum at Talledega was really something. There was even a shrine to Dale Earnhardt. I'm not a big NASCAR fan. Why on earth would I want to watch somebody ELSE getting to drive fast, when I can do it myself?

      Video: Things At The Museum
      http://www.yo...v=RtKIzQTAsQ4

      Lunch was fried chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes; in other words, "home cookin'" Then again, we were in the heart of NASCAR country. smile image

      Photo: Lunch (in near infrared, because my Nightshot was turned on without me realizing it).
      http://i164.p...0390Small.jpg

      After lunch, the various magazines and other media types went aloft in a cherry picker to take some artistic photos (hopefully) of the entire pack of cars, with their drivers standing beside them. We'll have to see how that comes out.

      Then began the Leg From Hell.

      I had a bad feeling about this, as they say in just about any Star Wars movie. I needed gas, so I peeled off from the pack, and drove hard to catch back up. I gotta say that the CB radio paid for itself several times over in Smokey reports; I knew exactly where they'd be sitting, lying in wait for their unsuspecting prey. I would slow down from 90-100mph down to 65 or 70 and think slow, law abiding thoughts... at least until I was out of visual range. smile image

      I caught back up with the pack at the I20-I75 interchange, and got to enjoy Atlanta traffic. I'd forgotten how much I loathe Atlanta traffic... the Firebirds were able to nimbly weave through traffic. I had to resort to intimidation. smile image

      About ten miles short of our final destination (a grocery store parking lot where we would rendezvouz and form up with our police escort to the YearOne facility) traffic slowed to a stop, or at best a very slow crawl. Apparently, there was a terrible accident up ahead. According to the CB, an RV was turned into toothpicks, and there may have been fatalities and vehicle fires. It was a big ole mess. A few of us made a gamble that a surface street would get us to where we wanted... but the locals all knew about it, and it was rush hour anyway, so we wound up getting just as stuck on the two lane road as we had been on the interstate. Those of us with temperature gauges watched the needles climbing higher and higher. Mine didn'g get above 220, but my engine was starting to miss and run rough (I suspect that heat was messing with the timing, as when I shifted into neutral and changed the load on the engine, the RPMs picked up and it ran fine).

      When we turned around at the gas station to plot our next move, I misgauged how uneven the ground was, and wound up tearing loose the back right corner of my tailpanel. frown image

      Photo: Now my tailpanel matches my front valence
      http://i164.p...0393Small.jpg
      http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u10/goodluckfox/DSC00394Small.jpg

      Since we were only a few miles (so near yet so far) from where we wanted to be, I just decided to cancel the reservations at the other hotel and cast about in the immediate vicinity. That way, my car, my frazzle nerves, and the accident would all have time to cool down, calm down, or otherwise get worked out. I found a Holiday Inn Express, grabbed a burger, and took like a seven hour shower. I also discovered that my beersoaked digital camera has decided to start working again, so yay!

      In the morning, it's going to be off to the YearOne Experience. YearOne is a company that specializes in the restoration and parts of classic muscle cars. Some of the people from the TV show "Overhaulin'" will be there, Burt Reynolds was supposed to be there as welll, but apparently he came down with an ear infection. (We'd heard that "he was hospitalized and wasn't expected to make it, no word on what was wrong with him," and thought he was DYING... heh). After a few hours at YearOne, it's time to head back home, and get back to my regularly scheduled crazy life. smile image


      Bandit Run: Day Four



      Let's hear it for road fatigue. It's hard to write interesting stuff when your brain feels like oatmeal. I shall give it the old college try, however.

      Friday morning we left for the Road Atlanta track, which was hosting the Year One Experience. Collectively, we Bandit Runners made up a "Guest of Honor. We were set up down on the skid pad (an enormous flat circle used to test cars handling). The folks from Hot Rod TV and some others were shooting video... whenever they would get to the Cheshire Cat, they would rapidly pan the camera across her to move on to the next car. True, I've got a busted valence and she's not a Firebird (Bandit package or otherwise), but still. frown image Several spectators were shocked. "You made that trip? In THAT car???" Dammit, don't sound so surprised frown image Lots of people did complement her, however. It's funny; the Transams on either side elicited comments of "I had that car/a car like that when I was in high school," whereas the Cheshire Cat elicted comments like "My Dad had this car!" I guess evoking memories of summer road trip vacations in the late 60s to see the moon launches is as good as evoking memories of the senior prom in the late 70s.

      Photo: Bandit Run set up down on the skid pad.
      http://i164.p...dPadSmall.jpg



      There was a racetrack, of course, and for a paltry two hundred bucks (and a required tech inspection of your vehicle), you could get classroom instruction, a few laps with an instructor in a van, and then 20 minutes of track time in your car. I seriously considered it. However, Widetrack or no, discretion seemed the better part of valor. Would my tires stick to the track? My car is awfully big to be zipping around... she'd look like a C130 Hercules trying to do aerobatics. Then there's my drum brakes, the fact that there's almost no feedback through the heavily power-assisted steering, and last but certainly not least, the front end suspension hasn't been redone in damn near 40 years. So. Not THIS time.

      Video: The track. This is what I considered doing, until I thought better of it.
      http://www.yo...v=StuWCqEfQWI


      So, while the whole herd of 1977 TAs made a ceremonial lap around the track for the media, I headed down to the track to the chassis dyno to find out just what my car was capable of (dynomometers measure horsepower and torque that a car can deliver to the wheels, which are the only numbers that matter).

      Video: The Cheshire Cat goes to the Dyno!
      http://www.yo...v=0oWGwKFjODo


      The results? Horsepower: 245 hp at 4400rpm. Torque: 360 footpounds. The Dyno guy was shocked the car was even running. "Your air/fuel ratio is BAD lean. There's all sorts of horsepower that you could get by tuning your carb." My A/F ratio was never south of 14 to 1, and was pretty much off the charts. She runs almost exclusively on air, it would seem.

      While she was getting dynoed, the 77s were doing their laps around the track. When they were done, they lined up for some reason or other (prolly something photo op related), leaving some of my new friends just on the other side of a chain link fence from where I was waiting by the dyno. Shain described it as a "go-kart track for grownups." They had a blast.

      Photo: Bandit TAs making their laps
      http://i164.p...ackCSmall.jpg

      Photo: Buddies just across the fence
      http://i164.p...rackSmall.jpg

      Photo: Waiting on some photo ops
      http://i164.p...ackbSmall.jpg


      In addition to all the track events, there were vendors selling tools, parts, garage organization systems, a car show, and all sorts of performance and restoration related goods and services. However, the Year One Experience isn't what we came for. This trip wasn't about the destination, but it was literally about the journey; my big sister and myself recreating the route that an outlaw hero took in one of our culture's most beloved movies.

      Photo: Organizer Dave Hershey being helped by another Bandit Runner's little girl.
      http://i164.p...veHershey.jpg

      We said goodbye to everyone, all the great friends we've made over the course of the trip. I made sure to thank Dave and Lori Hershey, the organizers of the Bandit Run, and asked if we were going to do it again.

      "I don't know," he replied. "I might could go for some clam chowder though," finished with a grin.

      As we were literally driving off the skidpad, a guy walked up to my car, and told me that he was parting out a car just like this one, and asked if there was anything I needed. smile image Needless to say, I got his card and contact info. The car is located in Athens GA. Yay for parts cars!

      The trip home ws relatively uneventful, other than finding out that I have no tail lights. I knew I had no dashboard instrument lights other than the high beam and turn signal indicators, but I had no idea I had no tail lights. Brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights all function fine, but when I flip on the headlights, the 20 amp fuse would blow. I gave up after the third time, and drove through the deserted Mississippi highways with my fourways flashing, arriving home at about 2:30 AM.

      Since everything is a learning experience, what did I learn from this trip? I learned to appreciate things like defrost, heat, and weather stripping to keep the rain out. I learned that I'm not willing to put up with no instrument lights, and I'm sick and tired of my driver's door window being off track. I learned that the car hobby seems to keep people young; Dane's mother looked as if she was 25 years younger than she really was, Shaine is about as old as Dad was, and Dave the Reporter was much older than he looked. I learned what my horsepower and torque were, and that I've got a freakishly lean air/fuel mixture. I learned that under-hood heat messes with the vaporization of fuel through the carb (thanks Rick!) when idling along at a crawl. I learned that CB radios will pay for themselves umpteen times over in the course of a single trip by pointing out exactly where Smokey is hiding, and that the cops will just wave and smile as you blow past them at 100mph if you're part of a pack of classic muscle cars. (Apparently, Corvette convoys do not get the same treatment.)

      I am damn glad to be home, and look forward to doing things over the summer... I'll get back to y'all on what those things might be as soon as I figure it out for my own self. smile image
       

       

      Edited May 21, 2007 at 12:36 am

    2. #2 May 21, 2007 at 3:37 am

      crazyTAlover’s Profile Photo
      crazyTAlover
      Total posts: 144
      Send Message
      What a great blog. The info and the pics together really paint a great picture of the run. You did an awesome job. Thanks, Jason
       

       

      1981 Black/Black Orange Bird Trans Am
      1998 Black/Graphite LS1 M6 Trans Am
      1999 Dodge Ram 4x4 Black
      1981 Porsche 928 Platinum
      1995 BMW Convertible

      www.altusmotorheads.com
    3. #3 May 21, 2007 at 7:59 am

      bandit77’s Profile Photo
      bandit77
      Total posts: 149
      Send Message
      Awesome!!! Thank you for posting!

      dh
       

       

      David and Lori Hershey
      Keller, Texas
      1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition
      58,000 original miles
    4. #4 May 21, 2007 at 9:22 am

      rmpitzer’s Profile Photo
      rmpitzer
      Total posts: 18
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      I can't thank you enough for this blog, the photos and the video.

      -Rich
       

       

      -Rich
      1997 Trans Am
    5. #5 May 21, 2007 at 10:21 am

      GARY2XS’s Profile Photo
      GARY2XS
      Total posts: 33
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      Thank you so much for the blog. I relived the whole trip again while reading it, and yes, we were one of the ones pulling off the road to put in the tops, but it was all in fun. We met a lot of nice people and made lots of new friends.
      Stay in touch!!!
      Brenda and Gary
      West Palm Beach
      2002 Blue WS6
       

       

      Gary
      2002 Navy Blue Metallic WS6 Stock with bird Auto
      1976 White 455 4 Spd 32000 orig miles
      1976 White 400 Auto 65000 orig miles (being restored)
      2005 Ford F-150 Blue / Grey 4X4 Flareside
    6. #6 May 21, 2007 at 11:11 am

      SHAIN’s Profile Photo
      SHAIN
      Total posts: 53
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      Quote:
      Originally posted by goodluckfox  These are the posts I made to my personal blog about the Bandit Run. I thought I might ought to share them with y'all. I hope you enjoy reading it.

      Bandit Run: Day Zero

      Charles, it's entirely TOO late for me to be calling to let you know what time things are getting a move on. With that in mind, Registration is going to get started around 7AM in the morning, and the plan is for everyone to start rolling out at 10:00 AM in the morning. FYI. smile image

      So, yeah, I got to meet Charles! I was rolling up, and according to him, he saw my valence and said, "Hey... I *know* that car!" He walked up to me as our cars were lining up to get our pictures taken with the Big Damn Coors Truck and asked if I was, in fact, Robin Hood. smile image He has a lovely live and two great kids, and it was great to meet him. I'm sorry that he's working in the morning and can't see everyone off.

      The day started late (of course). I had done some minor elective surgery on the Cheshire Cat, messing with the electrical system of the Cat; the side marker lights had never been hooked up, and the driver's front signal wasn't working. I decided to splice things together, and apparently made a hash of it; while the signals did, in fact, work, the next morning, the car wouldn't crank. I immediately figured that I must have shorted something and run the battery down, so out came the charger, and I disconnected the spade connectors I'd crimped onto the wires of the marker lights.... and the car cranked right up, almost as if the battery was fine. So. I'm thinking I must have shorted something. It's okay, I guess I don't REALLY need the side markers until later.

      I stopped at Wally World on the way out of town to pick up a Car Electrical Repair Kit to go with my existing toolbox, and picked up a Booster Box (one of those portable jump-your-car-off-boxes so that you don't need to move another car in nose to nose with the dead vehicle). I also picked up some cling-on window tiinting... for the USB webcam I've attached to my rearview mirror, facing forward. I plan on recording the run on my laptop. smile image I doubt the mike will pic up antthing other than the engine's roar, but maybe I can speed it up and set the thing to Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down."

      When we got to the hotel in Texarkana, there were a bunch of Car Guys(tm) with their TAs and FIrebirds backed into the parking places in the parking lot. Even with her paint job, the CHeshire Cat was far outshined by the all the shiny red and black cars. smile image But everyone really liked my car, and LOVED the way she sounded. A local attorney (easily in his fifties or sixties) was dressed up as junior, and his father was playing the role of Buford T Justice. I got pictures and video of them (and a bunch of other stuff) and if it wasn't so damn late and I wasn't so damn tired, I'd work it all up into a short multimedia video or something. But. Sleep calls. smile image

      We all hung around and visitated, got cleaned up, and headed to the Texarkana Auto Museum for snacks and a showing of Smokey and the Bandit. We're heading back in the morning for the rendezvous and heading out. We'll be tracing a route similar to the one that Bandit and Snowman took in the movie. It was a movie, of course, so they didn't REALLY run those roads, and even if they had, those roads are now 4 lane interstates instead of 2 lane blactop, but they've made us a route that's true in spirit to the movie. My CB radio is working great, and I'm really looking forward to this.

      I promise pictures and videos and whatnot. Just not right now. smile image

      Robin

      Here's a taste, if and when Youtube clears it...
      http://www.yo...v=wdcW3QZ3_HI

      Jackson MS (home) was on the way to Texarkana, so I stopped by and fed my fish.



      Bandit Run: Day One

      I woke up, shaking the cobwebs from my eyes and fuzz from my brain. 7AM sure comes early when you've been driving hard the day before. I tried to give my big sister a bit more rack time by going down to the lobby, and using the hotel's wireless internet connection to check email and make a blog post.

      I hijacked a bellman's cart, and got the car loaded, and Shain (77 black and gold TransAm, uh, like that narrows it down) followed us back to the TexArk Auto Museum, which was our official jumping off point. The Restore A Muscle Car guys were set up in a tent hangling registration, and we soon had our packets, badges, tshirts, and iteneraries. The "con book" has big maps taken from Google Maps that show the route we're supposed to take to the next event.

      It was quite an impromptu car show; there were more Firebirds than you could shake a stick at, a couple of GTOs (both old and new), the General Lee, and the Cheshire Cat. The Cat got tons of compliments. Most of them seemed to start out with "My Dad had this car!" or at least one very similar. smile image


      http://i164.p...0133Small.jpg
      Photo: Some of the cars

      The mayors of Texarkana came out see us off; there's a mayor for the Texas side and a mayor for the Louisiana side. That must play merry hell with their legal systems (common law and civil law) and Conflicts of Law situations. Mr Barnette and his father were back again, dressed as Junior and Sheriff Buford T. Justice. We also had a real police presence; the lady sheriff from the Texas side, and an Arkansas state trooper was there to provide us with a police escort.

      http://i164.p...0104Small.jpg
      Photo: Me assuming the position

      I seemed to have blown a fuse, so now the cigarette lighter I installed doesn't work anymore, meaning I can't run my inverter to power my laptop, so my webcam clamped onto my rearview mirror facing forward won't be recording any video this trip. frown image frown image frown image And I had planned to record the trip and compress it all down to 3 and a half minutes, sped up and set to the tune of "East Bound and Down." Crap.

      http://i164.p...0143Small.jpg
      Photo: Working on the fuse box...

      When the time finally came, the better part of 100 cars filed out of the parking lot. We were each handed a ceremonial can of Coors beer. Supposedly, the graphics on the cans were the old style from back in the 70's. We were given a police escort out of town, and were towards the rear of the pack; we could see the line of cars stretching majesticly into the distance. People were waving and semis were blowing their air horns. It was beautiful country, with nary a sign of human habitation.

      http://i164.p...0196Small.jpg
      Photo: Ceremonial Can of Coors

      http://i164.p...0228Small.jpg
      Photo: Line of cars

      Naturally, I had forgotten in all the excitement to gas my car up the night before. I was perilously close to 1/4 tank, which means "empty" on my car until I can figure out how to recalibrate my gas needle. At long last I spotted a Texaco, and I broke out of the train... but all the pumps were out of order! "NO!!!!" I wailed, thwarted, and immediatly accused Mother in absentia of PRAYING at us again. A guy walked up to where I'd stopped the car at the pumps. He'd been watching all the cool cars go past.

      "WHY are the pumps out of order? I'm running on fumes."

      "Lightning struck the pumps last Thursday night. Knocked 'em all out." Yep. Sounds like Mom allright, calling in favors from the Allmighty in an effort to make us give up early and forget this sort of tomfoolery. The guy did give us directions to a gas station in town, though.

      Once we were properly fueled, (and I was kicking myself for making such a stupid mistake), it was pedal-to-the-metal to catch back up with the convoy, which I did in Magnolia Arkansas, where the plan was to leave the highway to do a loop around the town square. I had to come in from a side street and ran the police road block to join back up. The townsfolk were out with cameras and waving. Over the CB somebody made the comment that this was prolly the most excitment Magnolia has seen in a long time. The local police gave us an escort all the way out of town, blcoking the intersections, etc.

      Fun fact: a convoy of cool cars can get away with speeding... but if you're a lone singleton, you're just a random speeding ****. Moral: stay with the pack. smile image

      http://www.yo...v=VbGmsER7eMM
      Video: Running with the pack. The General Lee makes an appearance at the end.
      (videos may take some time to process on YouTube)

      Several cars had to drop out on the way to our lunch destination; the high speed (90+) and tiny gas tanks of the Firebirds was taking its toll. Speaking of high speed and taking tolls, I nearly rearended the TA in front of me when a log truck pulled out into the middle of our pack and we all had to drop from 90 to 50. Extreme pucker factor.

      http://www.yo...v=vGD3XpYmXCg
      Video: "Keep your foot off the goddamn [gas] pedal!"

      Just a few minutes before we reached our lunch location near the MS river, it bagan to rain. T-topped firebirds bailed off the highway to reattach their roofs. I was smugly making fun of them until my windshield wipers stopped working and *I* had to pull over to unstick 'em.

      Lunch was great, and full of good food and good company while the storm raged outside.


      http://i164.p...0212Small.jpg
      Photo: Lunch!

      At least the storm brought cooler temperatures.

      About the time we reached Greenwood MS, I decided we might as well gas up one more time, even though we didn't really NEED to just yet. When we pulled into the gas station, another Bandit Run car was there, driven by Dave and Joe. They were inspecting their tires. "Everything okay?" asked Reg, my big sister.

      "Nope... tires are making some kind of noise," was the reply. All four tires appeared to have air and good tread, though. Just then, a local, in a THICK Delta accent, pointed out that the back wheel was wobbling. Sure enough, there was only ONE LUG NUT holding the back left wheel on!

      "Well hell, that won't be any problem to fix. We'll just take a nut off each wheel, piece of cake. Dave (one of about 15 Daves on this trip) carefully drove the car to the diesel pumps so we'd have a dry out of the way place to work on his car. When I arrived with my tools, jack, and tire tool, his wheel was cocked at a funny angle, just abour ready to come off. In retrospect, perhaps not the best idea to move it any further.


      http://i164.p...0239Small.jpg
      Photo: Dave and Joe

      I used my jack to get the wheel up off the ground, and the tire was soon off. Two of the wheel studs were broken off entirely, and another was badly damaged. "Ok, the good news is that we can fix this; we can either pull wheel studs from the other wheels, or find a parts store here in town; it should be a pretty common item." In either case, I was ready to do whatever it took to help my fellow Bandidos get back on the road.

      About that time, however, the Restore A Musle Car guys (bringing up the rear, towing the support trailer) pulled in. There in the rain, we (and by "we" I mean the RAMC guys) changed out the wheelstuds like a NASCAR pit crew. It didn't take long, and we soon reclaimed our tools and everyone was able to get back on their way.


      http://i164.p...0229Small.jpg
      Photo: The Restore a Muscle Car guys leaping into action.

      The weather worsened. The Cheshire Cat doesn't have any sort of climate control. No heat, not cool, no defrost. Also, the weather stripping doesn't really work anymore either. In order to deal with the fogging windshield, Reg let down her window to equalize the temperature/humidity inside the car with the outside. Since I was soaked from dealing with Dave's wheel, I was freezing. I yelled at her to let the window up. "I don't care! I'll just wipe the windshield if I have to defog it! It's raining in my car over there!" I yelled over the wind noise and roar of the engine.

      "It's raining in your car in SEVERAL PLACES!" was Reg's reply. There wasn't exactly much I could say to that. smile image This hadn't been an issue in the desert West, so it was a problem we didn't really know about. So. I now have a keen appreciation for weather stripping. I think once the disk brakes are on, creature comforts are going to be next on The List.

      I huddled up in a ratty yellow blanket kept in the car for just this type of reason. "You know, Burt had a brand new car when he did this in the movie." Musta been nice.


      http://i164.p...0240Small.jpg
      Photo: Dignity dying an ignoble death as I huddle in my ratty yellow car blanket.

      Eventually, we reached Vanelli's restraunt in my home town of Tupelo MS. As we squished onto the back porch, the live band was playing "East Bound and Down," and a bunch of the Bandit Runners were already there. About 30 minutes later, Dave and Joe walked in, and we called them over to join us at our table. It turns out they're both writers, covering the run for certain mainstream media outlets that will remain nameless. smile image Their poor photographer (lost at the moment with a bunch of other cars) got hit by a bird as he hung out the t-top of the car he was in while trying to get a good photo. Poor guy, but eventually he dripped on into the restaurant. Dave and Joe absolutely INSISTED that they pay for our meal, which was incredibly gracious.


      http://i164.p...0249Small.jpg
      Photo: Joe and their photographer

      And then the band played "East Bound and Down" one last time, and we took that as our exit cue. I had, in fact, gotten to FINALLY get the pina colada I'd been craving for MONTHS, so Reg drove to a nearby hotel. It was sooooo nice to be warm and dry after a hot shower. smile image



      SLEEP!


      Bandit Run: Day Two

      At least today wasn't as hard as yesterday was.

      I gassed up (ahead of time!) and headed over to the Tupelo Automobile Museum where the Heart Of Dixie Firebird Association had made arrangments for everyone. They even cooked and served us lunch! BBQ. Reg won a tshirt in the raffle, by the way.

      Photo: Lunch! BBQ again, not that I'm complainin'
      http://i164.p...nch1Small.jpg
      http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u10/goodluckfox/BanditRunDayTwoLunch2Small.jpg

      The Auto Museum had a whole bunch of cool cars. The local news was there, interviewing folks about their cars. The reporter was rather attractive. smile image

      Photo: A bunch of Bandits
      http://i164.p...ditsSmall.jpg

      Photo: Just one of the many interesting cars at the museum. I had no idea that the Delorean's weight distribution was 60/40 rear/front.
      http://i164.p...reanSmall.jpg

      Photo: Tupelo Auto Museum and the Heart of Dixie Firebird Association really rolled out the red carpet for us.
      http://i164.p...seumSmall.jpg

      There were some burnouts and doughnuts in the vacant lot across the way.

      Video: Burnouts and donuts. (allow time for Youtube to process video)
      http://www.yo...v=RAteksgP87g

      I think best of all was the short trip from Tupelo to Birmingham. Several of the cars would race ahead to set up beside the road, at the top of a hill, or on an overpass, so that they could shoot the caravan as we drove past. Then they would hop back into their cars and race hell for leather to do it all over again, passing the entire pack in the pack. We were one big moving violation.

      Photo: The Hersheys are also amateur filmmakers, and are shooting the event.
      http://i164.p...sheySmall.jpg

      The highway patrol just waved and smiled as we passed them. Truckers all over the country are talking about us.

      Video: The convoy. I hope this gives some idea of the size of the pack. We are the World's Fastest Parade
      http://www.yo...v=uq8LrJjiW2s

      Some folks in a 2002 LT1 developed some sort of rear end trouble, and when the next few cars pulled in to checkk on them, everyone pretty much pulled over in front of a gas station/mobile home dealership. It was a good time to try and tighten the formation back up before heading into downtown Birmingham anyway, so people got out and mingled some more. Truckers were blowing their air horns at us and kids were waving, as there was a sea of Trans Ams, with a General Lee and a Cheshire Cat thrown into the mix for good measure.

      Photo: Lame LT
      http://i164.p...meLTSmall.jpg

      Photo: Mass Pullover
      http://i164.p...overSmall.jpg


      We finally reached our hotel; the guest services lady met us in the parking lot, and she made sure that a bunch of us who had been told that there was no room in the inn not only got in, but got the group rate. You rock, Guest Services Lady. Unfortunately as we were unloading the car, Reg stuffed the ceremonial can of Coors into my camera bag, and it busted, getting beer all over my my digital camera, which no longer wants to work. frown image I suspect I'll have to clean it with rubbing alcohol or something. At least the video camera still works. Hmm. Some experimenting shows that I can put my 1GB memory stick from my digital camera into my video camera. Exxxxxcellent, Smithers.

      We ate dinner at the hotel restraunt, and met some new people who were just joining up with us. Jeff, and his litle boy Brentley, just got their Trans Am back together. It didn't even have the seats reinstalled until after 4AM this morning, so we're damn glad to have them.

      Tomorrow morning, the most sadomasochistic of us are getting up at 5:45 in the morning to head over to someplace to do Good Morning Alabama or some such show. Not me, Jack. We'll be leaving for Atlanta at 9AM tmorrow morning, stopping for lunch in Talladega at the Superspeedway there. Supposedly, there's some surprises and such in store for us there. smile image I'm hoping it involves a lap around the track or some such.

      Sleep is fast overtaking me as I write this, and I still have to select the photos/videos I want to include.

      Edit: Up early the next morning, I've edited the video and selected the best photos. smile image Hope y'all are enjoying this...

      Robin

      Bandit Run: Day Three



      Wasn't this supposed to be the easiest leg of the run yet???

      Photo: And I was tired and worn out BEFORE the day even started! (I was cold and didn't have my jacket, so borrowed my sister's).
      http://i164.p...0372Small.jpg


      There was some confusion, I think, on the part of the hotel in Birmingham with regard to parking. Some of our people had to move their cars by 7AM or something retarded like that. I don't know the full story there, though.

      Video: Our supposedly "secure" parking (where "secure" means some old guy with a flashlight in a street level vacant lot that some of us had to be out of by 7AM the next morning)

      It was a bright, sunny day, and pleasantly cool. It was the prettiest weather yet for the Bandit Run, and once again, we raced hell for leather in a big line to Talladega Motor Speedway.

      Video: Pulling out, some of the trip, pulling into Talledga Motor Speedway, and Stuff Heard On Channel 19.
      http://www.yo...v=ugZElDxRFG0


      The museum at Talledega was really something. There was even a shrine to Dale Earnhardt. I'm not a big NASCAR fan. Why on earth would I want to watch somebody ELSE getting to drive fast, when I can do it myself?

      Video: Things At The Museum
      http://www.yo...v=RtKIzQTAsQ4

      Lunch was fried chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes; in other words, "home cookin'" Then again, we were in the heart of NASCAR country. smile image

      Photo: Lunch (in near infrared, because my Nightshot was turned on without me realizing it).
      http://i164.p...0390Small.jpg

      After lunch, the various magazines and other media types went aloft in a cherry picker to take some artistic photos (hopefully) of the entire pack of cars, with their drivers standing beside them. We'll have to see how that comes out.

      Then began the Leg From Hell.

      I had a bad feeling about this, as they say in just about any Star Wars movie. I needed gas, so I peeled off from the pack, and drove hard to catch back up. I gotta say that the CB radio paid for itself several times over in Smokey reports; I knew exactly where they'd be sitting, lying in wait for their unsuspecting prey. I would slow down from 90-100mph down to 65 or 70 and think slow, law abiding thoughts... at least until I was out of visual range. smile image

      I caught back up with the pack at the I20-I75 interchange, and got to enjoy Atlanta traffic. I'd forgotten how much I loathe Atlanta traffic... the Firebirds were able to nimbly weave through traffic. I had to resort to intimidation. smile image

      About ten miles short of our final destination (a grocery store parking lot where we would rendezvouz and form up with our police escort to the YearOne facility) traffic slowed to a stop, or at best a very slow crawl. Apparently, there was a terrible accident up ahead. According to the CB, an RV was turned into toothpicks, and there may have been fatalities and vehicle fires. It was a big ole mess. A few of us made a gamble that a surface street would get us to where we wanted... but the locals all knew about it, and it was rush hour anyway, so we wound up getting just as stuck on the two lane road as we had been on the interstate. Those of us with temperature gauges watched the needles climbing higher and higher. Mine didn'g get above 220, but my engine was starting to miss and run rough (I suspect that heat was messing with the timing, as when I shifted into neutral and changed the load on the engine, the RPMs picked up and it ran fine).

      When we turned around at the gas station to plot our next move, I misgauged how uneven the ground was, and wound up tearing loose the back right corner of my tailpanel. frown image

      Photo: Now my tailpanel matches my front valence
      http://i164.p...0393Small.jpg
      http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u10/goodluckfox/DSC00394Small.jpg

      Since we were only a few miles (so near yet so far) from where we wanted to be, I just decided to cancel the reservations at the other hotel and cast about in the immediate vicinity. That way, my car, my frazzle nerves, and the accident would all have time to cool down, calm down, or otherwise get worked out. I found a Holiday Inn Express, grabbed a burger, and took like a seven hour shower. I also discovered that my beersoaked digital camera has decided to start working again, so yay!

      In the morning, it's going to be off to the YearOne Experience. YearOne is a company that specializes in the restoration and parts of classic muscle cars. Some of the people from the TV show "Overhaulin'" will be there, Burt Reynolds was supposed to be there as welll, but apparently he came down with an ear infection. (We'd heard that "he was hospitalized and wasn't expected to make it, no word on what was wrong with him," and thought he was DYING... heh). After a few hours at YearOne, it's time to head back home, and get back to my regularly scheduled crazy life. smile image


      Bandit Run: Day Four



      Let's hear it for road fatigue. It's hard to write interesting stuff when your brain feels like oatmeal. I shall give it the old college try, however.

      Friday morning we left for the Road Atlanta track, which was hosting the Year One Experience. Collectively, we Bandit Runners made up a "Guest of Honor. We were set up down on the skid pad (an enormous flat circle used to test cars handling). The folks from Hot Rod TV and some others were shooting video... whenever they would get to the Cheshire Cat, they would rapidly pan the camera across her to move on to the next car. True, I've got a busted valence and she's not a Firebird (Bandit package or otherwise), but still. frown image Several spectators were shocked. "You made that trip? In THAT car???" Dammit, don't sound so surprised frown image Lots of people did complement her, however. It's funny; the Transams on either side elicited comments of "I had that car/a car like that when I was in high school," whereas the Cheshire Cat elicted comments like "My Dad had this car!" I guess evoking memories of summer road trip vacations in the late 60s to see the moon launches is as good as evoking memories of the senior prom in the late 70s.

      Photo: Bandit Run set up down on the skid pad.
      http://i164.p...dPadSmall.jpg



      There was a racetrack, of course, and for a paltry two hundred bucks (and a required tech inspection of your vehicle), you could get classroom instruction, a few laps with an instructor in a van, and then 20 minutes of track time in your car. I seriously considered it. However, Widetrack or no, discretion seemed the better part of valor. Would my tires stick to the track? My car is awfully big to be zipping around... she'd look like a C130 Hercules trying to do aerobatics. Then there's my drum brakes, the fact that there's almost no feedback through the heavily power-assisted steering, and last but certainly not least, the front end suspension hasn't been redone in damn near 40 years. So. Not THIS time.

      Video: The track. This is what I considered doing, until I thought better of it.
      http://www.yo...v=StuWCqEfQWI


      So, while the whole herd of 1977 TAs made a ceremonial lap around the track for the media, I headed down to the track to the chassis dyno to find out just what my car was capable of (dynomometers measure horsepower and torque that a car can deliver to the wheels, which are the only numbers that matter).

      Video: The Cheshire Cat goes to the Dyno!
      http://www.yo...v=0oWGwKFjODo


      The results? Horsepower: 245 hp at 4400rpm. Torque: 360 footpounds. The Dyno guy was shocked the car was even running. "Your air/fuel ratio is BAD lean. There's all sorts of horsepower that you could get by tuning your carb." My A/F ratio was never south of 14 to 1, and was pretty much off the charts. She runs almost exclusively on air, it would seem.

      While she was getting dynoed, the 77s were doing their laps around the track. When they were done, they lined up for some reason or other (prolly something photo op related), leaving some of my new friends just on the other side of a chain link fence from where I was waiting by the dyno. Shain described it as a "go-kart track for grownups." They had a blast.

      Photo: Bandit TAs making their laps
      http://i164.p...ackCSmall.jpg

      Photo: Buddies just across the fence
      http://i164.p...rackSmall.jpg

      Photo: Waiting on some photo ops
      http://i164.p...ackbSmall.jpg


      In addition to all the track events, there were vendors selling tools, parts, garage organization systems, a car show, and all sorts of performance and restoration related goods and services. However, the Year One Experience isn't what we came for. This trip wasn't about the destination, but it was literally about the journey; my big sister and myself recreating the route that an outlaw hero took in one of our culture's most beloved movies.

      Photo: Organizer Dave Hershey being helped by another Bandit Runner's little girl.
      http://i164.p...veHershey.jpg

      We said goodbye to everyone, all the great friends we've made over the course of the trip. I made sure to thank Dave and Lori Hershey, the organizers of the Bandit Run, and asked if we were going to do it again.

      "I don't know," he replied. "I might could go for some clam chowder though," finished with a grin.

      As we were literally driving off the skidpad, a guy walked up to my car, and told me that he was parting out a car just like this one, and asked if there was anything I needed. smile image Needless to say, I got his card and contact info. The car is located in Athens GA. Yay for parts cars!

      The trip home ws relatively uneventful, other than finding out that I have no tail lights. I knew I had no dashboard instrument lights other than the high beam and turn signal indicators, but I had no idea I had no tail lights. Brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights all function fine, but when I flip on the headlights, the 20 amp fuse would blow. I gave up after the third time, and drove through the deserted Mississippi highways with my fourways flashing, arriving home at about 2:30 AM.

      Since everything is a learning experience, what did I learn from this trip? I learned to appreciate things like defrost, heat, and weather stripping to keep the rain out. I learned that I'm not willing to put up with no instrument lights, and I'm sick and tired of my driver's door window being off track. I learned that the car hobby seems to keep people young; Dane's mother looked as if she was 25 years younger than she really was, Shaine is about as old as Dad was, and Dave the Reporter was much older than he looked. I learned what my horsepower and torque were, and that I've got a freakishly lean air/fuel mixture. I learned that under-hood heat messes with the vaporization of fuel through the carb (thanks Rick!) when idling along at a crawl. I learned that CB radios will pay for themselves umpteen times over in the course of a single trip by pointing out exactly where Smokey is hiding, and that the cops will just wave and smile as you blow past them at 100mph if you're part of a pack of classic muscle cars. (Apparently, Corvette convoys do not get the same treatment.)

      I am damn glad to be home, and look forward to doing things over the summer... I'll get back to y'all on what those things might be as soon as I figure it out for my own self. smile image
       

       

    7. #7 May 21, 2007 at 11:19 am

      SHAIN’s Profile Photo
      SHAIN
      Total posts: 53
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      robin and regina, your chesire cat will live forever with those of us who participated in the BANDIT RUN. I'm sure all of us with the black TA'S were looking in our rear view mirrors just to make sure you were still there. It was an amazing trip for all of us. I have new freinds from every where. will follow up with pics.
       

       

    8. #8 May 21, 2007 at 11:19 am

      SHAIN’s Profile Photo
      SHAIN
      Total posts: 53
      Send Message
      robin and regina, your chesire cat will live forever with those of us who participated in the BANDIT RUN. I'm sure all of us with the black TA'S were looking in our rear view mirrors just to make sure you were still there. It was an amazing trip for all of us. I have new freinds from every where. will follow up with pics.
       

       

    9. #9 May 21, 2007 at 12:48 pm

      marksta’s Profile Photo
      marksta
      Total posts: 261
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      It was a pleasure meeting the both of you, along with the whole Bandit Run crew. We could only run from Birmingham on, but man what an experience. Memories and friends to last a life time.

      Remember "May the torque be with you"

      Mark
       

       

      Keep on Pontiyakkin'

      Mark

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    Forums > Discuss The 2007 Bandit Run > My Bandit Run Blog Posts

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