Well, this is the first communique from Steve and I as we prepare the car and ourselves for the 2nd Trans America Rally.
Our journey from Cleveland Ohio to Halifax in Nova Scotia, some 1500 kms, was a good test for the car that Steve has been working on since the 5th of May.
Cleveland is not the safest city in the US and he had some interesting experiences during his stay from a workshop that was adjoining a whorehouse on one side and a crackhouse on the other. Apparently these places were busy 24 hours a day.
He had to lock himself in the garage to avoid being noticed. Difficult for Steve as his is usually noticeable. Quite an experience.
It took Steve all of three weeks to do the essentials plus fit the car with the equipment required on this trip. Seat belts, springs, special wiring for the GPS, trip meters, screen mounted camera,new car station, mud flaps and on and on. He is a perfectionist with a passion to make sure that there will not be any failures.
This proved to be the case as we made our way north east.
Stayed in some interesting towns en-route including Rhode Island. Met some interesting people on the way when enquiring for directions. Lots of laughs and a good time.
The car ran very well with few issues until we ran into the most atrocious weather traveling from St John to Halifax in Nova Scotia. It just bucketed down and the temperature plunged to 4-5 degrees.
Identified two minor matters that involved windscreen wipers and demisting as well the vulnerability of the navigator when trying to find the hotel venue in rush hour traffic in a city you’ve never been in before, and in fading light. This the navigators excuse anyway. It was hard work and we were exhausted.
All went well though and we had little difficulty getting to the hotel.
Wednesday was a rest day
Last night we ran into some of the drivers in this competition who we had met during the P to P rally. A great night ensued during which we traded stories of what had happened since the last adventure. A few beers were consumed.
This morning we went about ensuring that the various moving parts of the car were up to scratch, with Steve arranging a hoist at a garage nearby. The mechanics were most helpful and as had happened on the entire trip so far the assistance has been terrific. Lots of admiring looks and comments being expressed.
We also began affixing the decals and stickers to the car, the allocated numbers and some identification decals. We have blessed the car with the name Betty. An appropriate Name for era of the time we think. So she’s Betty.
Looks really great!! As the photos attest.
Whilst cleaning the car Steve successfully repaired a niggling tail light problem.
All in all we are “ready to rumble.”
Tomorrow all contestants will meet for dinner and the process of scruitineering gets underway. Drivers will uplift their cars from the wharf and no doubt start to get ready for action.
So, that’s about it at present.
Apologies for the length of this initial report but it should get more interesting after we get underway.