It may take some time to wrap your head around this particular event. For clarity’s sake, here are excerpts of the rules written by Mr. Ficarra:
Friends, Family, Business Buddies, Ladies, and Gentlemen:
You are not being sent this email because you have inherited one million dollars from a deceased Ugandan banker, but because you just might have the cojones enough to join in one of the craziest ideas I have ever had.
A driving challenge across the United States of America.
“Duh,” you say, “that has been done before. I’ve seen The Cannonball Run, like, 100 times”. Well listen up, Burt Reynolds, ’cause here’s the kicker – you must traverse the 2904 miles from New York City to San Francisco on budget of $2904. “Wha Wha Wha?” you say? Well, these days almost anyone can hop in a megabuck cruiser and blow across the US in record time. But what if you had do in an old used car or truck? What if you had to do it within a budget? Now we are talking about being smart, wily, and a bit off your rocker. Now we are talking about The 2904™.
Here are the rules as I make them up:
*The First Rule:* The First Rule of The 2904™ is, you do not talk about The 2904™.
*The Budget: *
What counts in the $2904:
The vehicle’s purchase price, any modifications made to said vehicle – including parts and labor.
Fuel for the journey, Speeding tickets, Little Debbie snack cakes and Moxie soda
What doesn’t count in the $2904:
Safety items: Tires, Wheels, Brake Components, Seatbelts, Seats, Fuel
Cell, Steering Linkage, Lighting, Windshield wipers, Fire Extinguisher,
Shag carpeting. (There is NO LIMIT on safety-equipment spending.)
Registration, insurance, and licensing
Transport to start
You get the idea…
If you are clever enough to wrangle up some sponsors, congratulations, but the budget still applies no matter where the cash comes from. Receipts will be checked!
Anything you can lay your hands on, won’t break the budget, and are confident won’t leave your crew stranded in North Platte, Nebraska. The purchase price has to be realistic. Getting your Aunt Tillie to sell you her new Viper for $1000 will be considered an act of douchebaggery and will be penalized. Prep the rig anyway you want, but any non-safety modifications will count toward your $2904 budget. Vehicles are to be registered and insured. No using duplicate vehicles at the end, or transporting vehicle via rail or air during the event. Vehicles will be inspected at the beginning of the event. If the rig totally craps out enroute it may be sold for bus tickets home.
Starts when you leave, ends when you get there. Time is then adjusted for demerits.
For every dollar you go over $2904 it adds one minute to your time. Flagrant misrepresentation of the rig, its cost, fuel used, and tickets received will be penalized on a highly scientific sliding scale yet to be developed by our panel of esteemed judges (yet to be found). Believe me they will know if you are full of crap.
Each vehicle is allowed up to four drivers with valid drivers licenses and health insurance. (Having a team with significant driving experience is recommended. If you can get Dan Gurney to drive your Subaru, go for it!) All drivers must be on board for the whole distance.
That’s up to you bub.
Once (or if) you get to the finish, take a shower! You are going to smell. Any cheater’s cars will be viciously destroyed with sledgehammers at $5 dollars for 5 hits for charity. Also, we will have a charity lined up to take your car off your hands if you want to dispose of the taxdeductible wreckage. Oh yeah, don’t forget the party!
Eternal glory in the annals of autodom. (and maybe a crappy trophy)
And who would participate in this insanity? Everyone with petrol in their blood, and the balls for good ol’ fashioned adventure. Not to mention all the publicity and crazy fun you can eat for under 3k. If these words come out of your mouth: “Oooh, for 3k I could rent a swanky RV and take the whole family to wholesome Mt. Rubidoux and take a guided tour of the beautiful Peace Tower & Friendship Bridge.” THIS IS NOT FOR
How can you pass this up? We can knock out in a long weekend more adventure than most folks have in years, do something for a yet-to-be-named charity and have a crap-load of fun. (Yes, a crap-load). What say you? This will be dangerous, ridiculous and legendary. Are you unstable enough to accept this challenge buckaroo? Are you ready for The 2904™
PS: All rules are subject to evolution, modification, and creative interpretation.
PPS: This is not a race. That might be illegal.
Next up, why I’m sitting in San Francisco instead of reporting from the open road…