A personal Journal of Automotive News and Opinion
Volume One, Number 18/19 April 25, 1979
The Cannonball: One More Time
On the first weekend of this month, which included April Fools Day, David Heinz of Tampa, Florida and David Yarborough of Charleston, South Carolina drove a black XJS Jaguar from Darien, Connecticut to Redondo Beach, California in the rather astounding time of 32 hours and 51 minutes. This feat by a pair of mannerly and otherwise quite sensible British Leyland automotive dealers won the fifth running of the Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash and established then as the fastest transcontinental drivers in history.
Therein lies a story.
It started on a black, rainy night at the Lock, Stock and Barrel Restaurant in Darien. Forty-six vehicles ranging from an R90S BMW motorcycle to a 1948 Rolls Royce were spread around the parking lot. Perhaps three thousand people milled through the area, turning the pretenses for a secret start into a bad joke. A band was playing. Kids were running around. The one who observed this scene was just like the Gumball Rally nearly got slugged. The local Darien police were lurking in the background, promising their blessings provided no laws were broken. Scouts were observing that no serious concentrations of State Police could be found on nearby Interstate 95, although that organization had ironically announced a weekend of massive enforcement on the Merritt Parkway a few miles to the north. Somehow the event had bulged all out of proportion. What had been planned as a starting field of twenty had doubled in size when more and more qualified entrants came out of the woodwork. Thanks to friends in high places and some simple good luck, the New York Times had barely missed writing advance stories on the Cannonball, which would have blown the entire affair. As it was, everyone on the East Coast seemed to know what was going on. Word came that a small group was hanging around the Red Ball Garage, the old starting spot in Manhattan. Press people seemed to be everywhere, blazing away with Nikons and scribbling notes. The Barrel was clogged with drinkers and diners, a goodly number of the latter being Cannonballers partaking one final meal prior to a day-and-a-half of candy bars and warm Coca Colas. A substantial number of manufacturers reps were on hand to unofficially cheer the proceedings. The merry men from Cincinnati Microwave appeared, complete with test equipment, to insure that their Escorts being used in the event were operating perfectly. (Almost all of the starting field carried these state-of-the-art units.)
We had received repeated intelligence that the vaunted California Highway Patrol was awaiting our arrival with a certain perverted eagerness. An anonymous phone call had informed us that unnamed Connecticut officials were displeased with the Cannonball and planned undetermined countermeasures. A snowstorm was said to be building in the Rockies. Interstate 80 through the Western Pennsylvania Mountains was riddled with foot-deep potholes and the nuclear accident at the Three-Mile Island facility near Harrisburg threatened to cut off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. And there was always the fear of the crazed storm troopers who compose the Ohio State Police.
Into this obstacle course slipped the crazed forty-six. As the perpetrator of this affair, I felt like old Lord Raglan watching the charge of the Light Brigade. The first away was Bob Kovaleski, Oscars Kid, at the wheel of a white Z-28 carrying the Polish Racing Drivers of America emblem. (By Tradition, the PRDA always gets the "Pole" position.) Urged on by the good luck kiss of Rae Cameron, the lovely lady whose organizational zeal permitted uncounted multitudes of problems to be solved, and a lusty cheer from the crowd, Kovaleski Company slipped into the rainy night.
Others quickly followed; Hollywood stunt men and general handymen Loyal Truesdale and Keith Patchett buttoned up their leathers, cranked their BMZ into life and fled into the darkness. Jim Mullen and his willowy wife, Joan, howled away in their elegantly tatty but wonderfully noisy 1962 Short Wheelbase Berlinetta Ferrari. The Mullens have a number of new Ferraris in their extensive car collection but Jim, a Boston advertising executive, felt it only right and proper that the Cannonball be done in the old SWB. The 1948 Silver Wraith slipped away quietly with a chauffeur Edwin Harmston at the wheel and its elegantly dressed owners, Mr. And Mrs. Stephen Kendall-Lane of Mayfair, London nibbling at provisions form the Fortnum and Mason in the back seat. The Kendall-Lanes had arrived for the Cannonball via Concorde and had rested for the event in their suite at the Waldorf-Astoria. Trailing discreetly behind them was a new Mercury Park Lane Station purchased to serve as a support vehicle on the journey. Mark Pritch, a feisty little man from Long Island who, in company with Bondurant School instructor Bill Cooper, pledged he would break the record of 35 hours and 53 minutes, bustled off in his jet-black Ferrari 308GT. A silver 6.9 Mercedes-Benz handled by a lean Boston Marathoner and Harvard teaching fellow named Tom Hickey moved out sedately. Hickey and his associates, Al Alden and Dick Field, were immaculately dressed in sports coats and ties, which was perhaps the best cover of all. However others were tried. The California Chevy Suburban team led by Jim Sensebaugh appeared in muted gray and white government colors with large "Satellite Tracking, Radiation, and Warning, Stay Clear" signs on its flanks. The team was equipped with Geiger counters and delighted in scanning unwitting gas station attendants across the nation. The trick was particularly effective in the Harrisburg area. Lou Sellyei and Gary Arentz, a couple of MDs from Reno, Nevada drove off in a XKJ carrying a box containing a pair of pig eyes. The emergency eye bank scam. Not bad. Two teams went the drive-away route, one with a 1977 Chrysler, the other with a 1972 Thunderbird provided by the same New York operation that had supplied a Sedan DeVille in the 1971 run and the winning Coupe DeVille in 1972! Dennis Menesini, the super-modified driver, had appeared in Darien several days early with his massive 454 Chevy dual-wheel crew-cab and Charlie "Batman" Robison. Dennis, who is the fiercest-looking five-foot, eight-inch 225 pound man one is likely to encounter, set the tone for the event when he confronted the stuffy desk clerk at the local Howard Johnsons and demanded, "Wheres all the goddamn hookers?" Motor Trend staffer Fred Gregory and Oui editor Peter Brannan tried to drive the same Herb Adams Pontiac Fire-Am that competed in the Daytona 24 Hours but a broken suspension and numerous carburetor fires prior to the start and a terminal oil leak shortly thereafter left them no choice but to fly to California carrying the cars trunk lid as a souvenir of disaster. In all, 123 crazies, wastrels, rich men, poor men, beggarmen and thieves got underway in the participating vehicles. Among them were notables like Jacques Villeneuve, Gilles brother (Gilles was an enthusiastic entrant with his old Formula Atlantic car owner, John Lane, until his Long Beach GP schedule interfered), Indy car pilot John Mahler, human fly extraordinaire George Willig, Sports Illustrated writer Sam Moses, Offshore powerboat champions Sandy Satullo and Charlie McCarthy, Karting champ Terry Baker and my partner, Hal Needham, whose plan to run a bogus ambulance was perhaps the best number ever to be tried in the Cannonball.
The "TransCon Medivac" Dodge ambulance was built at great expense and in much haste by Bill Mitchell of Cheshire, CT. It carried a monster overbored 440 Chrysler Magnum modified to produce about 380 reliable horsepower by Dick Landy in Los Angeles. Special sway bars and shocks from Quickor Engineering in Beaverton, Oregon aided high-speed stability while a vast collection of bogus flashing lights, medical decals, uniforms, etc. added to the camouflage. With a 60-gallon fuel capacity and an estimated 125-mph top speed, we thought we had a winner. With my wife, Pamela on a Gurney stretcher, hooked up to oxygen and an IV bottle, and attended by a mildly crazed radiologist friend of Needhams, we knew we had a winner. However, like all heavily modified machines, the TransCon was not properly tested by the time it reached Darien. A badly adjusted Holley 850 carburetor crapped out less than 100 yards from the start, and we lost a full hour while a couple of local mechanics valiantly made emergency repairs (torching the lock off their garage door in the process).
Somehow the entire field slipped through Connecticut and New York without notice (the ambulances flashing lights were magical on the crowded Cross-Bronx Expressway). However the Mullens old Ferrari faltered near the George Washington Bridge and they were forced to stagger back to Darien for repairs. Paul Fassler and Bob Ziegel, a pair of bon vivants in a flame-red Porsche 930 Turbo, got lost in New Jersey and blew their chances for victory early in the going.
Most of the field split across rainy, fog-bound Interstate 80 and into the jaws of the bright-eyed morning shift of the Ohio State Police. Mark Pritch crossed the border in the beam of K-55 and was arrested for a panic-stopped 80 mph. Overcome by the urgency of the moment, he was nailed twice more in the next five miles, developing in that brief interval a first-name relationship with the Smokies, a much-lightened wallet and absolutely no chance of winning the Cannonball. Charlie McCarthy was among the casualties in Ohio, but set some sort of dubious mark by leaving a bond of $900 for his speeding citation (he was later fined $90). Others fell to the state police here, giving Ohio the honors, along with Missouri, of accounting for a lions share of the 50 speeding tickets issued along the way.
An examination of the map will reveal that most of the serious westbound routes trace their way through some parts of Missouri. Moreover the schedule of the Cannonballers caused them to hit this state in broad daylight, when the highway patrol was operating at peak strength. Missouri was the Cannonballs MIG Alley. Several dozen worthies were zapped, including 1972 winner Yogi Behr. Poor Behr was sleeping while his driving partner, Rod Dornsife, outran a patrol in their 928. They exchanged seats and Behr drove back on the Interstate and into the arms of the enraged law. As the British so politely put it, Yogi was "detained" for five hours while the situation was clarified. While compiling the exact movements of the 40-odd vehicles in a scatological event like the Cannonball is impossible, it seems that Sunday afternoon, April 1, 1979 was a day of high-speed madness on Interstate 44 in Missouri. Those competitors who carried police radio scanners in their vehicles reported crazed chatter on the part of the Smokies as they sped up and down the road in search of squadron of cars rocketing through their state. The ominous black Jaguar of Heinz and Yarborough was a particularly prized quarry that slipped through their net. One Smokey was heard to growl, "If we catch that black jaguar, were gonna put it in the crusher and its drivers in jail!" Fortunately for Heinz and Yarborough, they had no monitor and were not privy to such bellicose talk. "If wed have heard stuff like that, wed have probably slowed down," mused David Yarborough after the finish.
The TransCon Medivac effort was essentially finished by the time it got to Missouri. After starting with a one-hour penalty, the B&M TorqueFlite automatic puked a seal in Illinois, triggering endless stops for fluid fill-ups. Before the thing quit entirely in Palm Desert, California, and we were hauled to the Portofino on the back of a Kenworth flatbed out of Las Vegas, we had loaded six gallons of transmission fluid, uncounted cans of sealer and a few quarts of 40 weight engine oil into the transmission. However while it was running the ambulance seemed immune to detours, the police, traffic jams and general highway hindrances. One can only speculate how we would have fared if the project had enjoyed more development time before the start.
The second night shrouded the runners as they sped into Texas and New Mexico. There the old bugaboo of yapping truckers appeared as in had in 1975. Enraged by bright quartz-halogen headlights or simple speed, not a few eighteen-wheel drivers set out to sabotage the Cannonballers, either by squawking warnings on the CB (to be counter-measured in some cases by competitors simply keying their 100-amp linears and blowing them off the air) or blocking the road. Things got nasty on several occasions, with second-placer Tom Hickeys 6.9 being run onto the shoulder and the third-place Trans-Am of Jerry Pierce and Mike Snyder almost becoming the sausage in a monster truck sandwich in Arizona. However Terry Bernius and Tom Cripe reacted to the challenge by announcing to the truckers that they were engaged in a protest against the 55-mph speed limit. This elicited massive support from the truckers, who began calling the tiny Lotus Esprit "the Snowplow" and beckoning it on with blinking turn signals.
Exhaustion let to paranoia. Bob Kovaleski blew his chances for a high finish when he convinced himself that a roadblock lay ahead in Arizona and doubled back 50 miles to avoid the non-existent barrier. In the meantime the old Rolls Royce was rolling serenely ahead, although its windshield wipers (fabricated at the last minute from old bits) failed and its drivers were reduced to operating them by hand. Cannonball veteran Wes Dawn, who has competed in every Dash since 1972, teamed up with Jeff Martini in a new El Dorado and tried, for the second time, to beat the system by running I-80 to Salt Lake City and then cutting south on I-15surely the long way around. Their journey started badly when they hit an accident scene in Ohio and sat in the jam-up until Dawn and Martini leapt out, grabbed brooms and helped sweep up the debris.
In the meantime Hickey, Alden and Field and their 6.9 Mercedes were becoming the children of destiny on the Cannonball. Operating without an Escort, making only rudimentary use of the CB and waiting for credit card receipts at their gas stops, they were stopped but once by the gendarmes and were maintaining an incredible 85 mph-plus average speed. At one point in Arizona they smoked by the fourth place finishers, Mark Whiteside and Stephen Fog and their Trans Am at perhaps 140-mph. All this in an area swarming with police. While this was going on, the oldest vehicle in the race, a 1936 Ford panel truck, entered by Hemmings Motor News, was struggling through a series of minor disasters. After a blitz of electrical troubles early in the going, drivers Terry Erich, Dave Brownell and Justus Taylor settled into a routine of stopping every 50-60 miles to lubricate a noisy generator bearing. While cruising nicely at 85-90 mph for most of the distance, BMW worthies Truesdale and Patchett rode into a snow squall near Winslow, Arizona and were forced to hold up in a motel until the weather cleared.
It was deep in mountains of Arizona that Dennis Menicini and the crew of the Chevy "dualie" had their moment of truth. After missing the turn to the famed "Ash Fork Cutoff"the fastest but most dangerous route to CaliforniaDennis and Co. arrived in the tiny town of Jerome, Arizona with a pack of kids driving a 1967 Chevelle. Traveling several miles with the Chevelles high beams frying their rear view mirrors, Dennis then suggested to Batman, who was driving, that he switch off the tail lights and spike the brakes "to see if those assholes behind us are paying attention." This action prompted the Chevelle to narrowly miss ramming his truck before it skidded into the tumbleweed. Less than pleased with this gesture, the kids overtook Dennis and heaved a beer can at his truck. Dennis responded by giving chase, because nobody throws anything heavier than a dirty look at his truck. Suddenly the local cops were in the hunt as well, helped along by Dennis CB report that his vehicle was under siege from a bunch of crazy teenagers. Promising to put things right, the Mountie rocketed off in pursuit of the Chevelle while Dennis cooled it at a prudent double-nickel. A few miles down the road they overtook the cop and the Chevelle, which was sidelined with a badly blown engine. Still angry about the beer can, Dennis leapt out of his truck and rushed the driver of the Chevelle, a husky kid with a large nose. Dennis stuffed his business card (M&H Custom Fabrication, Custom Oval track wheels and Accessories, Sparks, Nevada) into the stunned kids mouth while growling, "If you want more trouble, heres my address. Next time Ill pinch your head off and shit in the hole." With that pleasantry off his chest, Dennis and Batman fled towards California.
Because of their pace, the first six cars, all of which shattered the old record of 35 hours and 53 minutes, slipped into California in the black hours of Monday morning, when the CHP forces are minimal. However much of the field arrived after the 5:30-6:30 shift change, when a whole armada of Chippies, complete with their new Z-28s and old 440 Magnums were supposed to be waiting. But what was happening? Could this be the California Hype Patrol? Were these Bears, Grizzlies or Pandas? Cannonball car after car flogged across the border with its crews eyes probing for black-and-whites, only to find clear horizons in all directions. Sixth placer Rick Doherty and his Mazda RX-7 were nailed for 90 mph, but little else affected the front-runners in California. Chris Romaine and Terry Baker, driving a pristine red Ferrari 308 GTS ran the entire distance without being arrested or even warned (what does that do to the theory about cops and their attraction to flashy sports cars?) and averaged 91 mph from the California border to the Portofinoincluding about six miles of urban, stop-and-go traffic.
The finishers straggled into the Portofino for much of Monday. By Tuesday the English Truck Magazine entry of Andrew Frankl and John Hitchinsa miniature, Capri-V6-powered dual axle cab-over-tractor had arrived, has had the BMW motorcycle (the other motorcycle entry, an 850 shaft-drive Suzuki, was ridden, pony-express fashion, by five riders from the Western-Eastern Road Racing Club and finished in a credible 43 hours and 32 minutes). Finally, as the thoroughly zany victory banquet was underway and Chris Pook of the Long Beach GP was accepting a $2500 donation on behalf of the Cannonball for the Gunnar Nillsen Cancer Fund and old teammate Dan Gurney was presenting the winners trophy, it was over and an amazing week-long celebration was about to commence.
If anything was proved by this affair, it is that good drivers in good automobiles can drive practically as fast as they can go with high levels of safety and only modest interference from the law. The 55-mph speed limit can easily be compromised, as it is by literally millions of drivers each minute of the each day.
Of the 46 starters, only one minor accident resulted, John Harrisons Lotus Esprit skidded on an off-ramp in Illinois and slightly bent the steering rack.
With the fifth Cannonball having been completed, this means 107 different vehicles have run something over 300,000 miles at an average speed in excess of 75 mph without any serious accidents.
Because of speedometer errors, plus a variety of routes, it is impossible to determine the exact mileage of each of the competitors although 2,850 miles seems to be a solid average for the distance between Darien and Redondo Beach. Based on that distance, the winners, Heinz and Yarborough, averaged just under 87 miles per hour for the distance. The first six finishers, all of whom broke the old record, average over 82 mph.
Although the previous record of 35 hours and 53 minutes was broken by more than three hours, the general running speed of the winners was not that much different from the of Jack May and Rick Kline, the old record holders, or the previous quick-timers, Gurney and Yates (35:54). All three cars cruised in the 110-120 mph range, ran short bursts of 140 mph (although the 1971 Gurney effort of 170 mph on I-10 in California remains the all-time top-speed mark). Better roads, better routes, better weather and better anti-Smokey technology made the difference.
Somebody estimated that the cars running in the 1979 Cannonball consumed somewhere between 9,000 and 12,000 gallons of gasoline, which aint good, but the point is we have a capability for using our Interstate system for really rapid long-distance travel, which probes efficiency levels nobody has bothered to examine. Moreover better aerodynamics, tires, engines lighter weights, etc., give the potential for 100 mph Interstate cruising speeds with 20-plus miles per gallon.
Every one of the fast runners in the Cannonball is convinced a coast-to-coast trip in less than 30 hours is perfectly possible. That means an average speed of 95 mph. A number of entrants used police scanners, although many, including the first five finishers, believe the devices to be electronic overkill. By the time one drives, operates the CB, tunes the Escort and visually looks out for hazards, the function of programming the police scanner can create an unbearable mental overload. Add to that the fact that Smokies do very little chatting while on radar patrol and the scanner becomes of debatable benefit.
While many folk have found the Fox XK II to be less efficient as a radar detector than several other units, one entrant found it to have a hidden value. He carried one after discovering that it would beep whenever a VHF transmitter was keyed in the area. Now if somebody would only market a tiny alarm that would sound a warning whenever a police frequency transmitter was used, the electronic warfare battle would swing even more in the speeders favor.
The radar battle rages on. Most of the casualties on the Cannonball came at the hands of Smokies operating K-band guns that give little or no warning, even with the Escort. In several instances guys were zapped at 110 mph and managed to hard brake to an official read-out of 82 mphwhich wasnt quite good enough.
Perhaps the most satisfying moment in all my years of fooling around with John Law was our encounter with a pair of New Jerseys finest fascistos in an unmarked cruiser on I-80. We had been running our bogus ambulance at imprudent speeds in the fast lane, flashing our batteries of lights at the recalcitrant, when overtaken by a pair of typically officious and rude patrolmen that infest the Garden State. We leapt out, Needham and I, resplendent in our paramedics uniforms, to be met by an angry cop who barked, "Where the Hell are you guys going in such a hurry?" "California," I replied, trying to be cool. "What?" yelped the cop in amazement. "We aint got much time," said Needham. "You got a patient in there?" asked the other cop. "Yep. And she isnt in very good shape, " said Needham gravely. "Well, well, er, why dont you fly her out there?" "You better ask the Doc," I said flinging open the side door of the van. There sat our Doctor pal beside my wife, Pamela, who looked ashen on the stretcher, an IV plugged into her arm; her face covered with an oxygen mask. "Whats this all about?" asked the Doctor crisply. The cops groped for questions while the Doctor explained that the patient had a rare lung disease that prevented her flying in pressurized cabins and was being transported to the UCLA Medical Center in LA for emergency treatment. Checkmated on all fronts, the cops had no choice but to let us go on. When and if the motion picture Needham plans on the Cannonball ever reaches New Jersey, one can only muse at the reaction these two will have when they see the incident repeated.
The behavior of some truckers was regrettable but in some ways understandable. There are techniques for the polite but high-speed passage of an eighteen-wheeler (blinking of lights, slowing down off the rear quarter, then easing past, more blinking of lights, etc.) to keep them under control. However if the Cannonball is ever run again the word will be passed through Overdrive magazine, which may turn the hostility into widespread cooperation once the intent of the Cannonball is made clear.
What is the secret automobile for the Cannonball? There is none, although cars capable of stable 130-140 mph top speed, 400-500 mile range, comfortable, silent accommodations for two men, relatively low frontal area (for radar protection), powerful brakes and good all-around visibility are imperative. Of course all this is negated by Dennis Menicinis great effort with his big Chevy truck, and one is left to puzzle why Porsches continue to be shut out of Cannonballs high finishes. This years top finishing Porsche was 14th. Even more interesting is the fact that a BMW has never entered, much less finished the Cannonball, although Gerald McWhoters 27th place in his Corvette was the bestand only---placing for that marque.
The post-race party, as mentioned, lasted for a week. The side effects, in terms of liver damage, hangovers, expense and significant attitude changes were considerable. For example, Jim Mullen, who ran so well with his elegant wife Joan in their aged SWB Ferrari, reports, "Joan has gone a little bonkers about this Cannonball stuff and is ready to abandon her career for driving about like a maniac and drinking like one. How long does the fever last?" It was Mullen who also made this observation about the entire affair; "To paraphrase Barnums comment about trained fleas, it isnt that we did it well thats amazing, its that we did it at all."
The Cannonballers made two public, authorized appearances in California, one at Ascot Speedwaywhere they shared billing with California Lt. Governor Mike Curb--- and during a special pair of parade laps at Long Beach on the day of the GP. These brief moments on a track (the first since I-10) caused a certain unleashing of energies, prompting the flagmen to waggle their yellow flags to keep things under control.
Good old British Leyland. Here they were with a XJS that had been driven farther, faster than any Jaguar since the glory days at LeMans twenty years ago, and they were petrified to touch it, even after the Cannonball was over. Heinz and Yarborough, both Jaguar dealers, asked the company for at least some token aid and comfort to permit them to spend a few extra days in California and afford the opportunity to showcase the car at Long Beach. But the powers-that-be, obviously fearful of bruising the image of infallibility Jaguar has created in America, would have none of it. The car was driven home, removing it from view from 100,000 automobile fans.
Does the establishment love the Cannonball? Not quite, but there are some swingers in amongst them. Mayor Dave Hayward of Redondo Beach presented me with the key to the city, which some might liken to giving Idi Amin the Nobel Peace Prize, and a number of (more than two) police officers have said they want to run in the next Cannonball (Oops, did I say next Cannonball?)
CANNONBALL SPECIAL AWARDS
In addition to a variety of trophies and awards to the high finishers, a number of citations were reserved for those whose accomplishments in the Cannonball were notable, if not conventional.
Friends of OPEC Award: To Dennis Menicini for averaging 5.4 mpg and consuming 590 gallons of gas in their Chevy crew-cab.
Diamond Jim Brady Moderation Award: To Stephen Kendall-Lane and his 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.
The Bandits Highway Safety Award: To Mark Pritch for collecting three speeding tickets in a five-mile stretch of Ohios Route 80.
Champion Balloonfoot Award: To Terry Bernius and Tom Cripe for averaging 28 mpg in their Lotus Esprit.
Last But Not Lost Award: Andrew Frankl and Tom Hitchins for a leisurely time of 65 hours and 55 minutes.
The Diehard Award: To Fred Gregory and Peter Brannan for repeated mechanical failures before and during the run and arriving at the finish only with the trunk lid of their Fire-Am.
Tow-Away Award: To Hal Needham for entering a vehicle that only went 100 yards before its first breakdown.
Worst Time Award: To Shelby GT 350 drivers Rich Kopec and Bob Key, who attempted to pawn themselves off as cops with a borrowed badge and ended up in handcuffs in Ohio.
In The Tank Award: To Steve "Yogi" Behr for five hours in the Lebanon, Missouri slammera new Cannonball record.
Balls Out Award: to Chris Romine and Terry Baker for averaging 91 mph through California in an all-out effort to break thirty-six hours, which they did, by two minutes.
Night Owl Award: To Joan Mullen, who while co-driving with her husband Jim in their SWB Ferrari, set a modern-day female record by not going to the john for 28 hours and 10 minutes.
Doctor Strangeglove Award: To BMW riders Loyal Truesdale and Keith Patchett, for all kinds of reasons.
The Allison-Yarborough Good Sports Award: To Dennis Menicini and crew for their near punch-out in Jerome, Arizona.
Pirelli Paris to Peking Award: To Tom Hickey, Al Holden and Dick Field.
The following companies, organizations, etc. donated products and souvenirs and time to the various participants, for which we are all grateful: Pirelli, Style Auto, Carrera Shock Absorbers, Sears, Bell Helmets, Bolus and Snopes, Craig Electronics, Budweiser, Pepsi-Cola and the King Harbor Association of Redondo Beach.
Also special thanks must be extended to George Lysle, proprietor of the Lock, Stock and Barrel Restaurant in Darien, CT and Mary Davis, the owner of the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, CA for their invaluable aid and enthusiasm in making the Cannonball a success.