La Carrera Panamericana - Tyres, Tequila and Trouble with Cops

Check out this article that our photographer friend from London just recently published. It has some interesting insights into the Pan Am Race and our adventure...


Motorhead Messiah

We've been gone for a while, but we're back! I arrived safely in Richmond, VA about 2 weeks ago and have finally managed to find a job and apartment. Our Mexican Rally adventure has substantially drained the pocket, but once Kip and I are back on our feet it's full steam ahead with plans for next years Pan Am Race, and our Grease Kit and Solar Initiatives.
Check out this article from Fast Company. Johnathan Goodwin is blazing a path and turning heads with his work on diesel electric hybrids.


Homeward Bound!

I'm homeward bound! I had a chance this afternoon to cram all of my stuff into the race car in the trailer, and will be leaving for Virginia tomorrow morning. The event at the Lyndsay McCandless Gallery was a lot of fun. There was fairly steady traffic through the gallery all night and I had a chance to share some stories and pictures from our Mexican rally race adventure. I also had a chance to speak with Sandy Shuptrine from the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Air Coalition, which is working to spread the word about a broad range of bio-fuels, and alternative energy education. Her organization is also offering scholarships for the 2009 Bio-Diesel Conference in San Francisco. This would be a great opportunity for anybody interested in bio-diesel in the greater Teton area. Check out their website, http://www.yellowstonetetoncleanenergy.org. We look forward to working with them soon!

The last couple of days have of course been filled with more fun problems. Friday morning when I went to start up the race car so we could bring it to the gallery, I realized that we had been using water instead of antifreeze as coolant in Mexico. The entire coolant system in the car was frozen solid! Fortunately with the help Carter, Ryan, Pat, and a rented forced air heater we were able to defrost the car without damaging it before the event that night.

It's been snowing in the mountains everyday since I arrived in Jackson. Winter has certainly arrived. I had a chance to hike around in the snow with my friend Chris the other day, but no real skiing yet. 2,000 miles to go, and plenty of stories to come, so Stay Tuned!


First Team To Race Carrera Panamericana Using Propane...

Kip had mentioned a few months prior to our trip that he had heard of a team in the past that had tried to race the Carrera Panamericana using only propane. The first day we arrived in Laredo, TX, sure enough there was the #426 50's era Lincoln that said "Propane Powered" in big black letters on the side. As it turns out, during day 3 of the 2007 Carrera Panamericana they had clutch problems, which prevented them from continuing the race. This year was a different story. Piloted by Tom Overbaug, owner of Ehrhart Propane in Trumansburg, NY, and co-piloted by Jim Feeney they finished 71st overall in this years Pan Am Race.

Back in Jackson

I finally arrived safely in Jackson, WY Wednesday night. This Friday October 7th the race car will be on display at the Lyndsay McCandless Gallery First Friday Event from 5-8pm.

I left Laredo, TX on Nov. 1st and stopped off to visit my friends Marc and Emi in Boulder, CO. Marc works for Bella Energy, which is leading solar company in the Boulder area. "The Bella Energy mission is to provide the highest quality solar energy solutions to empower communities with opportunities to contribute to a sustainable future and clean energy economy." Check out their website,
The drive was going well until I was about 50 miles South of Jackson, hit a patch of black ice, and ended up off the road in the snow with the truck and trailer. The local towing company was able to get me back on the road, and I made it to Jackson later on that evening.

More to come...


Still Kickin'...

We're back! Strap yourselves in because as predicted the fun keeps coming...

For those of you who haven't been following us we were stuck in Oaxaca, Mexico for 5 days. The first diesel mechanic that we took our truck to had it for nearly 3 days and didn't fix a thing. When we got back to Oaxaca after a disheartening attempt at trying to catch up with the race, we decided that the safest bet was to take the truck to the local Ford dealer.
Initially the mechanics believed the problem to be 2 rubber o rings inside the trucks turbo. Kip and Willet spent an entire day searching for o rings in Oaxaca only to return to the news that the turbo was actually cracked and would need to be replaced. They told us that it would take about a week to get the part shipped in, and that it would be impossible to find it anywhere in town. That of course didn't stop us from looking, and by some twist of fate we managed to find what was probably the only turbo for a Ford F250 powerstroke engine within a 100 mile radius, wrapped in plastic at the second junk yard that we stopped at. We had the part installed that night and decided to leave the following morning.

As we were passing the spot where we had broken down only a few days previously, Willet made the joke that at least we had made it closer to our destination. Ten minutes later the tread ripped off of one of the rear tires, and we screached to a stop as Kip regained control of the truck. Luckily it was a quick fix. We replaced the tire with a spare and were back on the road. We drove the next 24 hours straight, covering roughly 1,100 miles through Mexico and finally managed to catch up with the rest of the racers in Nuevo Laredo.

107 cars started the race and roughly 60 cars finished. We're told that every car that did finish barely made it across the finish line. I was talking to another racer who said that the winnier of this years race didn't expect that his car to be able to drive another 100 miles.
We also had a chance to meet up with our photographer friend Alex. He has been gracious enough to share a number of his photos from the race with us, and is going to try to get a story about our adventures in Mexcio published when he returns to london.
For us the jounrey continues. Kip, Willet, and Jim are flying home from Texas today. This afternoon I will leave from Laredo, TX with the truck and trailer, stopping in Boulder, CO, Jackson, WY, Chicago, IL, and Richmond, VA. Can't wait for Richmond!
Eventhough we did not finish the race this year we certainly do not consider this trip a failure. We consider the connections that we have made with the other racers and Mexican locals a great victory for ourselves and our campaign for alternative energy education. Our mission now is to continue fundraising so that we can come back next year and compete in the Carrera Panamericana using only WVO, and continue finding creative ways to spread the word about sustainable alternative energy education.
On Nov. 7th the race car will be on display at the Lyndsay McCandless contemporary art galllery in Jackson, WY. I believe that the night will include live music and I will be giving a brief slideshow and talk about our adventures in Mexico.
I have a truck with 55 gallons of WVO in the bed, a trailer stuffed with a race car, and 4,000 miles to go. Stay tuned as there is much much more to come...


On the road again...

Our truck is fixed and we are going to try to leave Oaxaca this morning and drive straight through to Nuevo Laredo on the border of Texas. We are told that the drive is about 20 hours. More pictures and exciting stories to come...


Video from Day 1

Our good friend Manuel Rafael has provided us with some video from Day 1 of the race. Manuel is an engineer from Tuxtla Gutierrez who is interested in getting his masters in environmental science. We are looking forward to finding ways to partner up with him and bring alternative energy education to the Chiapas region of Mexico. Thank you very much Manuel! Click on the link above to watch the video.

Not the only Mercedes 190 in town! A gentelman from Oaxaca brought his 1960 Mercedes to our hotel. Oddly enough his son lives and works in Massachusetts, not too far from our home. Small world


Twice Dead....

Truck "repaired" and full of hope, we pressed on at 4:30 am Tuesday morning hoping to catch up with the herd...

Unfortunately the truck was not repaired properly the first time and we are back in Oaxaca, holding out at the Fiesta Inn with a room 40ft from the pool.

The truck is at the mercy of the Ford dealer.
Life sure can be "Ford Tough."

Our plans to rejoin the group tonight and be able to run the last two legs of the race have changed. We have now found that the trucks turbo has been leaking oil and not providing enough oil pressure to let the computer run the diesel injection system. This last chain of events has us back in Oaxaca and wondering when and if we will ever get to leave this town.

The most unfortunate thing is that our little car is sitting in the trailer race ready and we are here with a strong case of cabin fever.

Many have asked are we done with the race. As our good friend Bluto says in Animal House... (click on the title to this post if the link does not appear on your screen)

This drive is far from over and we hope to have good news for you all tomorrow...


Running for alternative energy education...

Congratulations to our good friends Hilary, Sara, and Sarah. You can see their results from the 33rd Annual Marine Corps Marathon below.

Hilary Golas

Sara Kerin

Sarah Rabbett


Left Behind, Alone in the back Mountains of Mexico...

This is an addendum by James Moncrief, or uncle Jimmy. It is Sunday and I just arose from a nap after eating and drinking out by the pool. But, last Friday was a little different.

Three hours from the end of the first days event, Willet and I were driving in the chase truck when it started behaving badly. The mountain road was unbelievable. Very short sight distances, one turn after another, cliffs, oncoming busses and double tanker trucks in a hurry. Each hill we were going slower and slower until it would stop, only to be re-fired and slowly pull away. During this hour or two of agony, I went through the five stages of automotive grief.

1) DESERVE: Come on, don´t do this to me. I don´t deserve this. I am a good guy. I have been living well and helping people. I should have some good karma.

2) BARGAINING: You´re a good truck. You know what? Just get me over this mountain and I will get you a nice bit tuneup and detailing. The works!

3) THREATING: You S.O.B truck. You get back on your feet and move. You did it before you know your going to do it again so MOVE. If you don´t move now you P.O.S. I might just push you off this cliff!

4) PLEADING: Please GOD…..Help me get this truck to MOVE! This is a BAD turn to stop on.

5) ACCEPTANCE: Willet………We have to find a place to abandon ship.

Willet and I now know what the wounded wildebeast feels like when he can no longer keep up with the herd. Dark and alone, waiting for the lion pride to arrive.

La Vida es Dura (Life is tuff!)...

A word from Willet...

After Jim and my adventure trying to drive the truck up mountain passes as it slowly gave up, though it put up a valiant fight. We arrived safely in Oaxaca, with enough time to find a tow truck so kip and I could head back out 110 kilometers to get the truck and trailer. After arguing with the tow truck whether or not our F-250 (a large truck by Mexican standards) and trailer would be able to get towed, Kip and I assured them it would, and we headed out. The drive there was harrowing to say the least as Adolfo, our driver, pretended he was driving in the Carrera, setting up the turns, and going very fast through the mountain roads. He blessed himself at every cross, and made me do it as well. He also showed us where an Argentinian driver went over the edge and perished in the race a few years ago. About 2 hours later we arrived at the truck, loaded it up with nary a problem, minus a bumped head for Willet, and nervously watched Adolfo cut a piece of rope, towards himself, with a broken corona bottle. We headed back to Oaxaca, arriving around 8am.
We had the mechanic take a look, and determine the issue to be fuel injectors that had been fouled by water. A real test of my spanish was trying to explain what was wrong with the car, since I don´t know any car vocab.

The welded shift linkage bracket, and the clutch support linkage bracket.

While we waited for the truck to get fixed we worked on the race car, and a very nice man,
apparently the local off-duty sheriff, helped us find a place to weld a broken linkage for the clutch. The welder merely took a piece of wire, that looked like it could barely supply electricity to a desklamp, stuck the exposed tip into a hole in the wall, which started his welding machine, and welded it back together, sans mask. We then got in the bed of a pickup truck and went to the local Sam´s Club, to purchase a GPS which should help us navigate the difficult Mexican "highways" the race car is running again, and is ready to go.

One of the difficult aspects has been trying to get oil. the hotel we´re currently at told us they had none when i spoke with them on the phone 2 weeks ago, but last night I spoke with the restaurant manager, and was able to secure about 10 liters of oil. as people see what we´re doing and understand it they are very accepting and excited. there is a real, true grassroots and organic environmental movement here. so many of these people work the land and interact with it much closer than we do that they understand and respect it. we may not be able to provide them with clean sewage, but if we can educate them on a simple way to make a difference, our goal has been accomplished.

So now we´re stuck in Oaxaca another day, oh well, at least the hotel here has 2 bars and a pool. things could be worse. Jim and I could be sleeping under the truck on the side of a Mexican highway, like we almost had to.

A shout out to Xhema and Outcome.


Persistence Wears Down Resistence!

Hola! We are back, and apparently in high demand as my younger brother has informed me that he has been jumped by a blogger gang at his highschool demanding more timely posts from Mexico. ( He's a bit of story teller!)

To say the very least, A Lot has happened since we made our last post. In addition to being on a local radio station in Tuxtla we also made a handful of TV appearances on the local news stations, we managed to finish our qualification stage the day before the start of the race using only waste vegetable oil, and the night before the race some Tuxtla locals showed up at our hotel with 30 gallons of grease from a local fast food resturant. The gentelman who set up our radio interview also showed up with 10 gallons of grease from Burger King, and the hotel that we stayed at donated 5 gallons of really clean, still warm from the friolator WVO.

Willet and Kip's uncle Jim arrived the night before the race at around 9p.m., we woke up the following morning at 5:30, and that's when the fun really began! During our qualification stage we had noticed a bit of hesitation in 4th gear while we were running on grease. For those of you who that do not know, we start the engine with regular diesel when it is cold in the morning, and switch to the waste vegetable oil in our second heated tank once it has reached the appropriate temperature to flow through the engine properly (about 100 degrees farenheight for our purposes).
The first stage of the race was a transit leading to our first speed stage. The streets were lined with people, and we spent a good half hour signing t-shirts and taking pictures with the local fans. The first speed stage was the same as the qualification stage from the previous day, so it went fairly smoothly. Our car tops out at about 85mph so we tend to stay near the back of the pack out of everybody's way. Our main goal this year has been just to finish the race, as we have been told that this is an exteremly difficult task for any car, let alone one fueld by WVO. After the first speed stage we had another transit stage that transitioned into the second speed stage, which was a bit more interesting. This speed stage was in the mountains, most of it down hill with cliff biting corners that came fast even for our slower car. Within the first 10 minutes of this stage we saw that four of our fellow american race teams crash into rocky faces just off the road, and later on heard of two teams that had sailed clear off the road tumbling down small hills/cliffs(either way pretty scary, but luckily nobody was seriously injured). In the same area that we witnessed all of these crashes we came quickly around a sharp corner only to find a conctere bridge that was actually unfinished, dropped about 4 inches onto a rebar frame and scrapped the bottom of the car fairly well. We had a skid plate installed the day before, which saved the oil pan.

However, we soon discovered that we had damaged our shift linkage. This made it so that when we pushed down to disengage the clutch and change gears the pedal had no effect. Therefore in order to drive the car we had to match the RPM´s to shift into gear. After the speed stage when we had made it to the flats, we also discovered that we were running dangerously low on vege oil, and to make things even more interesting our diesel fuel filter was clogged preventing us from being able to utilize the petrol diesel tank. As a result we decided that the smartest thing to do was stop and wait for the help of our service crew. The good news is that up until that point we were not in last place and were actually on time to reach the service stop half way through the first day of the race.

In steps Odvar! Odvar is a mechanic for one of the other teams from the Seattle area that is racing a vintage Volvo. We are told that he first moved to the U.S. from Norway when he was 17, spent much of his life as a fisherman in Alaska, and is a mechanical and car racing celebrity in his own right. He's a tall, wirey man with long silver hair, a body worn from years of hard labor, and a certain air of knowledge about him.

Odvar reached us before Willet and Jim. He pulled his trailer in front of our car, stepped out without really saying a word and went to work. He discovered that the linkage was cracked as we had suspected and that it would need to be welded. As for the hesitation he started right in on removing the diesel filter and finding the clog in our lines that had been starving our little motor. This meant that our vegetable oil filter was most likely clogged as well since we run diesel fuel back through the veggie lines at night so that the vegetable oil doesn't clog the lines when it gets cold out. Unfortunately, we didn't realize this at that time. By this time Willet and Jim had arrived and once Odvar had cleared the diesel fuel filter we set off to finish the remaining 150 miles of the race for that day, mind you now 2 hours late and without a clutch.
As we made our way down the road revving the engine to the appropriate RPM's so that we could throw it into gear it became painfully obvious that both our diesel and vege oil fuel filters were getting progressively worse. The noise from the engine began to loose its crispness and started breaking up as we slowed to a crawl climbing through the mountains. As night began to fall it became almost impossible for me to read the route book so Kip was on his own navigating the tight corners, nearly missing large trucks and buses through the remote transit stages of that afternoons race(without a clutch!).

A motivational sight amidst hard times in Mexico...

Meanwhile Willet and Jim were also experiencing some problems of their own with the truck. We were a ways in front of them trying to stay close to Odvar, lead blocking the roads through the mountains, so that we could reach Oaxaca before our car stopped working all together. As Jim and Willet reached higher elevations the truck began to stall as it was starving for air, but they slowly pressed on. Eventually we had to stop to change our vege oil filter, and about 10 minutes later Willet and Jim rolled into the same gas station crammed into a small Datsun pickup truck with some of their bags in the bed. The truck had quit! Willet and Jim hitched a ride in the Datsun. Kip and I chugged on with the race car and we all arrived in Oaxaca at about mid night. After a quick bite to eat Willet and Kip somehow managed to find a tow truck to bring them to get the truck (2 hours away). Jim and I managed to get some restless sleep, and Kip and Willet arrived back at the hotel with the truck and the trailer at about 8a.m.

Despite all of this, we press on! We have decided to miss the second day of the race and stay here in Oaxaca to get the truck and race car fixed. We will leave as soon as we can and catch up with the rest of the Pan Am crew in Queretaro and forgo the Mexico city stage. There we can hopefully continue racing the last 4 stages of the race using only waste vegetable oil as we had originally intended. Can't wait for that finish line in Nuevo Laredo! We will cross it, even if it means pushing the car there.
Stay tuned...


Bringing a knife to a gun fight...

We're back! We know that the suspense has been unbearable, especially for our parents who have been cringing at the stories of us paying off Federalies with AK's, but we are doing our best to post updates when we can. Also, we apologize to anybody who read the last post before we made changes to it. It may have appeared as though we had forgotten the English language after only 3 days in Mexico, but it was mostly a result of sleep deprevation.

The drive from San Miguel to Coatzacolocas was only 600 miles, but it took us about 15 hours. However, most of the other cars in the convoy had a similar experience bcause the detour around Mexico City, the traffic in the small towns that we passed through, the unending road construction, and abundance of bone-crushing potholes slowed us up a bit. Coatzacolcos is right on the coast of the Southern part of the Gulf of Mexico. We arrived late at night, but the hotel that we stayed at was once again top notch. Much of the wealth in Coatzacoalcos is derived from the oil refineries there, and the plumes of jet black smoke billowing from their smoke stacks served as a blunt reminder of why sustainable alternative energy education is so very important.

The purpose of stopping in Coatzacoalcos was to avoid having to do the 150 miles strech from their to Tuxtla Gutierrez at night. These roads made the previous ones that we had travelled on look like the Autobahn. The trip took us roughly 5 hours, but it was a great relief knowing that our 4,000 mile journey to the start of the race was over.

The truck has some how managed to almost stop leaking oil and continues to be a worthy vessel. We've nicknamed him Zevon, because we have been humoring ourselves with the Warren Zevon song, "Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money," for much of the trip down. We believe the oil leak that we experienced further North was basically as a result of the engine not likeing the bio-diesel that we were using. Our F250 powerstroke engine is electrical as opposed to mechanical fuel injection, and requires the highest grade of premium flitered bio-diesel. The recycled Tao oil bio-diesel that we were using wasn't generating enough power for the engine and was causing pressure to build up, which was blowing oil out of the rear seal between the engine and the transmission.

Our first day in Tuxtla Gutierrez was once again filled with excitment that we never could have expected. One of the event organizers was very interested to see our car, but informed us that the Carrera is a very long race and that we should drive carefully because they have lots of missles. He was of course speaking about the race cars that reach speeds of nearly 200 mph during some of the speed stages. We are hoping that our car will hit speeds of 80 or 85 mph.

Hence the title of this post, "Bringing a kinfe to a gun fight." Despite this we intened to stay focused on the task at hand; finishing this grueling 2000 miles race using only waste vegetable oil that we collect along the way.

The missiles: The Studebakers in this picture can easily reach speeds of 200 mph. The silver one is pioloted by world champion rally car driver Stig Blomquist.

One of the things that has been absolutely amazing about our time in Mexico is the willingness of both the other competitors and the local people to help us is whatever way that they can. In San Miguel we had a difficult time communicating with the local people because neither Kip nor I speak very good Spanish. We have been waiting anxiously for Willet to arrive so that we can really try to teach these local people about how they can utilize waste cooking oil, which here in Mexico we're told is typically dumped into drains. Success finally came last night. Once of the mechanics from another team who is from Mexico took a liking to our idea and began tring to explain it to anybody who would listen. Within 20 minutes we had a crowd of Federales and other Tuxtla locals gathered around our car in wide eyed interest listening what this man was telling them. Among the giggles and handshakes of congratulations, as far as we could see, most of these people understood how important something like this could be to their area.

Later on in the evening, when most of the other teams had gone off to dinner and we were still tying up loose ends so that we could pass tech inspection the following day, it just kept getting better. A young engineering student who spoke some broken english was incredibly excited about this technology that he had never heard about before. He was very interested to see if we could figure out a way to help him get a waste vegetable oil grease kit that he could install in a diesel here and Tuxtla and use to help local mechanics develop their own kits to distribute to the local people. We've exchanged email addresses and are hoping to get put together some grant money when we return so that we can do exactly that. While I spent much of the evening talking with him and answering the questions that he was eagerly fireing my way, Kip was also deeply involved in a conversation with a local car enthusiast and his family. They were so excited about what we were doing that they started phoning their friends to see if they could help collect WVO for the race. They also set up a radio interview with the most popular station in Tuxtla and arranged to pick us up the following morning at 8:30. The day honestly could not have gone any better.

We woke up first thing this morning and drove to the radio station in this gentlemans 1954 Mercury. The radio interview also could not have gone better and we are half worried that the locals are going to show up with way more WVO that we can carry with us. Following the interview he drove us back the the fairgrouds where the car is parked, this time in his 1949 Lincoln(all original parts, this car is absolutely gorgeous).

As for the rest of the morning... We passed tech inspection!!!!! It would have been a long drive back to the states and no racing if we hadn't. During the inspection we were interviewed by 3 or 4 more local TV stations who again were all very excited to conver the story and wished us the best of luck. Unfortunately, luck won't have much to do with it. It takes straight grit, determination, and exterme focus to finish a race of this scale in any car. The rest of the day will be dedicated to stickering up the car and making last minute adjustments before tomorrow's prequalifying run. The race starts friday, so stay tuned... Saludos de Mexico.


Nuevo Laredo to San Miguel de Allende "All the Federales say they could have had them any day..."

The moment we crossed the border into Mexico we were completely on our own. All of the cars in the Coyote Convoy were waved through except for ourselves and one other group because we had closed trailers. Once they had searched our truck and trailer throughly we made our way to the highway. Within our first 15 minutes of being on the highway we were pulled over twice by Federalies. Luckily it only cost us $50 dollars and nobody said a word about the 150 gallons of bio-diesel that we had in the back of the truck... That is until we made it to the Mexican customs stop 30 miles into Mexico and they told us that we had to return to the border and dump our bio-diesel. But wait, it gets better! Smooth talking Moncrief put his spanish skills to the test and conviced the customs officals that the bio-diesel was actually vegetable oil and that we were using it for educational purposes. After exchanging some t-shirts and a stern warning that we could never do this a again we were allowed to pass.
The 550 mile drive to San Miguel de Allende was definately not what we expected. The barren deserts littered with cacti that we had imagined, were replaced with stunning mountain views and random small communities along the highway containing extremely crafty people managing to survive in the middle of nowhere.
We arrived in San Miguel about an hour and a half after the rest of the convoy, and suddenly no longer felt like we were in Mexico. San Miguel is a place rich with culture and wonderful people. Our original impression was that a large percentage of the population were ex-pats. However, we have recently been informed by a San Miguel local that the population is actually around "85 thousand, (and larger if you include the entire "municipio" of outlying ranchos. The foreign population is roughly 10-12K, or only about 12-15% of the total. This is still very much a Mexico town. And we love it that way." We very much appreciate this knowledge, and would also have it no other way. San Miguel is a truly wonderful place and we hope to make it back one day soon. To learn more about San Miguel and view photos of this place visit, http://www.experience-san-miguel-de-allende.com/
The race hasn't even started yet and we have traveled more than 3 thousand miles. It has been an amazing trip so far. We are educating people every day. The Mexicans that we speak to come away with the knowledge that a diesel
motor can run on vegetable oil. We explain that the fuel is "alternativeo" and that we are using only vegtable oil or "acite de vegtebale". The car show today in San Miguel gave us a great opportunity to reach a broad range of people. One very cool part of this race is that we give back in every community we stop in. Last night there was a galla fundraiser to support to local charities that helped in feeding and clothing local individulas that have fallen on hard times. Unfortunetlty our grass roots budget has limited our ablity to give back financially. However, we were able to hook up with one of the town fathers and provide him with roughy 150 gallons of biodiesel. He will be distributing it to the local farmers to offset the price of their diesel, and will hopefully be able to help educate them on waste vegtable oil and other sustainable alternative sources of energy.
Tomorrow we will depart at 6 am to make the push to Coatzacoalcos, which is city is only 150 miles from the start of the race and we will hopefully get there before the stores close to get the rear motor seal for our truck, which is leaking at the momnet. So far this has been a truly meaningful experience and we are looking forward for the re-enforcenetms to our team with the likes of James Moncrief and Willet Hossfeld in a few days. The challenges have been non-stop but we wouldnt have it any other way. Stay tuned...


Another eventful day in Laredo...

First thing this morning we crossed the border into Mexico to get our tourist visas and vehicle permits.
We literally walked right into Mexico uninterrupted, and were pointed in about seven different directions when we asked where we could obtain tourist visas. Apparently the Mexican customs is actually about 30 miles into Mexico. This much confusion at the border is definitely was not what we expected first thing in the morning.
The front brake line on our truck has been giving us some trouble so we took it to a Ford dealership to see if they could sell us the pre-bent steel brake line that we needed. Should have known better! After waiting for most of the day they told us that there was nothing they could do, and that the part we needed was no longer in stock. Seeing as how brakes are slightly important when towing a 7,000 lb trailer 2,000 miles through mountainous terrain in Mexico, we bought a brake line and had to custom fit it to the truck. Keep in mind that this was at about 8p.m. and we are leaving the following day at 6a.m. for Mexico. Talk about making it happen! We finished the work on the truck at about 1:00 a.m. and are going to grab some much needed quick rest before the 500 miles trip to San Miguel Allende. Running down the dream.

Stay tuned...


The Highly Anticipated Rendezvous

The Excitement level is revving quite high! We arrived safely in Laredo, TX around 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. It has been a few hard days of traveling across this great country like a band of gypsies, but was a very pleasant reminder of why we’ve come all this way when we pulled into the hotel this afternoon and saw a 1965 Mustang GT 350 in fit racing trim.
We will take some time this afternoon and tomorrow to look over the car and truck, and will cross the border into Mexico with the Coyote Convoy early Saturday morning.

Below are pictures of some of the first cars to arrive in Laredo...

.... As you can see from this small sample this race will be containing a plethora of mobility from the likes of a poised Jag E-type to the sophisticated but calculated (very well prepped) Mercedes 220 SE, and the most brut beasts to ever come out of South Bend, or Detroit(the Studebaker and Mustang).
Excitement levels are always high before a race. In this case we still have 2000 miles more to go just to get to the start. As we look around at some of these brilliant machines the "red mist" of the need for speed can be found creeping into every thought in comparing our little Rudi to the "competition." However, we have found our coping mechanism to be keeping our thoughts on what we came here to do; finish this race and learn as much as we can while showing others a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
Tomorrow will surly be filled with more stories of this border town where two cultures seemed smashed together giving us the comforts of home, while foreshadowing the array of scenery and culture that we will encounter during the next week.
More to come...