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May 20, 2008

2008 New England 1000: Day 2, Tuesday. Around the Adirondacks.

Filed under: 08 NE1000 Rally — chuck goolsbee @ 2:36 pm

Mostly sunny, pretty good performance, and fun roads.

We zeroed the first segment, and racked up 1 penalty point in the second (we were actually dead-on, but the rallymaster’s clock was half a second slow. =\), then we visited an awesome car museum, almost missed the start of the next segment toubleshooting a non-existent fuel leak, and finally nailed/zeroed a VERY difficult segment that caught most of the rally off.

wet maserati
wet maserati

The rally started from the front of the hotel overlooking Mirror Lake. It had rained on and off most of the night, and the distant mountains wore a fresh dusting of snow, but the sky was mostly sunny and the weather pleasant and cool. I slept a little late, still being on Pacific Daylight Time, and some cars were starting while I was still at breakfast. I brought the camera (fresh batteries!) with me and grabbed some shots after I ate.

hayes' 300sl
hayes' 300sl
hayes' 300sl
hayes' 300sl

Above: Two views of Joe Hayes’ gorgeous 300sl at the start. Love that car!

Michie 330gt
Michie 330gt

Above: Henry Michie’s deep blue Ferrari 330GT. His starter didn’t work and everybody gave him grief all week about pushing/bump starting his car. Henry has a great sense of humor and suffered all our ribbing with aplomb.

I got myself ready and went down to get our car ready for the day. The green Maserati Ghibli parked a few cars down had a dead battery and wound not start. I pulled the 450sl along side and the rally mechanics and my dad hooked up the jumper cables. I recorded the event:

That’s me, helping the driver sort out what lights (the parking lights) were responsible.

wheels on the maser
wheels on the maser

This Maserati was being driven by a father/daughter team. Always nice to see parents and kids (like us!) enjoying these events together. I love the wheels on this car… they capture that 70s Zeitgeist so well!

We pulled the MundaneSL around to front and got our checkout time, then hit the road.

on the road
on the road
at the wheel
at the wheel
over a bridge
over a bridge

The first segment was very easy for the navigator (me) and I assume fun for the driver, as it was long stretches of wonderful, rolling two-lane roads through the Adirondack Mountains. There were a few representatives of the New York State Police out there and we heard quite a few rallyists were waylaid and assessed various infractions and fines… thankfully none of them ran into us. We just had nice open roads and nice lakes and hills (I hesitate to call these “mountains”) to look at. The only trouble along this segment was a strong smell of gasoline we kept getting when we opened the windows. At first we thought it might be from the Ferrari in front of us for a while, but even after it was gone we could still smell it.

Minimal navigation and otherwise enjoyable driving brought us to the first segment checkpoint, located behind a gas station. We arrived with enough time to hang out in the stand-off area while I shot some photos.

C&C
C&C

Above: Miles Collier’s “resto-mod” Cunningham C3 Vignale Continental Coupe alongside Jaime Muldoon’s Ferrari 250.

Lancia 3b
Lancia 3b

Above: The answer to the question from the other day about what was in the reflection, a Lancia Flaminia 3B coupe

250
250
250
250
Muldoons
Muldoons

Another view of the 250 and the Muldoons

Mick Pallardy
Mick Pallardy

Above: All work and all play, Mick Pallardy from Porsche has some smiles on the job.

maserati's exhaust
maserati's exhaust

Above: Gideon’s Trumpet protruding from the posterior of a Maserati.

We zeroed the leg, dropped the convertible top, swapped seats, and I drove the next segment. It was very similar to the first segment, at least at the beginning, with enjoyable back road highways but eventually we left the hills and arrived near the town of Saratoga Springs where roads started getting crowded. Oh well. I did manage to grab one good shot out the driver’s side of the top as we had fun on the first part:

driving
driving

Additionally it seemed we had lost some gasoline and now figured we had a leak somewhere. We stopped in mid-segment (rare on a timed leg, but we had banked time) to fill up the car as we feared running out. I gave the area under the car and under the hood a good look over, but could not find any leaks. The strong smell seemed to have faded but was still there. It seemingly only came on with hard acceleration, but no amount of throttle blipping with my head under the bonnet could locate any leaks.

The checkpoint was at the Saratoga Car Museum, and as per his desire, dad drove the last part of the segment through the checkpoint. I snapped a photo of him preparing for that run in the museum parking lot. You can see the final checkpoint in the background.

checkpoint
checkpoint

The one thing we didn’t do, which is even allowed in these rally’s rules, is to wander over to the checkpoint and check our clock against the official rally time. Big mistake. We proceeded through the checkpoint, nailing it according to our clock, but in fact were half a second early by Official Rally Time. Grrrrrr! The rules don’t take half-seconds into account, so we were penalized a full second. Oh well. In order for us to win now everyone else will have to screw up more than us. 😉

The museum itself was nice, with an interesting collection of cars. I took plenty of photos but I’m hoarding them for future “car photo of the day” posts where my readers guess the car in the photo. I will share this one image however, as it is very cool:

pipes
pipes

Anyone know what car this is from?

We ambled back to the parking lot and since the rally mechanics were there attending to Henry Michie’s starter problems we engaged them in looking for our suspected gas leak.

sniffing for gasoline
sniffing for gasoline

No leak was found… but at the last fill up dad did notice that the gas cap was loose. Oddly enough that seems to be the cause of the “leak” or at least the smell of gasoline… go figure.

Adjacent to us in the parking lot at the Museum was Wayne & Graceia Golomb. Loyal readers will remember them from the 2007 Going To The Sun Rally, especially day two, where Shaun & I fixed their borrowed Jaguar Mk. 2, and day five, when Wayne drove my E-type the way it was meant to be driven. Wayne didn’t bring one of his Ferraris to the New England 1000, he brought something even more special: a 1990 Cadillac Allanté! I kept telling Wayne that the Allante was “a Duesenberg of the future”… being something of an oddity/rarity. He kept thinking that I was joking, but I think I may be right. Who knows… at least for the next 70 years or so… at which point we’ll both be dead! 😉

Anyway, I love seeing oddball cars at events like this. Besides, if I see another red Ferrari I think I’ll fall puke. There were no less than a half-dozen red Ferraris in the rally, ranging from the 250, through 275 GTBs, 330s, to Daytonas, and a gaggle of newer models I can’t keep track of nomenclature for (their all on the depreciation curve anyway…) I’d rather see Allantes, Morgans, Maseratis, Mercedes, Jaguars, etc. Red Ferraris are OK but too much is too much. Vintage sports car events are sick with red Ferraris like small town show & shines are sick with Camaros & Mustangs. No disrespect to red Ferrari (or Camaro/Stang) owners, just my opinion.

Anyway, on the last leg I snapped an epic shot of the Allante:

Caddy Allante
Caddy Allante

Dad drove the last leg of the day, from Saratoga back up to Lake Placid, though along a mostly different route. While leaving Saratoga we encountered a traffic jam of sorts, and Dad went off-course (against my expressed desire) but he was able to just sidestep the delay by a few blocks and get us back on course and moving again. I was more concerned with odometer drift, but in the end he was proven right. Even with the detour, we barely made the checkpoint, arriving at the stand-off area with less than a minute to spare before our check-in time. Good thing Dad did NOT listen to me as most competitors racked up big penalties on this section, whereas we zeroed it.

From the checkpoint to the hotel was a 15 minute drive. There was a boat ride scheduled but we chose to skip it and get a nap. I also wandered around and shot some photos, including some of Scott George caring for the Cunningham C3.

Scott George and the Cunningham C3 Coupe
Scott George and the Cunningham C3 Coupe

Dinner was fantastic. I can’t recall the name of the place, but I remember that the line for the shuttle was long so Dad & I chose to drive. We were followed by Joe & Marge Costa in their 1973 V-12 E-type 2+2. While we waited for the rest of the group to arrive we sat at the bar and had a great conversation. Joe & Marge were obviously having a great time, as they had huge smiles plastered on their faces all week.

At dinner we were told that our start atop Whiteface Mountain was in doubt due to weather, but we were optimistically looking forward to another great day of rallying.

6 Comments

  1. Pretty color, and ya just gotta *luuuuurv* those centre-laced rims! They look *mahvelous*, dahlink!

    Comment by vrooomie — May 21, 2008 @ 4:33 am

  2. they may look nice but you’d want a slave to clean the buggers for you!! 🙂

    Jerome

    Comment by gondwana — May 21, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

  3. Jerome, I’ve long said, I love the look of wire wheels but, a LOOOOOONG time ago, I got sick-ass tired of keeping the f#$%^&ing things clean! If I can wheedle a child into doing it for 10 bucks, I JUMP at the opportunity to take advanta–er– give a youth a chance to experience true capitalism…
    🙂

    Comment by vrooomie — May 27, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  4. Regarding the Allante/duesenberg comparo:
    My ‘deux centavos’ is, the Allante will *never* be in the league of the Duesenberg (approx. 730 produced, EVER).
    One, over 3300 Caddys were made; two, the car wasn’t much to write home about, vis-a-vis its performance and reliability, both of which were in pretty short supply for a $60,000 (1990 dollars) car, that was supposed to compete agains the MB 560SL.

    It was *interesting* car, given its cross-country origins (a harbinger of wha is now considered quite normal) and it was an *attempt* by The General to enter the supercar arena, and I’ll give it credit for that.
    But, a Duesenberg for the 21st century? Write it into our wills, and we’ll wager $5 for our descendants to haggle over, but IMHO….no so much.

    🙂

    Comment by vrooomie — May 29, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  5. Note I said “a Duesenberg of the future” not “THE Duesenberg of the future” 😉

    It is an interesting, low-volume car. I agree, it does not stand up to the *SL line from Mercedes, which however was a high-volume car. As such a better comparison would be something other than a Duesie… a Kaiser perhaps.

    –chuck

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — May 29, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  6. “As such a better comparison would be something other than a Duesie… a Kaiser perhaps.”
    THAt I can get next to!
    There are ‘classic’ cars(ALL Duesies, most Rollers, some Auburns, the MkI Lincolns, XKEs, to mention JUST a few) and there are ‘special interest’ cars (1940 ‘slabside’ Ford, Kaiser-Darrin, Henry J, Corvair). I think the Allante will be ajudged as one of the latter.
    The Classic Car Club of America has the definition, so maybe one of us can find that precise wording….

    Comment by vrooomie — May 29, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

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