Back in 2011, the Caldwells showed up with an AWESOME Auburn speedster that blew me away. I had to give it a go. As much as our big Imperial is a crowd favorite for style, it was never really competitive: too big, too soft, too new, and the slushbox made holding speed on hills a real challenge. So, I bought a 1932 chassis and set pencil to paper, designing a unique boattail speedster. It took finding and buying another chassis (that first one was absolutely no good!), and a lot of work to build this Straight-8 runner, but we made it to the 2014 Great Race start in Maine. Where the axle simply broke (the last act of eighty years’ fatigue crack growth)! A quick swap brought back the Imperial for one more encore, to finish that year’s Race, but the break meant it was time for a deeper dive: we’ve now done a full engine rebuild and a lot more improvements in all systems. So, two years after that disappointment in Ogunquit; we THINK we’ve gone over everything, packed all we need, and even driven the car a bit. OK, we still need to adjust the brakes and maybe change the carburetor jetting, but we’ll have HOURS yet in California before the running gets serious, right?
Last night, ol’ Reliable picked up our speedster for transport to San Rafael! Yeehah! Look out Great Race, we’re coming back. The Mystery of Melrose (what kind of car IS that, anyway) is on the way. Our team this year is my Ethan and I, aka Sire & Scion, running wholly a capella – no support vehicle, just some spare bits in the trunk, for a super father-son bonding run before he graduates and joins the permanent labor force.
This should be a truly GREAT Great Race.