Non-broken accelerator

Robert Stacy McCain is reporting in from Birmingham, Alabama, and he notes in passing:

785 miles in 15 hours, including a two-hour nap in the car this morning at a rest area near Bristol, Tenn…

Which, of course, means 785 miles in 13 hours, including at least one, maybe two fuel stops, unless he’s bolted some Mondo Mobil auxiliary gas tank into that Kia Optima of his. I’m guessing he took I-81 down to Bristol and picked up US 11 there.

Relevant only to me: One of the first assignments dished out to me when I was a newlywed was to get rid of my devilish six-cylinder ’66 Chevrolet. One of the replacements under consideration was a three-year-old Mercedes-Benz 240D with just about six figures on its odometer: the owner, a physician in a small city up towards Kansas, had retrofitted it with just such a tank. At the Benz’s typical 30 mpg, we were told, the car could do over 1300 miles on a single fillup of diesel. Downside: half the trunk space had been recouped for fuel storage, and zero to sixty was quoted in fortnights. We wound up with, of all things, another Chevy, this time with a proper small-block V8. It became her car; I wound up with a Toyota I’ve mentioned before.

Still, can you imagine McCain with a thousand-mile range? Because he can, you damn betcha.

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