Ford Authority

Man Smashes Solo Cannonball Run Record In Rental Ford Mustang

When the movie The Cannonball Run came out back in 1981, it inspired a slightly controversial unsanctioned race that covers 2,800 miles of tarmac from New York City to Los Angeles. And in the years since, many have attempted to set and reset the record time for this cross-country jaunt. Since the main obstacles to success are traffic and police, many correctly pointed out that now is a great time to smash the Cannonball Run record, given the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So it should come as no surprise that a man named Fred Ashmore managed to pull off this incredible feat behind the wheel of a rental Ford Mustang with a time of 25 hours and 55 minutes, at an average speed of nearly 108 miles per hour. That beats the previous Cannonball Run record of 27 hours and 25 minutes, set last November by a team of three in a 2015 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sedan.

What makes this feat even more impressive is the fact that Ashmore did it all by himself, with no other driver(s) to rotate out with. He also only stopped one single time, for fuel. To make this happen, he removed the Mustang’s rear seat and passenger seat and added enough extra tanks to provide the car with 130 gallons of fuel capacity.

While most other serious Cannonball Run competitors have spent copious amounts of money on their efforts, Ashmore claims to have dropped a mere $3,000 on the entire journey. Most of that was spent on the fuel tanks, which he purchased on Facebook Marketplace. Ultimately, he wound up averaging 12 miles-per-gallon over the entire trip, but he also reached speeds as high as 159 miles-per-hour.

Instead of stopping at a gas station to refuel, Ashmore planned to have some friends nearby in a truck carrying 150 gallons when he ran out. The refuel took a total of eight minutes, which was his only pause save for a 25 minute wait at the agricultural inspection station entering California. And yes, Ashmore relieved himself in empty plastic drink bottles, in case anyone was wondering.

While this sort of trek is obviously dangerous, Ashmore managed to pull it off without incident. He did have one close encounter with police, though he managed to slip away unscathed. Much of this can be attributed to his on-board tech that included a radar detector and laser jammer, Google Maps, Waze, and a CB radio.

As frequently as the Cannonball Run record has been reset in recent years, we’re not so sure that Ashmore’s new mark won’t be beaten soon. But that doesn’t make it any less impressive. And while we certainly can’t condone the law-breaking nature of the race, it’s also worth pointing out that in its history, the Cannonball has a pretty spotless safety record.

We’ll have more cool stories like this soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

h/t Road & Track

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. GaryB

    I wonder how the rental company reacted

  2. Jerry Caroprese

    Having worked for a rental company for 31 years I can tell you that they would not be happy at all. In addition, he would probably be placed on the Do Not Rent list for speeding and taking parts off the car. It is a contract violation to use a rental car in any type of speed contest. I am sure this would qualify as a speed contest. He is fortunate that he didn’t have an accident going at those speeds. I know what most cars look like after hitting something going over 100 miles per hour.

    1. Scat

      Jerry (I mean Karen), you have no life, no idea and most probably no pulse.
      Why on earth a Dudley Doright such as yourself is even reading an article like this is beyond comprehension.
      Oh wait, it’s so you can look to your children and say “See children, this is a No No, one shall not walk outside the boundaries of confoming.

      Search Ebay, purchase a life lol

  3. Raymond Ramirez

    What will the time be if that run was done exactly at the posted speed limits on each highway? I can estimate that it will take over thirty hours, but it can be done with a second driver.

  4. Fred Ashmore

    Thanks for the share…!!!

  5. Tim Barry

    Cannonball run is the American way. I would like to see an annual cannonball run with permission from the states affected, a certain time limit to have their interstates closed down, i think this would be a huge draw among Americans.

  6. Mayhem

    Dear Editor,

    Please fact check your writer…the “Cannonball Baker Sea to Shinning Sea Memorial Dash” was started in 1971 by Automotive journalist Brock Yates.

    Mayhem Writing Company

    1. Brett Foote

      Yes, which inspired the movie, which has in turn inspired many unsanctioned runs such as this one.

      1. RJ Smith

        Being a retired 18 wheeler O/O hauling produce coast to coast I love the cannon ball run competion. I can truly imagine the utter excitement of the challenge. Back in the seventies I know of a driver who drove from Wash DC to Long Beach California in 48 hours. Includes fuel stops and slowing for the scales. I did it in 54 hours. No sleep whatsoever. That includes 45,000 pounds in the trailer. Gross weight of 80,000 lbs. That’s driving!

  7. Michael Z. Williamson

    “When the movie The Cannonball Run came out back in 1981, it inspired a slightly controversial unsanctioned race that covers 2,800 miles of tarmac from New York City to Los Angeles.”

    The race started years before and wass the inspiration for the movie.

    At least get the basic facts correct.


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