Looking for people to join me on a little adventure, called The BA/BE Rally. The premise of the rally is to buy a vehicle for $250 or less and from May 22nd to May 25th drive from New York (Big Apple) to New Orleans (Big Easy) while performing various tasks to acquire points. Whoever is able to drives their vehicle to New Orleans and acquire the most points wins. The rally's route takes you through some beautiful sections of the Appalachian Mountains, which includes the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia and North Carolina, and Deals Gap Road (aka The Tail of the Dragon) which features 318 curves over 11 miles. I drove the Dragon last September and it is definitely a driver?s treat.
Where to get a $250 car that will make the trip? No need to worry about that. The vehicle, title, license, registration, and insurance have already been taken care by me.
Grumpy is a 1997 Chevrolet Astro AWD with 297k miles that was purchased last December. During 2007 Grumpy lived a hard life as a delivery van based out of Milwaukee and according to the previous title accumulated 118 k miles in 11 months. It is dented, dirty, and currently only starts with starting fluid, but once it gets going it drives just fine. During the next few weeks Grumpy will receive a tune-up and fluid changes. Mr.Goodwrench told me that the inability to start without starting fluid is most likely due to a week fuel pump. I?ve replaced a few of these in Astro vans before so a spare pump and the required tools will be brought on the rally to swap if needed, but I?m hoping to get away with leaving it alone.
In addition to making sure the van runs okay, I am going to try popping as many dents as possible and would like to give it a cheapo paint job. Here is what I would like Grumpy to look like for the rally.
What do I require of team members? Not much really, just a willingness to have fun and pay your fair share. No mechanical skills needed, you don't even need a drivers license if you just want to ride along.
My current guesstimate is that Grumpy will use 200 gallons of fuel to complete the Chicago - New York ? New Orleans ? Chicago loop and with the news forecasting $4 per gallon this summer the budget is $800 for gas, but hopefully it won?t be quite that bad. I'm also hoping on increasing the current mpgs with some aero tricks and a bit of drafting.
I can't get to The BA/BE Rally site at home for some reason. I'm pretty sure NY, PA, MD, DC, VA, NC, TN, AL, MS, LA. Not sure about GA or SC, we might briefly touch them.
Motel cost can very depending on what you choose to do. I was thinking about grabbing floor space from others and sleeping in the van myself. I budgeted $200 for my personal lodging, I'm leaving this area open though.
The rally starts in Staten Island and I plan on getting there a day early to do some site seeing in NY.
The van currently needs a fuel pump and a tune-up, but actually drives really good. It's been my daily driver for the past three weeks and I feel after I replace the pump that it should be able to complete the 3000 miles needed to do the rally and bring it home. I actually find myself really enjoying cruising around in a $250 van. While I'm pretty good at repairing these vans, I'd always welcome help should something go wrong.
well sleeping on the floor can be dangerous unless theres 1 person awake watching, since only rest area's offer the kind of space
im very likely to join, if i do and we drive back to chicago, I will buy a plane ticket back to philly, might have to stay over at your place + lift to airport (thats the only catch . also i wanted to go up the sears tower, since i drove by there from seattle to philly, i only saw it, but never got off I-90 to see it.
I just want to say that if any problems crop up between IL & NY that you want to patch up before the rally I live about 100miles east of NYC and would be glad to give you full run of my garage & tools.
Just figured I'd put that out there.
I have plans on attending a local swap meet this coming Sunday in an attempt to recruit some more team members. Any suggestions on what I should be doing while I'm there? So far I'm going to have fliers and shoe polish letting on the van's windows. I hope to have the van parked near the entrance for part of the day.