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The Kinda Grand Tour [FINALE]


#369

#Team ‘Southend or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

The story so far: It’s been smooth going for the past few hours as they saunter down the Californian coast, and the need for fuel has presented an excellent chance to get some extra breakfast…

“Santa Maria then, eh?” said James as turned off the engine. “This just sounds like a generic Californian town”.
“Yeah, the kinda one those crappy American dramas like The OC are set in” replied Martin.
“The OC?” asked James.
“The OC. Some show about rich teenagers living in California that was on years ago. My older sister was addicted to it” said Martin, remembering the time she gave him a bloody nose just because he switched off the TV.
“Sheesh” said James, opening the fuel filler cap, “Glad I missed that one”.

Seb had got out of the car too, but had remained quiet. His eyes had caught something.
“Seb?” said Martin, wondering what he was so focused on. “Seb, hello?”. Martin looked in the direction Seb was looking.
“Ohhh” Martin said, smirking. “Hey, James, I think Seb’s just seen a very pretty lady”.
James looked over from staring at the pump, and chuckled. Seb had spotted a woman with long brown hair in a flower-pattern bardot filling up a light blue Honda S2000.
“Dude, shut up” said Seb, blushing.
“I bet you can’t go over there and flirt with her whilst talking about her car” stated James, with Martin smiling in agreement.
“Er…uh…Well” said Seb, his eyes flicking between the girl and the guys.
“Go on, you know you want to” said Martin.

Seb walked over, casually, checking out her car.
“Pre-facelift or after?” began Seb, trying to start the conversation on the topic of cars. She has to be petrolhead, surely. She drives an S2000! he thought to himself.
“Huh?” the lady turned around, a little surprised. “Oh, the car?”
“Oh gosh yes, yes” said Seb, fumbling a little.
“Ha” she said awkwardly. “It’s a 2006 model, so yeah it’s the updated one”
Holy shit thought Seb. She knows about this kind of stuff. She knows!
“Nice” Seb complimented. “Gorgeous colour too. I take it you’re someone who likes driving then?”
She smiled and put the petrol nozzle back onto the pump. “I am”.
“Thought that might be the case” replied Seb, smiling also. “I mean this is a proper drivers car”.
“Oh absolutely” she replied. “It’s seriously quick, and so much fun with the roof down”.

Martin and James were watching patiently. “Things seems to be going rather well” said Martin, doing his best to not appear to be staring.

Seb and the lady, who he’d found out was called Naomi, were still talking about the car.
“Nah, it’s kinda funny, I’m a stereotype California girl who does girly things, but people always seem to be surprised when I say I love cars” Naomi said.
“Well, I’m not surprised if you’re driving around in something like this” Seb replied having relaxed a little. That all changed very suddenly however.
“So then, did your friends dare you to come over and chat me up?” she said, unflinching.
“Er, er” - Seb stalled.
“Cause it’s real cute, you know” said Naomi, very sarcastically.

“No no, wait” - Seb desperately tried to regain control - “I…I, I saw you filling up your car and just thought you looked really beautiful and I really liked your car and then my friends said I should go over to you”.
“Huh” said Naomi, a little unsure.
“Seriously, I think you look gorgeous and I was actually gonna come over and say hi anyway” said Seb. He seemed to have saved himself.
Naomi looked at him, thinking. “You’re not from around here, are you?” she said.
“No, certainly not” said Seb, smiling awkwardly.
“Mexico?” - Naomi thought that would be the case given he had a Spanish accent.
“Wait, no, I’m from Spain” said Seb. “Though I’m actually at university in the UK currently with those two” he said, looking back to Martin and James (who definitely weren’t staring).

“Oh gosh, sorry about that!” said Naomi, hoping the apology would be enough. “What are you lot doing out here in a…er…” - Naomi looked past Seb to try and work out what car he was in - “…an orange Erin something or other?”.
“Ha, long story” said Seb. “We’re on this Gumball rally kinda thing, it’s a bit less crazy, but we’re driving from Seattle to San Diego in second hand crap buckets basically”.
“San Diego you say?” asked Naomi, her mood changing.
“Yeah, hopefully by tonight with any luck…”

.

“So she might try and meet you there?” asked James. They were back on the road, and naturally the guys were keen to know how it went.
“Yeah, she added me on Facebook. Said she was going to drive down there later today. Obviously she can go a bit faster than us so…”
“Nice job man” replied James.
“Next time though guys” said Seb, “please don’t stare like that when I’m trying to flirt”.


#370

Team Bamford

8am-10am

Jason was easing the Bamford along at a steady speed, trying to make the most of his seat time, they needed to stop for fuel one last time, the team was excited, they were making decent time and looked like a shoe-in for a decent finish as they coasted into the Chevron Station.

For the first time on the entire trip Ken’s mobile phone rang, as surprised as the rest of the team, Ken answered the phone, hopping out of the car and walking off into the car park to talk.

Jason and Simon went inside to pay for the fuel whilst Phil pumped it.

Phil was almost done filling the tank when he was approached by a large man-looking creature.

“Hullo” smiled Phil, putting on his best “I’m actually poor” accent

“What’s this?” asked the beast

Phil squinted for a moment and worked out that the “beast” was in fact a human, just wearing a ridiculously large hoodie and beanie combo that added feet to it’s height and fat to it’s width.

“It’s a Bamford from England” continued Phil, changing his accent to something a little more East-Coast.

“Yeah, I picked it up from some tourists who wanted to travel America in one of their own cars, paid around $3000”

The beast paused for a moment “So, it’s worth money?”

“What?”

“Give me the keys”

“Pardon?”

“I want the car”

“I don’t have the keys”

Phil, in resounding British stuck-up-ed-ness (yes, that’s a word now) refused to move a muscle, he hadn’t come all the way down America to be carjacked so close to the line, nor so close to his potential new girlfriend.

And, in that manner that won his people two wars and honorable mentions in the last few, Phil stood bolt still as the beast punched him in the face several times over.

“Excuse me!” said Phil, ignoring the blood pouring down his face “That’s not very nice!”

Simon and Jason ran out of the building, they’d paid for the fuel and turned in time to see Phil’s face being re-arranged.

Phil reacted splendidly, once making damn sure that his attacker had actually started the fight (just to be in the clear) he pulled the gas pump out of the car and splashed a small amount of gasoline over his attacker’s legs, the beast jumped backwards and Phil strode forwards to unleash a level of rage not seen since the Boer War.

But, being Phil, he stuffed it up and tripped on the pump’s line, tripping as he moved, headbutting his attacker before he regained his balance and spent the next ten seconds smashing his fists into their face.

Ken walked around the corner and saw Phil kneeling over the broken form of a man while his friend laid endless punches into their head.

Acting quickly, Simon dragged Phil into the car as Jason and Ken jumped in and sped away while Phil explained to the team what had happened.

“And I wasn’t going to let some junkie take our car so close to the line, I just didn’t expect him to break my face doing so”

The others were calmed by the story, learning that Phil was at least acting in self defense.

“Did you guys all think that I just started wailing on someone?” Phil asked, looking around the car

“I did, for a moment” replied Ken “It didn’t seem like something you’d have done”

Phil smiled, checking his teeth and noses alignment “Well, all seems to be right here, I’ve just got some monster bruises on my cheeks and eyes, chicks dig scars right?”

They contemplated phoning the police, but then the cops would look over the car and ask questions, so instead Simon phoned the petrol station and discussed the incident with them, they came to a resolution that Phil would meet them there around 3pm Monday and discuss the incident.

“So Phil and Jason will take the Bamford back to Santa Maria and give their statements then”

“Our flight out isn’t until Tuesday anyway” replied Ken “We can get the car LA and leave it at the air-freight terminal, that’s what my phone call was for, booking our flights home, I even gave Phil an extra two weeks”

Phil smiled at that, he was going to make the most of his stay.

“It’s hard to believe it’s almost over” said Jason “We put so much into getting here and it’s almost over now”

“And you know what, we just lost the race” said Simon, dejected “Clutch Droppers in their '96 Bil won it, according to the preliminary results”

Jason didn’t ease off, but the mood in the car was low, they’d never thought of winning the race, but with a broken and bloodied team-mate and a large fuel bill, it made the sluggish progress of the Bamford hard to bare and they were one wrong word away from a monster argument.


#371

TEAM OUTRIDERS

Marc: Is that one of the other teams?

Luigi: Stopped by the cops.

Blake: Good thing you slowed down when you did.

Marc: That’s a perk of being a cop, you know the best spots where state troopers set up.

Blake: What do you think of our chances for winning?

Luigi: Not good, looks like some drove straight through the night.

Marc: That’s what we should’ve done, slept and drove in shifts.

Blake: So our goal is to at least finish then?

Marc: That’s the plan. Car’s running along smoothly. Plus given that this car survived a previous run, that’s no small feat.

Luigi: I think we’re clear to pour on some more speed.

Marc: Not yet, see that overpass up ahead? There’s a smokey hiding behind it as well.

(Sure enough as the team passes they see a state trooper monitoring traffic)

Blake: How did you know he would be there?

Marc: Simple, it’s what I would do. Speeders think they’re in the clear, especially if the first guy has someone pulled over, then the second one comes in and nails em.

Blake: You’ve never been a highway patrolman.

Marc: Nope, but we do have the freeway running through the city, not to mention mutual aid.

Luigi: Remember that chase you did back in '07?

Marc: Ugh, don’t remind me.

Blake: Oh yeah, you had that Owosso.

Marc: Nice car and all, but wasn’t worth a damn in a highway pursuit.

Blake: Not to mention the trans fluid sloshing around during hard cornering.

Luigi: God, I remember your complaint about lack of shifting. I drove that thing all around town with no problems.

Marc: Because you didn’t swing it hard around a corner. I always knew FWD was a bad idea for a cop car.

Blake: No, just a poorly designed transmission. The new ones use baffles in the pan to keep fluid where it needs to be during hard cornering.

Marc: I wouldn’t know, I always pulled rank to get the car I wanted.

Luigi: Believe me, I know. The other cops call you a Blackfoot Whore.

Marc: Not my fault the city decided to buy both cars. And then get into a pissing match with Petoskey dealers over the fuel problem.

Luigi: It’s those stupid turbos. They could’ve stuck with a tried and true design, but no, they had to change to something completely different.

Marc: That’s because the Enforcer was largely unchanged for twenty years. Little upgrades here and there, but overall, you couldn’t distinguish this from a '92 or a '12 model year.

Blake: And a drop in the bucket where repair costs were concerned.

Marc: Okay, looks like we’re clear. (Pours on some speed)

Luigi: I always wonder what would happen if you missed one and got pulled over.

Marc: I’d show him my badge and hope he won’t bust my balls for being out of state.

Blake: Or the fact that you’re not a state trooper. As I recall there is little love lost between local and state cops.

Marc: Let’s see what we can find on the radio…


#372

Team DMV Speed Stars

Many black markers and cans of silly string later…

Ethan: Man, you guys did a number on each other. Can we keep going now?

Felix: Yeah…

Dennis: Alright. But I totally won.

Felix: Fuck you.

The 3 take off again. However, the quality of gearshifts goes down the drain.

Dennis: Man, this thing doesn’t want to go into gear. Well, it didn’t want to before, but now it really doesn’t want to.

Ethan: It looked like its days were numbered before. Wonder what went wrong this time.

Felix: Okay, Pull off at the next stop and we’ll take a look at it.

They stop in the middle of a largely empty shopping center and jack the car up.

Ethan: Man, it certainly smells like clutch.

Felix: How would you know? Your car has a CVT.

Ethan: Your stock clutch…

Felix:I only had the car for a month!

Dennis: Yeah, this thing is fried worse than Felix’s.

Felix: Hey, it only needs to last for the rest of the trip. Let’s go.

They make it to the end of the lot before the car won’t go into gear at all.

Ethan and Dennis: Well that didn’t last long.

Felix tries for about 30 minutes to put it in gear to no avail.

Ethan: Good news. Apparently there are people nearby who’d be willing to take this thing off your hands, even with the bad transmission.

Dennis: They can’t be any worse at buying cars than Felix.

Felix: Whatever. Let’s get rid of the van and get out of here.


#373

Previous Post || Next Post

Team: Clutch Droppers

Day 3: 8-8:45am

Shortly after leaving the downtown L.A. area, the highway made a jog to the left and ended, dumping us onto Interstate 5, towards San Diego. Seeing the wide open interstate ahead of us, Ryan pressed down the throttle.

Ryan: Alright, I need to wake up a little, plus Bob is the only one to really have any fun with this thing yet.

Bob: Don’t go too fast, you have got to be about as tired as I am, and I am completely beat.

Ryan: Just a little…

Jason flipped on the radar detector attached to the passenger’s sun visor ss the speedo crept over 100.

Ryan: Man, this is great, all the traffic is headed into town, we timed this really well.

The road was mostly open ahead of us, while the Northbound side was clogged with commuters on their way to work in the city. However, there were enough cars on our side to keep the drive interesting while Ryan hammered the gas. Suddenly, the radar detector went off, just before we passed a semi-truck. The warning came soon enough for Ryan to smash the brakes, quickly bringing us back down to a pokey 70mph. We inched past the semi-truck and saw the highway patrol car off to the right of the road. Luckily, it seemed our semi-truck cover had prevented him from catching our speed… Or maybe our emergency braking convinced him that we were not all bad… Or maybe he was just lazy. Either way, the lights did not come on and we continued down the highway undisturbed.

Jason: Reaching up to turn the detector off. Man was that fucking close! If that truck hadn’t been there we would have been done for. Of course with the power this baby has we could have led a police chase to the finish line I think.

Bob: Let’s not push our luck anymore, we are so close, I don’t want the car to give up the ghost or get pulled over while 2nd place sails past us.

Ryan: Don’t worry, I’m going to stick to the speed limit from now on, but that really did wake me up.

Day 3: 9:10am

Ryan: Shit we are close. There goes Mission Bay. Do you think we are still in first, I don’t think anyone passed us at Denny’s or Santa Monica…

Bob: Guess we will find out in a few minutes. There’s the airport, should be just a few more exits.

Everyone was starting to get nervous, unsure if we were in first place still or not. The fatigue from driving all night was fraying our nerves.

Bob: Come on, come on… Pass this stupid car, we don’t have time for this!

Ryan: The exit is right here, can’t really go around just to dive through the crash barrels for the exit.

Bob: UUUGGGGHHHHHHHHHH

Ryan: Here we go, the Coronado Bridge! Oh come on, it’s a stupid toll plaza. Anyone got change??

Bob: Yeah, here, just take it all and throw it at them.

After paying the toll, Ryan launched the car away from the booth, missing the raising boom arm by mere millimeters. The toll booth guards did not look amused. We followed the road around until we were pointed toward the beach turn off.

Bob: I can see the beach, follow the road around to the right. Right here, yes, turn!

Ryan: I can read the damn signs!

Jason: Do you guys see any of those other cars?? Also… Where exactly are we supposed to go to finish?

Bob: Hey, isn’t that the guy from the driver’s meeting standing over there?

Jason: Yeah, your right. Just pull over here.

Ryan gunned the engine, giving a small flick of the wheel to the right before hitting the brakes hard and yanking the wheel to the left. The FWD car’s rear end went completely loose, swinging around as good as any RWD car. Ryan planted the car firmly into the curb on the other side of the road, but miraculously was between the lines of the parking spots.

Bob: Damn, that was slick! But I think you messed up the rims…

Ryan: It’ll buff out. Now let’s get over to the race guy!

The trio took off across the sand, running full tilt towards the event chairman, whom was standing on the beach in front of a mat, similar to the Amazing Race. The trio jumped onto the mat, eager to hear those delicious words they so craved, “first”.

Chair: Welcome team Clutch Droppers, you’ve made it to the end of the race, how do you feel?

Bob: Great! Once you bloody well tell us what place we got!

Ryan: Did you just turn British??

Bob: Sometimes their language slips out… I watch a lot of British TV…

Chair: Well, I am pleased to tell you that… The camera spins around the trio, the music swells, and we cut for commercial.

Little Ceaser’s, because you have to eat something, right?

Commerical break ends.


Chair: Well, I am pleased to tell you that… you have come in first place!

Bob: FUCK YYYEEEEAAAAHHHHH!!!

Jason; The little beater that could!!

Ryan: Damn straight!! Now where is our trophy?

Chair: So, what are you guys going to do now that you have won?

Bob: Well, these guys don’t know it… but, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!

Jason and Ryan: What??

Bob: Yeah, I wanted it to be a surprise, I got us day passes for Disneyland since we are all the way out here. They are good through the end of next week. I figured we would take a day to recuperate before heading back up to L.A.

Ryan: MOTHER&%)#ING DISNEY!!!

Jason: I have never been, actually. To either.

Chair: Well, I would like you guys to stick around to greet the other teams if you would.

Bob: Oh hell yes, I would not miss an opportunity to rub this in their faces… sportsman like…

Jason: How far ahead do you think we are? I saw a store up the road and I have something planned for the other teams.

Chair: Looks at one of his aides… Looks like… about thirty minutes or so.

Jason: Back in the car guys, we’re going to hit up that Walgreen’s real quick.


Day 3: 9:40am

The trio arrives back at the finish line, car loaded down with all kinds of items. They bump over the curb and drive onto the beach near where the chairman is standing. They begin to unpack, tables, chairs, blankets, a charcoal grill, charcoal, and a couple of ice chests.

Chair: What in the world are you guys doing?

Bob: I told you we were going to be sportsman like, we are setting up a banquet for all the losers.

Chair: Well there are actually a number of food trucks here for the finish…

Jason: Well screw it… we already bought the food, we are going to have a cook-out anyway!

A few moments later the grill was sizzling away, loaded down with hot dogs and hamburgers. A single pack of tofu dogs sits in shame at the bottom of the ice chest. Just in case anyone is lame and won’t eat meat.

Bob: Gotta borrow the car real quick, we forgot the most important food. Beer.

About 20 minutes later and the car rolls back into view, by this point team Clutch Droppers was not the only team on the beach. Bob bumped back over the curb and brought the heavily laden car to a halt at the makeshift banquet site.

Ryan: How much beer did you get? The wheels are completely inside the wheel arches?? That’s got to be like…

Bob: 800 pounds of beer? Yeah, every square inch of the car is now beer… I even threw that useless spare tire away to make room. So, who wants something to drink?


As the day wore on, more and more teams joined us at the finish line. We were sad to see a number of teams missing. Most had car failures we learned, but one team was arrested. We challenged teams that arrived to drag races down Ocean Blvd. Some of which beat us, but was fun nevertheless to see what exactly people had been able to get for the budget. We shared our food and brews and swapped stories about the journey with the other teams.

Bob: Seems like we were pretty lucky nothing went wrong with our car. This turbo should have blown the manifold hundreds of miles ago, but I guess that kid we bought it from knew what he was doing.

Jason: Don’t jinx it, we still have to get to Disneyland, and then back to Seattle to get Ryan’s jeep. I really don’t want to have to fly back up there.

Ryan: Don’t worry, this car will be around forever at this rate.


Day 5

After spending a day recuperating, the trio were back in the car at 4am, ready to head back to L.A. and visit Disneyland and California Adventure. It was an uneventful drive, followed by a great day at the parks. The lines were relatively short and the weather was almost perfect. All in all it was a great day.

The next day they were in the car yet again, heading back towards Birch Bay State Park in order to retrieve Ryan’s jeep. Bob and Jason were arguing over who would get to drive the Bil back to Ohio. They had all come to love it, even if it was a bit uncomfortable, old, and worse for wear than when they started.


Morale: +25 (WE WON!!)
Fatigue: +28 (Still no sleep)


#374

Legend of Terms:

TBDC: Time Block Distance Covered. This is the amount of mileage covered during the current 2 hour period.
ODC: Overall Distance Covered. This is the total distance that the team has covered since Noon on Friday
MRL: Morale modifier
FTG: Fatigue Level
Notes: Any notes I have for your team during this time block. Including POI results, car issues, etc.

Sunday, 10am - noon

Weather Conditions: 76 degrees. Sunny. Gotta love SoCal in the summer…

VicVictory:
TBDC: 115 mi OD: 1605 mi MRL: -4 (+11 overall at the end) FTG: +3 Notes: Team is feeling slightly fatigued. Team fails to complete the challenge in time, but does manage to make it to Coronado Beach at about 2pm, just ahead of the IA Advance.

@Vri404
TBDC: 50 mi OD: 1693 mi MRL: +3 (finished, +13 overall at the end) FTG: +8 Notes: TEAM IS EXTREMELY FATIGUED. Team finished at about 10:45 am.

@Madrias
TBDC: 61 mi OD: 1342 mi MRL: -1 (+14 overall at the end) FTG: +0 Notes: Team has stopped at Bishop Peak for 1 hour. Team fails to complete the challenge in time, but does manage to make it to Coronado Beach around 5:30pm

@BobLoblaw
TBDC: 122 mi OD: 1622 mi MRL: -3 (+20 overall at the end) FTG: +3 Notes: TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH. Team does not complete the challenge in time, but does manage to make it to Coronado Beach at around 1:20pm, just BEHIND the Puttz

@CriticalSet9849
TBDC: 124 mi OD: 1062 mi MRL: -5 (+3 overall at the end) FTG: +1 Notes: Team didn’t even make it to San Francisco before the end. They end up turning around and not completing, at Granny’s request.

@BailsMackenzie
TBDC: 125 mi OD: 1598 mi MRL: -3 (+13 overall at the end) FTG: +4 Notes: Team is feeling slightly fatigued. Team did not complete the challenge in time, but does end up making it to Coronado Beach at about 2pm, just behind the Ardent.

@DeusExMackia
TBDC: 86 mi OD: 1465 mi MRL: +0 FTG: +0 Notes: Team has stopped for a 30 minute rest at Vandenberg AFB. Team has failed to complete the challenge in time, but does make it to Coronado Beach at about 4:05pm.

@stm316
TBDC: 120 mi OD: 1615 mi MRL: -3 (+13 overall at the end) FTG: +4 Notes: Team has failed to complete the challenge in time, but does make it to Coronado Beach at about 1:20pm, just AHEAD of the Petoskey.

@abg7
TBDC: 99 mi OD: 1544 mi MRL: -3 (+18 overall at the end) FTG: +3 Notes: Team fails to complete the challenge in time, but does make it to Coronado Beach just after 3pm.

@koolkei / @FrankNSTein
TBDC: 130 mi OD: 1693 mi MRL: +5 (+14 overall at the end0 FTG: +5 Notes: Team is feeling fatigued. Team went absolutely balls-out (including some serious evasive driving through LA) and made it… at 11:59 and a few seconds.

@Rk38
TBDC: 69 mi OD: 1624 mi MRL: +2 (+2 overall at the end) FTG: +15 Notes: TEAM IS EXHAUSTED TO THE POINT OF DELIRIUM. Team arrives at approximately 11:30am.

@Nomade0013 / @ramthecowy
TBDC: 64 mi OD: 1693 mi MRL: +5 FTG: +7 Notes: TEAM IS VERY FATIGUED. Team finishes at about 11:15am.

Team Greasy Lightning

Team/Car info

Rick stared at his watch as the last few seconds ticked away. “That’s it. Game over. We didn’t make it.”

Jen took her right hand off the wheel and rubbed her husband’s shoulder. “Not in time to win anything, but we’ll make it anyway.”

“Yeah, I guess. She keeps going,” he replied, patting the Chancellor’s cracked dashboard with his hand.

“Screw it!” Buzz interjected. “It’s vacation! Let’s finish this thing out and go see the sights. San Diego Zoo, anyone?”

Agreement on that point was easy and immediate.

Awards

Alrighty folks, time for those lucky 5 teams that actually made it (in time) to enjoy their private beach party, with a pair of top-notch food trucks (one taco truck, one burger truck), free flowing margaritas and beer, and lots of sun, sand, and music.

Oh, and awards. Those too.

5th place finisher: @koolkei / @FrankNSTein
4th place finisher: @Rk38
3rd place finisher: @Nomade0013 / @ramthecowy
2nd place finisher AND closest to average FINISH time: @Vri404
1st place finisher: @TheBobWiley

Hard Luck award: @HighOctaneLove
Ballsy award: @yurimacs
Zen award: @BobLoblaw

RP award: Well hell, I’m gonna just give out a bunch. @Madrias, @strop, @BailsMackenzie, @DeusExMackia… I think that cover it for now.

Thank you, everyone, for your participation! I will be back with another installment… at some point! :slight_smile:


#375

Team BAGS

Brian’s notes for this leg:

We finally made it to Coronado, but we were three hours late. What’s more important is that we got there in one piece and with our pride intact. And unlike some of the teams that went all the way, we didn’t have any discernible signs of fatigue. We wouldn’t be the last team to arrive, though. An orange hatchback and a blue sedan pulled up in the parking lot within a few hours of our arrival. One can only imagine how much more difficult it was to reach Coronado before noon…

So, after all that, my teammates asked if I should keep the Oswego. After a slight hesitation, I enthusiastically replied, “Definitely! Cars like this are a dying breed, so it’s staying with me - at least for now.” But if I ever have to do this again, I will almost certainly need to adopt a more aggressive strategy. I wouldn’t replace any of my existing crew with new members, though, since they did an excellent job over the past few days. And now, the biggest question on our minds is: What next for us?

Special thanks to @VicVictory for creating and hosting this challenge!


#376

Yeeeee boi, 2nd place! Wish I could’ve done some RP, but school got in the way.

GG to all!

And a special GG to @TheBobWiley


#377

##Team Twin-Snail

Previous Stage


Still shaken by the loss, Luke’s pace didn’t improve any over the next hour. Amy had reached over and set the cruise, mostly because Luke kept losing speed and she was growing tired of seeing cars passing the old Minerva, usually giving the finger because they were recognized as the jerks who sailed around people doing triple-digit speeds.

However, Linda stuck to the plan and gave instructions to Bishop Peak, giving everyone a much-needed break from the car and the bad news. As they wandered around the hiking trail, Luke’s mood seemed to improve some, even after Linda brought up the bad news.

“Well, it’s official. We’re too late to finish.” Linda said. Amy and Scott went to tell her off, but Luke waved his hand lightly.

“It’s okay. It’s not the first time the Raceworks Division has failed. Not the first time I’ve failed, either. Wasn’t willing to risk the drive through the night, wasn’t willing to push the car any harder. 1342 miles. Second-to-last of the driving cars. Second-to-last… Seems to be our legacy.” Luke said.

“Shall we try to make it to the beach anyway?” Amy inquired.

“Perhaps. We’ll be way too late to enjoy any of it, but we can try.” Luke said.

The four of them got back into their dark purple Minerva Midnight and headed back to the highway, continuing toward Coronado Beach.

The mood in the car was grim, though not in a harsh way. They’d gone through the worst of it, and it was now just calm acceptance. Finishing the mission, even though there was nothing in it for them any longer.

At around 3:30 PM, the car showed signs of some issues rising, mostly due to the very long drive and the lack of oil changes since they’d started in Chicago. It started as a simple quiet lifter tick and began progressing from there, though Luke kept going. “We’ve already lost. There’s no point in stopping to fix the car, we’ll go as far as she’ll let us go. We’ll prove our car could handle it, even though we couldn’t.” Luke said.

As 5:00 rolled around, what had started as a quiet lifter tick had turned into a racket under the hood, between valves clicking and a rather substantial rod knock that had developed. It was clear that the Minerva had been on her last legs for a while, and this long highway journey, combined with the engine’s naturally-high oil pressure problem at high RPM, had shortened the engine’s remaining lifespan.

5:30 PM, and team Twin-Snail made it to Coronado Beach with a screeching, wailing engine, the main bearings having gone about 5 miles away from their destination. The car was parked, the ignition switched off, and the engine, having traveled more than 3600 miles in total, shuddered to a stop.

The four members of team Twin-Snail stepped out, looking at the scenery.

“We’ll need to find a way back to Chicago.” Amy said after a few minutes, breaking the silence.

“Plane tickets. No more driving, not for a little while, at least.” Luke said.

“Plus, it’s not like the Minerva’s going anywhere after all of this. Engine’s screwed.” Linda said.

“True, but… It would feel wrong to just leave it here.” Scott said. “Sure, it’s Longitudinal FWD, and we don’t have anything that’ll fit in it, but… I know a guy.”

Everyone looked to Scott, seeming curious.

“Well, he’s been looking for a project car. A good donor body with little rust, and a big engine compartment. The Minerva has those things. He’s got this engine from a wrecked Gunslinger, the 3.0 AluStar V6. Twin Turbo.”

Amy gave a visible wince. “Ouch. GTX Turbo… How’d he wreck that?”

“Someone clobbered it with a lifted truck. Completely totaled the front of the car. Engine’s fine, and, well, he planned to put that engine in a sedan, make a light sleeper.”

“So your plan is to deliver this car to him in exchange for what?” Luke asked.

“Well, he has this 2010 Serenity…”

“You’re driving.” Luke said.


Meanwhile, in a different city, with a different team of hooligans:

“Dude, look at this!” Mark said, tossing his friend the paper.

“What the fuck!? Why’d you buy a paper in the first place?” Cody said, though looked at the ad Mark pointed out.

“Well, needed something to start the grill with, and someone left the door on the paper box open, so I grabbed a couple. But there’s something you gotta see in there.”

“Buy a shitbox for $500 or less, and race it? Yeah, we could do that. Let me call my friend at the junkyard, see if he knows of anything.”

“I think we ought to have a plan.” Mark said after a few moments.

“The plan is simple. Cheap shitbox from Trev’s place, we show up, annoy the fuck out of everyone, and have a ton of fun.” Cody said, giving a wicked grin.

“Should I bring Bob?”

“Yeah, I don’t see why we can’t bring the kleptomaniac robot along. Just, um, disable the trash-masher so if he takes our stuff, we don’t get nothin’ but a bunch of smashed chips and oil bottles.”


Yeah, I have a plan for the next one already, no, you’re not going to like these guys, and I can say this: I’ll have a lot of fun with characters I don’t have to keep 100% by the book.

Thank you to @VicVictory for holding this challenge!


#378

100% agree with those awards and props for putting the challenge together. Thanks for that, and thanks also to those who were good sports and suffered my roleplaying :joy:

I will probably be writing the remaining leg as Team Formerly FFC hire a car in Eureka then blast the hell outta dodge to try and catch the windup party in SD. If anyone wants to stick around for that then we can swing something. We’ll probably arrive a full day after everyone else but. We will be bringing Danish beer.

If nobody is there then I guess we’ll be getting absolutely rickety-rickety-WRECKED SON by ourselves!


#379

My team will still be lazing around the place, we don’t head up to Disney until “day 5”. :slight_smile:


#380

Team Mr Hankey

Sunday 4-6
Toni: Can we actually get somewhere today?
Bill: Yeah, man. Move it. You drive like my mother… apparently.
Wookiee: Speedo says 65/105. I love these dual calibrated gauges.
Toni: What did it say around that last corner?
Wookiee: Same. Why?
Toni: Go faster. Humour me.
(Tacho climbs … speedo doesn’t)
Wookiee: Ha. Stuck. Guess work it is.


Dateline: Sunday 6-8am

Sometime around 7:39:46.20
Bill: Hey! There’s that blue car again! The one from the motel!
Toni: Another one bites the dust. Keep going.


8-10am

Bill: Hey, dick. You ever had a speeding fine?
Wookiee: Where I come from, we just talk really nice and feed the cop a good line. Nobody gets tickets there.
Bill: I’d love to see this work.
Wookiee: You want me to get a fine?
Bill: No. I want you to try to get out of the one you just earned. Look in the mirror.
(Toni turns and Wookiee checks the mirror)
Wookiee: Ahhhh… Shit, bro!


That’s enough from me.
Congrats to the top 5 (and award winners) and thanks to @VicVictory for hosting this challenge. Some fantastic RP from the teams.


#381

Team Bamford

10am-2pm
The monster argument alluded to in the previous post occurred just after Long Beach, they’d enjoyed the sights of the race track and were in a good mood before they found out they were going to miss the party for finishing.

Jason argued that the terrible fuel economy of the car cost them while Ken tried to defend and blame one of his engine designs for being too slow. Phil wasn’t having any bad words on his car and blamed the other drivers while Simon did what he did best, kept quiet.

In the end, they followed the Ardent into San Diego and the team wound up at the beach, managing to score a hamburger each and a beer from the food vans as they left.

“I didn’t even know there was a party, I just wanted to finish the race on time!” laughed Jason

“Well, we made it” said Simon “Even if we did argue like mad over the last four hours”

Phil gave a rueful smile under his swollen cheeks “If we ever do this again, we’re taking something fast”

“I’d like to do this again, I know I spent most of the time bitching, but damn, we had some fun didn’t we, going through those old CD’s and talking away the miles” began Ken “I’d like to spend a bit more time with you guys back in England, if you’re ever in Silverstone that is”

“Sounds like a plan, what’s the idea?” asked Phil

“I figure a track-day with a few of my old touring cars, something fun and we can all go back to our homes at the end of it”

“Now that sounds like fun” said Jason, in-between sips of his beer.

The sun set by the time the quad left San Diego and headed back to LA.

“So what now?” asked Simon

“We’ll go to LA for the night and then back to the petrol station for Phil’s police report, then we can go back to LA and put this baby on a plane, then we’ll stay another night in LA and leave the next day” stated Ken, with an air of authority about himself.

“And what about Phil?” asked Jason

“I’m leaving you guys at the petrol station and heading up to Petaluma, I’ll find some way of getting up there”

“Sounds like something you’d do” replied Jason


Tuesday after the race

The trio left on a plane headed for London with news that the Bamford would be at Heathrow in four days, after going via Germany and Poland on a sort-of world tour.

They were eagerly discussing one thing on the flight, restoring the Bamford, it seemed that since the car held together for over 2000 miles of high-speed driving that it deserved to be restored to it’s V6 glory and Ken was already lining up mates of his who wanted an I3 “Workhorse” for their industrial engine collections.

Jason checked his phone for a moment and started laughing, showing the lone image that Phil had sent him to the other two set them laughing as well.

Phil had put in his statements and had told them earlier that the “beast” who broke his face was looking at a month or two behind bars. Meanwhile, he’d gone looking for a used car in Santa Maria and had found a very used almost-black Dodge Monaco for $400, he added in his text that he’d painted the doors white with a rattle can and was cruising back to Petaluma and Lucy over the next day.

And there was the picture, Phil sitting on the bonnet of a Bluesmobile with his sunglasses on, because if you’re going to do roadtrips in America for two weeks with your new girl, you’re gonna need a fast set of wheels and a little divine intervention to keep you going.


Some time later

Ken was sitting at his home in Willbury, a stones throw away from Silverstone and the Bamtech factory, it was a blue week for him, he’d gone up to see his old friend Eric Broadley from Lola the week before and had just seen on the news that Eric had died last night, Simon had flown back to India to spend some time working at Teuton on a new sports car design and Jason was off working in Scotland for a fortnight while Phil kept delaying his trip home.

Just then, his phone rang.

“Hey Kenny! It’s Phillip here!”

The old man smiled “Hey idiot, what’s the call for?”

“I’m coming into Heathrow in three hours, do you mind coming to pick me up?”

“Sure, I’ll be there soon, what car do you want me to bring, one of the two seaters for a fast trip home?”

“Oh, ah… no, that’ll be alright, you just come in a taxi, we, ah, we’ve got a car”

“We?” asked Ken “You don’t mean…?”

“I ah, do sort of, yeah, Lucy’s on the flight with me, her dad let her come over for a month or four after he found out that I, uhhh work for you?”

“So you’ve gone and told her all these lies and you need me to back you up?”

“Only that I work for you, do you have any jobs going?”

“As it happens, I do, I’m looking for someone to work with me in the design team and you’re the sort of fellow we need to get the youth market on side”

“Really? Well, gee, thanks Ken, that’s great, I was sorta looking for work before the trip anyway, that’s great!”

“That’s alright, Simon’s been pushing for me to give you a job anyway”

Silence for a moment, before a sudden realization struck Ken like a cold block of ice down his pants.

“Did you say you’ve got a car?” yelled Ken

“I might have bought the Dodge over with me”

“You might have?”

“And I might need you to pay for the Airfreight costs too…”

“Can I just ask why?” groaned Ken

“… I’m on a mission from god?”

“I’ll see you at the terminal smartarse” said Ken, hanging up his phone, muttering to himself.

“And I just need a taxi to get me there, so help me god, I’ll kick your arse if you keep buying landships and making me pay for them!”


#382

#Team ‘Southend or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

Not more than 5 mins after they had left the gas station, James spotted something. He gasped suddenly.
“GUYS” he announced, quickly indicating and taking the next turning.
“James, James, what are you doing?” said Martin, panicked.
“There’s an air force base here!” he said like an excited child.
Seb sighed. Martin rolled his eyes. “Good god, you do love your planes don’t you. What are we even going to do here?”
“Martin, we are not going to miss something like this” James responded as they passed a sign for ‘Vandenberg AFB’.

.

Sadly, they couldn’t get near to most of the facility, but there was a visitor centre. Annoyingly though they were only offering booked tours, which they didn’t have time to do, though the person behind the counter did recommend a nearby hill top spot where you could see some of the stuff they had here.

.

After driving to said spot, the boys got out.
“Holy shit” said James, surveying the base. “It’s a missile facility!”
“Probably why there’s all this massive fencing around here and warning signs all over the place” said Seb.
“Mmmm” agreed James. He decided to search the place on the internet. “Aha!” he said after a while. “They do rocket launches here and test missiles. It’s an alternative to the Kennedy Space Center”.
“Interesting…” said Martin, who evidently was not, though it was intriguing to see all of the launch pads and the runway.

Seeing that Seb and Martin weren’t finding it as interesting as he was, James decided to get some food out.
“Let’s have a mini picnic” announced James, closing the boot and bringing out some bags of food. Seb and Martin turned to look at him slightly confused. “Picnic?” said Martin.
“Yeah” said James. “I’ve been waiting to eat this. Gammon and barbecue sauce wraps with some mixed salad, plus some homemade sweet potato and parsnip crisps. Also, some fruit”.
The other two gazed in amazement. “When did you get this ready mate?” asked Seb.
“Brought all the ingriedients with me on the plane and just prepped it here this morning. Enjoy!”
“Thanks!” they both said. And thus, they had an early lunch leaning against the bonnet of their plucky orange Erin Merna, overlooking a rocket launch base and the Pacific Ocean. That’s a view that’s hard to beat.

.

Back on the road, the guys got excited as they neared Los Angeles, a place they’d only ever seen and heard about on TV and Film.

“Holy shit!” said Martin, “That’s the actual Hollywood sign!” as they emerged on the other side of the Hollywood Hills having followed the 101 into the city.

The road went right round the Downtown area, before they switched to Highway 5 and headed South Eastwardly through the city.

“How close are we to Compton?” asked James.
Martin checked the map. “Er, it should to our right”
“But like how close?” James asked.
“Er, you don’t want to go there do you?” said Martin, concerned.
“No no, I just want to be far enough way to that I don’t play this and look like some stupid tourist” said James, as he connected the aux cable to his phone and pressed play; this came out.

“Dammit James, you played this song for the whole of last summer” said Seb, annoyed.
“Yes Seb, but we aren’t going to be in LA any time soon are we” retorted James.
“Could you play literally anything else?” asked Seb, impatient.
“Alright” said James, also getting annoyed. He hit the skip button.

“Oh JESUCRISTO!” cursed Seb. “You played this at every house party we’ve ever had
“Mate, it’s West Cost Hip Hop, we have to listen to it here” argued James.
“But you could play LITERALLY anything else!” Seb shouted back.
“OH MY GOD BOTH OF YOU” shouted Martin.

Silence in the car.

“Both of you, shut up. You both look like idiots.” - Martin had his ‘dad voice’ on - “James, stop pretending you were born here, Seb stop complaining and let James enjoy his music”.
“Oh come on Martin, I’m allowed to enjoy hip-hop even th-”
“JAMES, we are not having this conversation again, not here” Martin interrupted.

.

Thankfully, the rest of the drive much calmer, and soon they were out of LA and on the coast road again passing San Clemente and Oceanside. Come 3pm, they could see San Diego in the distance.

.

Finally, after 3 days of driving, they crossed the Coronado Bridge and drove to their final destination.
“Right, it should be somewhere along this beach then” said Martin, studying the map.
“Ah look, there it is!” said James, though his excitement soon died down.
“Wait” said Seb. "Everyone else has already arrived.

It was worse than that. They’d already given out the awards and everyone had been partying for the last couple of hours.
“Geez” said James. “How badly did we do?”
“Quite badly it seems” replied Martin, looking out of the window at the beach party.
“Oh well, I doubt they’ll mind us joining late” said James.
“Nah, and we’ve got those extra ciders in the boot” replied Martin.
The boys all got out of the car and got the crate of Bullmer’s from the boot.

James and Martin started walking over to the beach.
“Wait up, Seb!” shouted James, turning back to him. He was staring down at his phone. “Why aren’t you coming?”
“Nah, I will” he shouted back. “I’ll be there in a few minutes”
Seb looked back at this phone. He was messaging Naomi. Just arrived at Coronado Beach. Here for the night. he sent to her. A minute later, he got a reply. On my way now. See you this evening. Save a few beers for me.
Seb put his phone in his pocket and smiled. He starting walking over to the beach to catch up with the others.

Meanwhile, a light blue Honda S2000 pulled out of a drive way in Santa Barbara, roof down and music playing, and it sped off towards to the freeway.



With that, I’d like that thank @VicVictory for hosting yet another excellent roadtrip-cum-driving-challenge challenge thing, this one was even better than the Roulette Runner in my opinion and I’d absolutely be down to do it again!

Well done to @TheBobWiley on an excellent victory, and commiserations to all the teams who, like me, didn’t make it in time .

Thanks also for following James, Seb and Martin again. I’m sure they’ll be back. Probably. Unless I get bored of them.


#383

Team ‘Routed…


Original Post | Previous Post


Many Hours later…

The sun had long since fallen below the sky. Dan rubbed his eyes clawing back a few moments of clarity. Sam had returned to his phone.

“Damn, y’know this stop has put us right at the back of the pack?”

“Well, that snail team was already on track to pass us…” Dan suggested.

“Yeah, not if I were driving.” Sam retorted.

Mitch feeling restored interrupted them.

“Lads, given any thought to where we’re stopping for the night?”

“Hmm…err… well” Sam trailed off back into his phone.

“I’m sure Sam will find something,” Dan assured Mitch. Although he was somewhat less sure about it once he started thinking about it.

But for now, he tried his best to make the most of the beautifully clear night. An array of sublime music had come on the radio building the mood even more. Dan disengaged the cruise control and dialled in. To enjoy the last few quiet coastal roads and higher speed limits before the city was upon them.

The flashing fuel light caught Dan’s eye. As they rolled through the now familiar looking small west coast US towns. They pulled into the nearest petrol station. The beaming neon lights abruptly awoke Sam and Mitch as Dan hauled the big Maesima to stop. Mitch offered to take over for the next bit eager to keep Sam from getting behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, Sam and Dan went to resupply. Looking at the GPS data on his phone. Sam tapped Dan on the shoulder. Greeted his gaze with a wild grin and look in his eye that suggested something was up.

“What?” Dan asked blankly.

“I’ve just had a cracker of an idea!” Sam replied widening his grin. “Just look here, all nighter,” he said showing Dan the GPS map on his phone. “Look, at the other teams…their stopping for the night!” Sam said.

“Yeah, so what?” Dan frowned. Then rubbed his chin. “Not a bad idea actually we should start thinking about that…” He began to finish.

“No, I’m saying we’ve still got a chance… If all-nighter!” Sam said reaching for a pack of red bulls. “Just one night and we can totally jump the rest.”

“Well…actually that’s not a bad idea,” Dan said somewhat surprised himself.

The team then stocked up on all manner of horribly sugary snacks and energy drinks. Mitch wasn’t too impressed with the plan but was outvoted.

A yet more hours later

After a few hours of fairly uneventful driving with Mitch behind the wheel. Powered by far too many coffees and big gulp type beverages. The fatigue was starting to set in as San Francisco was coming into range. The team was making a good time.

They were beginning to approach the outer limits of San Francisco area. Something everyone had been looking forward too. Although approaching it from the night wasn’t exactly how any of them had envisioned it when they set out.

The roads were fairly quiet as they made it into San Fran late at night. Despite Mitch’s fatigue. Everyone was still rather chipper and the team was still in good spirits. Driving around the bumpy streets of San Fran. It reminded the team of Bullitt…especially with the suspension travel on the Maesima. It certainly kept everyone wide awake.

Many hours later

The plan to sneak past the other teams in the night started well. But by now everyone was beginning to sorely regret it. They weren’t uni students anymore who could stay up several nights in a row. Finish several essays and still go to parties without suffering any issues. Mitch now was relying on the wonky cruise control for most of his driving.

By the 3-4 am mark everyone had hit a real low. The radio had become a blur and any enjoyment or plans to sightsee were falling away. All that was left was the relentless journey. Dan was out cold in the backseat. While Sam was dozing up front covered in candy wrappers.

Mitch was in a nearly in a tunnel vision with his bloodshot eyes struggling to see the lines on the road. He was hoping… praying that he wasn’t speeding or doing anything wrong. After a while, it took Mitch a few miles to notice the fuel light was flashing. In a way, he was relieved to desperately search for a stop and let anyone else drive.

As they pulled in for fuel they noticed an In-N-Out Burger joint. It being around earlier enough to call it a morning meal. Everyone lumbered over there and enjoyed the best damn burger of their life. It was almost enough to wake Mitch from his stupor. Sam boosted up from his sugar hit was feeling quite smug now that the team had overtaken most of the back.

Judging from the dead look of everyone Sam tried to rally the team “Cheer up, we’re nearly leading the pack now!” He declared.

No one else was in a mood or state to respond. So they made their way back to the car and now everyone was so tired they couldn’t stop Sam from taking the wheel.

As the sun began to rise Sam finally took the wheel. The Maesima now covered in bugs gleamed in the morning rays…well the parts of the paint that still were shiny. As a result, his speedy tendencies were reduced. As the sun rose it blasted into the cabin. Making it nearly impossible to see the road. It made everyone feel even worse as they were coming down after a serious sugar rush. Mitch fast asleep in the back snoring every now and then. While Dan struggled to get comfortable in the front seat. As a result, the team’s progress began to dim as after freshly rested teams began to get the jump on them.

Another few hours later

By now it was just Sam and the Maesima still going. Dan and Mitch were exhausted and out cold. The radio was just noise but it was there to keep Sam awake. By now he didn’t even know if it was music, talk or adverts playing. He couldn’t bother to care or even attempt to find out. All his focus was maintaining the vehicle on the road. While attempting to keep the cruise control from breaching the speed limit.

By now Sam was straining to see the road and every time he blinked it felt like a minute. He was struggling to keep it together now. Mercifully the police didn’t pick up his erratic driving or RHD car. Then again in this state, they don’t seem to even care. Since all those windowless RoadKill machines crawling the streets without issue.

The final stretch…

By now it was approaching midday and they’d been on the road for nearly several hours straight now. Only Sam was still conscious and barely keeping things together. Forgoing sleep or any chance to sightsee in the hopes they’d finally make it to the finish line this time.

Sam couldn’t check his phone even if he wanted too it was too dangerous and just too much effort. But he was certain another team had passed them already. They knew they’d never get the first place another team must have pushed through the night too. They discovered that several hours ago.

By now Sam had taken on a sort of mad ecstasy as they neared the end of the journey. It was a feverish mix of excitement, hysteria and quite possibly frenzied hallucinations. He wasn’t sure he was just playing a game of Forza now. In the perfect SoCal weather the Maesima came to a sliding stop.

Drifting across the finish line. This finally pushed the rest of team into life. They did it! Those mad idiots actually finished. Sam collapsed out of the seat the clock read 11:30 am. In a final burst of energy, Sam leapt up and began hugging the Maesima, running around a screaming.

They’d managed to finish 4th so no podium but still a step up from failing last time. They went to greet and congratulate the other teams but quickly found a quiet area to fell into a deep slumber… they were bloody knackered.


Big thanks to @VicVictory for hosting another great fun and super creative challenge! Congrats to all those who took up the journey but especially @TheBobWiley for a well-deserved win. I’m amazed my team made it to safe end in such an advanced state of exhausted delirium :joy:



#384

TEAM OUTRIDERS

Marc: Son of a bitch, we’re well past the deadline.

Blake: What does that mean?

Luigi: Well, at least we made it. That’s more than can be said about some other cars.

Marc: Not to mention this beast survived two of these journeys.

Blake: So in the end… we lost.

Marc: Yeah, it’s a bit disappointing.

Luigi: A hell of a lot of fun though.

Marc: True, plus this car lives on so we just gotta find the next challenge to throw this thing at.

Blake: Yeah, this car really outdid itself.

Marc: Plus we need to get your ass around a track.

Luigi: What for?

Marc: Because you drive like an octogenarian with Parkinson’s.

Luigi: Don’t blame me for this!

Marc: You were ridiculously slow! We would’ve made better time on a bicycle!

Luigi: Ah, blow it out your kosher ass!

Blake: So what now?

Marc: Well, we’re here so we might as well see some sights.

Luigi: There’s a Naval base in San Diego.

Marc: Literally the only thing here that doesn’t make me want to vomit.

Blake: Okay, to the base to check it out, then we head for home.

(After checking out the Naval base, the team begins their lengthy drive back to Michigan)

EPILOGUE

(ring)

Marc: Hello?

Caller: Write down this number and call it. ###-###-####

Marc: Okay, what is this about?

Caller: Just call the number, it will be explained. (Hangs up)

Marc: Hmm, that area code is for Hell Michigan. Weird.

(Dials number)

Woman’s voice: Ah, and Mr. Levinstein has joined us, now we can begin.

Blake: What is this about?

Woman: I have you three on a conference call to discuss a business proposition for you.

Luigi: Who are you?

Woman: Forgive me, my manners aren’t quite up to par. My name is Eleanor Ventnor.

Marc: You mean owner/CEO of Petoskey Motors Eleanor Ventnor?

Eleanor: Yes.

Blake: To what do we owe this pleasure?

Eleanor: I’ve been keeping close tabs on the Kinda Grand Tour. Namely after watching your performance on the Roulette Runner.

Marc: I didn’t think that was widely published.

Eleanor: I have my sources. Anyway, I was very impressed with your run.

Luigi: You do know we lost right?

Blake: Both events.

Eleanor: But you survived to the end, on a journey that was meant to kill $500 cars, and you survived two of them. In the same car no less.

Blake: We had to put some work and effort into the car.

Eleanor: You and the car shared one quality: Your refusal to give up.

Marc: That’s flattering and all, but what is this all about?

Eleanor: I wish to sponsor you for the next run.

Blake: It’s not really a professional event, Corporate sponsorship would not be permitted.

Eleanor: Not in that way you ass! I’m talking about bringing public attention to your team and your car.

Luigi: What would you get out of that?

Eleanor: A Petoskey product defies odds, and survives a trip to Hell and back several times. That’s making for some good publicity. Plus you wouldn’t go away empty-handed.

Marc: Oh?

Eleanor: There’s three brand new Amindres with your names on them if you do well the next challenge.

Marc: (drops phone)

Blake: (spit take)

Luigi: Damn!

Eleanor: I’ll be in touch with the details, take care. (Conference call ends)


#385

Oh dear lord… it’s on now, isn’t it? lol


#386

Hey, it’s one of the most exciting challenges I’ve been part of. Win, or lose, it’s all the same, and one hell of a role-playing game.

Plus, I’ve already got my car picked for the next one, and I’m working on the team as I type this.

Take your time in getting ready if you need to, though. No rush. After all, the longer it takes for the next round, the more things I can think of to hide in an old Dynamite shitbox.


#387

Sorry to necro this. I did promise a final chapter to the story, so here it is. As an aside, characters and events involving @DeusExMackia @BailsMackenzie and @TheBobWiley are referenced.


In which Our Protagonists Almost Die Before They Even Get To The Start
In Which Our Protagonists Are Introduced And Act Like Somewhat Normal People
In Which They Noise Pollute Like College Frat Boys And Are Thoroughly Outdone by a Blue Man
In Which They Argue About Playing Gay Chicken With Keys Being Hidden in Unmentionable Places
In Which Gay Chicken Is Played But Kai Forgets the Chicken Part and Strop Loses
In Which Strop Fails Emissions Ratings and Team Southend are Scarred For Life
In Which Toothless Starts Wheezing and Strop’s Butt Unleashes a Can of Whoopass on Team Clutch Droppers
In Which Toothless Is Mortally Wounded And Team Flaming Fart Cannon Call it a Day
In Which Toothless Is Given A Viking Sendoff


“Wakey wakeeeeeeeeeeeeey-”

“FUCK”, Strop shouted, rearing backwards, only, he was lying on a firm hotel mattress, so instead of jumping back, his knee shot up and into Kai’s crotch. At that proximity, no amount of race driver reflexes was going to save his tenders, so Kai was punted off the bed and onto the floor, where he lay in a groaning heap.

“Totally worth it,” he squeaked, while Strop sat upright, clutching his chest and blowing hard. “Seriously, what time is it?” Wiping his bleary eyes, he checked his phone and bugged out. “Three thirty? Seriously?”

Still clutching his family jewels, Kai rolled over and hauled himself over the side of the bed, such that only his face was visible to Strop. “Yep. Gotta go fast or we’ll miss the deadline.”

Inside, Strop was screaming in anguish of the day’s sleep ruined. Outwardly, he couldn’t be fucked to scream. “But we’re already out of the running. There’s no deadline to keep except the flight. Which is the day after tomorrow.”

“Yeah, but the party will be going on for a full day after the deadline. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be there. Getting drunk. Very.” Finally done checking that his balls were still anatomically intact, Kai immediately moved his hand from down his pants, to pick his nose.

Strop said nothing. Instead, he rolled away from Kai and stuck his pillow over his head. Bad mistake: Two seconds later, he leapt screaming from the bed, pillow and all, as Kai had poked him, hard, in the ribs.

“OH FUCK OFF, SERIOUSLY.” But it was too late, now he was fully awake and out of bed. Grumbling, he stumped to the bathroom to wash his face. Kai rattled off the itinerary as if he hadn’t terrorised Strop into doing anything at all: “It’s about a twelve hour drive from here to San Diego, but since we’ll be going faster, that’ll be twelve hours because we’ll be buying alcohol in San Francisco. If we leave now we’ll get to San Francisco and finish breakfast just as the stores open.”

Clearly he had been awake for some time. Since there was no stopping the determination train now that it had well and truly left the station, Strop resigned himself sacrificing three hours of darkness to driving down boring highway. Which gave him a thought he never thought he would have on this trip.

“Right. You’re driving. I’ll be sleeping until we get to San Fran.”


Impenetrable blackness punctuated by white lines and the occasional set of lights gave way to the gentle glow of sunrise, just in time to witness the approaching skyline of San Francisco from between the iconic arches of the Golden Gate bridge. Strop’s eyes cracked open, yawning, he unpeeled himself from the B-pillar of their hire-a-land-barge and stretched his aching neck. Strop liked San Fran, for its cosmopolitan quirkiness. In fact one could go so far as to say it was his favourite city in CA. Kind of a cultured mishmash of Melbourne and Sydney put together, his recollection of it was as a city of hidden art stores, cable cars, unionised homeless people, and really fucking steep hills. Speaking of which, there was a preemptive warning he had to make:

“Kai, no getting air through the intersections.”

“Aww!”

“And don’t even think about attempting to drift through Lombard Street.”

Kai pouted. “Okay, now you’re just being a spoilsport.”

“Not me, but I guarantee you there’ll be heaps of traffic and pedestrians all over the place.”

“…so if we go there and there’s none I can drift through Lombard Street?”

Strop glared at Kai, but his brow was quivering because the temptation to not only do such a thing, but also film it, was very, very strong. “No comment.”


“Well, let’s just hope that the hire people don’t bother looking underneath the car,” muttered Strop as he swung the auto barge back onto the freeway several gallons of fuel and a liquor cabinet in the boot heavier.

“It’s not like I actually got any air,” countered Kai, who had clearly been sin-binned for his antics. “Hollywood movies are bullshit, this fatass can’t jump to save its life.”

“Not for lack of trying,” Strop snorted. “I think my nose is still bleeding from banging it on the dash.”

“Worth it.” Kai wound the chair back as far as it would go, kicked his feet up on the dash, and cracked a beer. Strop squited at him. “Really? Already?”

“I’m pre-gaming,” Kai explained, slurping the froth before it could spill down his shirt.

“It’s like nine hours to San Diego, more if we stop in LA.”

“We are not stopping in LA,” said Kai, unusually emphatic.

“Yeah nah, agreed.”

There was silence in the cabin for some minutes, punctuated only by the pop and hiss of yet another old America-mobile blowing a gasket, bonnet flying up and a deluge of steam flooding the lane. Then the pungent dankness of an entire neighbourhood worth of blazing up, and then they were back in the open air with the houses trailing off but the traffic as thick as ever.

That was when it happened. And by it, that would be Kai linking his personal playlist to the boomstick speaker. The first Strop knew, was when the twangy tones of a yakety banjo and a suspiciously masculine voice shattered his auditory Zen.

NOT SAFE FOR WORK. You were warned.

Dot com dot com,
Dot com dot com,

Strop frowned. “What the hell is this?”

And then it began in earnest. With Kai singing, with manic glee, over the top, because he clearly knew it inside out.

Vi har dejligt-piger dot com,
Vi har smukke-piger dot com,
Vi har piger-liker-piger dot com,
Og vi har piger-liker-krem dot com,

“Kai! Translate! Now! What’s all the dot coms for?”

But Kai wouldn’t translate, he would only sing more, and Strop had to resort to listening out for any more Danglish lines, which were rapidly forthcoming:

Vi har sadomachist dot com,
Og vi har spank-me-til-I-come dot com,

The penny dropped for Strop. “IT’S A PORN SONG!”

Vi har asian-fantasy dot com,
Vi har big-black-thick-monster-dick dot com,

“PUT IT ON REPEAT, PUT IT ON REPEAT, I’M GONNA LEARN DANGLISH,” Strop hyperventilated, ironically unaware of the fact that Raske-menn were actually Norwegians pretending to be Danes for the purposes of this one song.

And so that was how the hours of long straight highways of California passed by, with plenty of Strop yelling “FUCK!” mid-song for the first four, because he couldn’t get his tongue around the chorus.

For rundt tre og en halv by fluffy, skal du få din egen internett site…


As the car pulled into their destination, the song was still going, and Strop had finally nailed it, not to mention, he had also taken the extreme liberty (of questionable legality) of ‘pre-gaming’ himself. So now they were both a bit buzzed, and singing a fake-Danish song which was obviously about internet porn, at the top of their voice.

“What DOES that mean anyway?” Strop asked, finally, while hauling the grog out of the boot.

Kai fobbed him off. “I’ll tell you later.”

Just as they were about to leave the carpark for the beach where the party was clearly in full swing, Strop hesitated. “Do you think they’ve forgiven us for-”

But Kai was already tearing across the sand with an armful of grog. “HEY SUCKERS,” he announced. “WE MADE IT, AND WE BROUGHT BEER.” Fortunately, it worked; the provision of much grog went a long way to smoothing over even the most heinous of sins, and far from being tarred and feathered and run outta town, they were welcomed once more into the fold.

It could have been a few minutes, or several hours later, Strop couldn’t be sure, but what he could be sure about, was that he was well and truly soused. He wasn’t sure what direction his ears were pointing. Hell, he wasn’t even sure what direction the ground was pointing, but he sure as hell knew despite that he could still do a backflip.

“And I-Iiiisshhh tell yuse wat,” Kai slurred, his face a bright shade of red and his arms around as much of Team Southend as he could manage, “Shhhhtråp w-woooooud like to apolægissshhhe for bein shuuch a flamin fard cannon.”

“Go fuck yoursheelf,” from his recumbent position, Strop flipped the bird at Kai. “I’m shorry for noshing. Matter of ffffact, I feel another fire in the hole coming.”

Despite the relative inebriation of all present, James, Seb and Martin all dove for cover. “Haha, just kidding,” Strop called out to nobody in particular. “I can’t even ffeeeell my butthole.”

“Too late, Shtråp, they åhrl ran away.” Kai waved the furiously departing figures with a giggle. “Oh, hey, look, iss Team Clutch Droppers, we shoud apolægissshhhe to dem too!”

Strop couldn’t remember the part where he was dragged through the sand, moaning and weakly protesting but too incapacitated to mount a coordinated resistance. Somehow, though, he did get a souvenir on his phone of a beach selfie with Team Clutch Droppers, complete with all of them wearing matching air-fresheners over their noses. After that, Kai went charging into the water while still wearing all of his clothes because beach party, bitches. Strop was definitely sure that even if he could do a backflip, if he so much as trod in the water he would probably drown. That was fine. He didn’t like swimming anyway. And there was this very nice guy named Phil talking to him about the traumatic experience of his ex-girlfriend sacrificing him to the devil which he had recurring dreams about, which sounded really exciting, so exciting that he wasn’t sure exactly when he passed out, but all he remembered was-

-waking up in a hotel room, with one bed. With Kai in the same bed. With Kai awake, and leaning over him again. But this time, he was too dizzy and had far too massive a headache to knee him in the crotch.

“Bro, I have a question. How does E ever sleep in the same bed as you, when it’s like fucking Street Fighter on a mattress?”

“Huh? Dude, when E and I sleep on the same bed, wait- HUUUUUURK.”

That was Strop retching; with a new burst of energy, he pushed Kai off and stumbled to the bathroom, where he made a loud and messy offering to the porcelain gods. “Ugh. Fuck me sideways, this is why I swore off binge drinking. I have a fucking headache and I’m STILL drunk.”

“No constitution. And this is why horses are such weak shit,” Kai stood in the doorway grinning.

“Fuck you.” Strop scowled, wiping sick off his mouth. “You were definitely way more wrecked than I was, how are you not dying right now.”

“Actually, I’ll have you know-” Kai started, before turning a peculiar shade of green. “Actually, move.” Strop barely had any time to pitch to the side before Kai also collapsed over the bowl and made his own voluminous offering.

“Oh man. We are so fucked,” moaned Strop. He was right. And that was how they spent the next God knows how long. The pale blue light of day was creeping through the room before they were done, and at some point they’d possibly fallen asleep, faces mashed against the toilet. Now Strop couldn’t feel his limbs, for the reason that they had lain on the bathroom floor all night. Peeling himself upright, he stared at Kai. He could only imagine how much worse off the little guy was. And when were they supposed to be leaving anyway? Didn’t they have a flight to catch?

“Hey. Dude. Wake up.” He shook Kai’s shoulder. “What time is it.”

Kai blinked, the bags under his eyes crinkling. Wow, he looked like shit. “I dun - fuck…” He turned his wrist over and sqinted at his watch. “Is halv ti.” It didn’t help that half his mouth was still stuck to the floor.

Strop tried again. “Dude. English. When are we supposed to return the car?”

“Middag, probs, et??”

Good enough. “And get to the airport?”

“Vi er fucked, please lad mig dø…”

On second thoughts, why the fuck was he relying on Kai, inveterate travel ditz, to tell him their itinerary? He wasn’t much better but at least he was better. So on all fours he crawled over to the bed, fumbling for the phone where he had all the details, as well as, of course, the time.

Several seconds later, Kai covered his ears and winced as Strop screamed. “HOLD KÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆFT,” he yelled back, the act sending a fresh vice grip washing through his head.

“No, seriously, we gotta fucking RUN.” Strop appeared in the doorway again, looking far more alert, panicked even. “It’s ELEVEN. And our GATE CLOSES at twelve, nevermind the fucking rental car!”

Kai rolled his eyes. “Åh nej, ka vi ikke blive til den morgenmads buffet…”

Strop bugged his eyes out. “Buffet???”

Kai slumped back to the floor. “Murderate meh…”

“Nnnnnngh.” Strop seemed to be meditating somewhat fierce, perhaps preparing to deliver sweet merciful release. Then, contrary to his desires, Kai’s world tilted as he was hauled up and slung over Strop’s shoulder and carried out the door.

“You can die later. Now, we have a plane to catch.”


They’d sunk a lot of piss. For that, they looked and felt like shit. They smelt like vomit. Customs visibly recoiled when they shuffled up to the desk and waved them through just to get rid of them. By some miracle they’d not gotten booked for DUI, the rental office had allowed them to forgo the wait to see if they’d get their security deposit back before leaving, and best of all, they’d somehow managed to endure the torture of a sixteen hour flight. Sixteen hours. It was almost enough to drive them back to the drink, but now they were on the home stretch.

“Slå mig ihjel…”

Kai was still putting on his dying act, sprawled over the luggage trolley. Strop scowled, “Dude, could you not, I can’t believe that this of all times they actually let us back in without a cavity search first.”

“Det er ikke mord, det er for at skåne mig…”

Strop sighed. Between his own still present drungover (just how much did he really have???) and the inert non-English-speaking lump he had to drag home, the journey just seemed to get harder and harder. But first, he was gonna get some dinner buffet into him. And let the GG crew know that at least they were still in one piece.

Hannah replied first. “how’d it go?” she sent, expectantly.

“Toothless is buried,” Strop replied.

“Thank Dog.”

Maybe so, after all that, but that would never take away from his valiant final flight, to a country far away and lands unseen. A journey they had shared and would remember forever. Except for the parts they got so blind drunk they’d forgotten, of course. And it wasn’t entirely clear that the fart cannon parts were suitable to tell the grandkids. There was no telling what kids would attempt with a lighter these days. But hey, it was their parting gift, and they had given it in a way, somehow, that was fitting to them, and that was a great a gift to an old friend that anybody could have thought to give.

Hopefully Kai would eventually come to that same appreciation, provided he survived his hangover, that was.


#Epilogue

Several months later

The momentum at the GG HQ was picking up faster than ever, an ever growing buzz as their roster continued to expand. As much as the products of their new agenda faced journalistic skepticism, the timeless novelty of ekeing out ludicrous speed from any situation was also met with curiosity and a lingering temptation. Nobody said that transforming the industry was going to be easy, after all.

On a whim, Strop poked his head into the tuner garage, curious that one of the vehicles there didn’t match the description of any of the pending jobs. To his surprise, one burgundy Cisalpina Scattante was parked in the IT Works bay, wires streaming from the cabin. Seated among them, was Kai, and behind the bank of computers from which the wires ran, was Waxwell, who had his giant headphones on and was clearly listening to K-pop.

“Oh, hey bro, we’re just prepping to reflash the ECU.”

“Wow, I didn’t think you’d actually get around to it.”

Kai blew a raspberry at him. “Well, Babygirl is mine after all, so after we get the mapping done we’ll port polish rebalance install the new turbo system, then actually do the ECU, get Noah to replace the wiring and-”

“Hold up hold up,” Strop put his palm up. “Did you just call this car, Babygirl?”

Kai looked affronted. “What’s wrong with that?”

“It’s a fucking terrible name. It’s like, Bianca turns up for a date in her best evening dress and you’re all, ‘whatup, ho.’”

“I’ll have you know, Bianca calls her,” at this point Kai put his hands over the Scattante’s mirrors and dropped his voice to a scandalised whisper, “Buttrocket.”

Strop doubled over laughing. “I love it! That’s it, she’s Buttrocket from now on.”

“Nooooooo! Take it back! Babygirl’s much nicer!”

“BUTTROCKET! BUTTROCKET! BUTTROCKET!” whinneying and laughing madly, Strop bolted out of the room, Kai sprinting after him yelling threats about how his beautiful car wouldn’t stand for such a crass insult. The debate would rage on for much longer yet, but only time would tell what kind of legend Kai’s new car would carve for itself, in the annals of the Gryphon Gear lore.

#THE END
(for now)


#388

Story aside, I’m frankly amazed you found and incorporated that song so well :joy: