A new challenge on home turf

This June will see Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade undertake a new challenge on home turf – the Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge – Australia. Rod and co-driver Austen Ritchie will drive from Surfers Paradise, Queensland, to Fremantle, Western Australia, in 48-hours…and then turn around and drive straight back!

Find out more here

The Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge - Australia

The Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge – Australia

 

Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge America – in Pictures

Overdue thanks…

There are a lot of thank you’s that are long overdue from the Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge – America. People and companies who supported us in both our attempts, resulting in the new World record.

Team O2O USA raise a glass in thanks

Team O2O USA raise a glass in thanks

Our gratitude goes to…
Ora Landis, Schwalms – engine builder and support crew on attempt 2
Ricardo Da Cruz, Joman Auto Services – NY garage facility, support vehicle preparation, support crew and still photographer.
Mike Amor and Arron Hage, Channel Seven – film crew
Tom Leib and Scat Crankshafts
Beaudesert Exhausts
King Springs
Castrol The Edge
Don Snyder III – for parts, promo space at Hershey and for being on standby throughout – as well as for a generous financial donation.

We did it! A Record Breaking Result!

Celebrating at Venice Beach by Ricardo Da Cruz/Joman Auto Services

Celebrating at Venice Beach by Ricardo Da Cruz/Joman Auto Services

50 hours 20 minutes and 6 seconds!

Despite horrendous weather conditions including rain storms, extreme winds and snow, the driving duo Rod and Michael arrived much sooner than expected, reaching Venice Fishing Pier, Venice Beach, just after 11.15pm on Saturday evening (23rd Nov).

On arriving at Venice Fishing Pier, Rod said: “I can’t believe we got here in such a good time. It got scary through Amarillo again but we battled on. If it wasn’t for the weather conditions, we would have done it on 40’odd hours. Maybe next time!”

Next time will in fact see the Vintage Adventurer team take on the Ocean to Ocean Australia, driving from Queensland to Freemantle but also make the return journey. This is scheduled for June 2014.

Wide awake in Arizona

After the horrendous weather conditions in New Mexico, we expected Arizona to be much better as we headed for the sunshine state of California. What we didn’t expect was to see every kind of weather known to man!

There was a glimpse of sunshine before the rain, hail and snow came down…and then the sun came out again. While the desert terrain from the border remained clear, Flagstaff seemed more like Canada with its snow covered trees. But still the team surged ahead, now determined to be spending Saturday night in a warm bed rather than catnapping between driving shifts in a moving car.

Driving through Arizona

Driving through Arizona

Image by Ricardo Da Cruz/Joman Auto Services

Snow in New Mexico

After the icy conditions of Amarillo, no one expected snow fall on the route to Albuquerque. For Aussie Michael, it was the first time he’d seen snowfall in his life. Rod was nonplussed though as realising that the lack of dramas and the pace they were motoring at, thanks to the rebuilt engine by Ora Landis of Schwalms, they could get to Venice Fishing Pier in LA on Saturday night.

“Let’s set a time that’s hard for others to beat” said Rod as he drove out of the fuel stop, the support crew racing to keep up with both Rod and the Model A.

Snow in New Mexico

Snow in New Mexico

Oh no Amarillo!

As we saw the signs for Amarillo, we held our breath. This is where the first attempt had ended in heartache. We’d already had a tip off from Jay Ramey at Autoweek (who’s been a constant supporter who we are most grateful to) that Amarillo was about to see some extreme wintry weather. Jay wasn’t wrong.

Black ice on the roads, a huge drop in temperature and freezing rain struck. Rod and Michael were forced to stop every couple of miles to clear the windscreen as they couldn’t see very well. When they did have visibility, they saw over turned RVs and a multi truck pile up. It made you realise that this wasn’t about the clock anymore. This was about staying safe. Thankfully they did and despite freezing in the Model A, they made it through.

“That was the scariest thing ever” Michael said at the fuel stop.

Shifting dramas…

There were no dramas as Rod and Michael headed for Columbus, Ohio, and Indiana. They waved at Zanesville, where they were delayed four hours with cooling problems on the first attempt. No dramas then… Well not for them.

The four-strong support crew in the 1988 Plymouth had to take on extra luggage to lighten the load for the Model A. Plus they had to stop for gas three times compared to Rod’s once. Trying to stick with the Model A, the crew left it a little too late to refuel, not banking on a dodgy fuel gauge, and found themselves on the sidle of the interstate waiting for AAA to bring them a canister of gas. Thank god for their speedy service as the crew was back on the road within 30 minutes. But they were still playing catch up…

Playing catch up

Playing catch up

And we’re off

With our support crew in tow, we departed Staten Island at 00.01am on Friday morning. Despite a power outage affecting a huge part of New Jersey, we made good time out of the city. The support crew however blamed the sat Nav when they found themselves on a closed bridge with a police office…in a retired police car.

Luckily Officer Friendly took pity on them and got them on the right road, but they had a lot to do to catch up as we were setting quite a pace.

At Staten Island

At Staten Island

Why we are here…

The whole point of Rod doing motoring challenges such as the Peking to Paris Rally and the Ocean2Ocean is to raise awareness and money for kidney disease sufferers all over the world.

Rod’s plan is to create ‘Kidney Campervans’ that will be fitted with dialysis machines so that those needing treatment can go and enjoy a weekend away or a short holiday with their family without having to return to the hospital to dialyse.

The first camper van is on order and has been funded solely by the Wade family, who live with kidney disease on a daily basis. But we need more than one… we also need them in more than one country.

Kidney disease is a global problem. More people die from kidney disease than breast and prostrate cancer combined all over the world.

Please support our cause and give generously – any amount will help. You can donate here. Please quote ‘Kidney Kampervan’ when pledging your support.

On the road again

Rod headed straight from Birmingham, UK to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, to collect the Ford Model A from Ora Landis at Schwalms who has been rebuilding the engine and fitting the new Scat crankshaft.

He then drove straight to Joman’s Auto Services in Linden, NJ, to meet up with owner Ricardo Da Cruz to collect the support vehicle – a 1988 Plymouth police car.

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Rod heads to UK’s Classic Motor Show

Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade made a detour on his return journey to the USA for the second attempt on the Ocean2Ocean Challenge – he stopped off in the UK to visit the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC.

Rod with Mike and Edd from Wheeler Dealers

Rod with Mike and Edd from Wheeler Dealers

The biggest indoor motoring event in the UK, Rod was invited to tell the 65,000 strong crowd all about the O2O and what he is fundraising for – to fit out RV and Camper vans with dialysis machines for sufferers to be able to have the freedom for a weekend away or short holiday.

Rod was interviewed by Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer and Edd China on the Live Stage. He was in good company as the other special guests included British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss and 70s TV icon David Soul from the TV series Starsky & Hutch – all of them pledging support for Rod’s cause.

See the pictures of Rod’s UK debut…

 

If at first you don’t succeed…

DO IT AGAIN! Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade is making a second attempt on setting a new world record for driving a pre-war car from New York to California against the clock.

Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade and co-driver Michael Flanders set off from Staten Island, LA bound

Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade and co-driver Michael Flanders set off from Staten Island, LA bound

Australian Rod and his co-driver Michael Flanders will make a second attempt on the 2,947mile journey in their 1930 Ford Model A, departing Staten Island at 00:01am on Friday November 22nd with the aim of reaching Venice Fishing Pier in under 60 hours, giving an estimated arrival time of the morning of Sunday November 24th.

The pair will be supported by a 1988 Plymouth retired police car that will act as a media vehicle. The police car will carry parts and spares as well as New Jersey garage owner and photographer Ricardo Da Cruz, Pennsylvania engine builder Ora Landis and the team’s media manager Andrea Seed from England.

Rod and Michael with the Plymouth Police car that will act as their support vehicle

Rod and Michael with the Plymouth Police car that will act as their support vehicle

Prior to the start of the challenge, Rod will fill a bottle with water from the Atlantic Ocean that will then be poured into the Pacific Ocean upon arrival at Venice Beach, Los Angeles, hence the title “Ocean to Ocean Challenge – America”. That’s when the clock will stop and a new world record will be set.

The crew’s previous attempt ended in heartbreak and disappointment when, after 38 hours, the Ford’s crankshaft broke after they had just travelled through Amarillo, Texas.

Rod said: “We were devastated when the previous attempt failed but it did two things – taught us a few lessons that have helped us plan the second attempt and made us more determined than ever to get the record set!”

The whole reason for setting the World record is to raise awareness and funds to support kidney disease suffers in the USA and the American Kidney Fund. With kidney disease affecting Rod’s wife and daughter, he has raised thousands of dollars for Kidney Health Australia (KHA) and now is looking to support kidney sufferers in the USA.

Rod added: “The money we raise will allow us to outfit RVs and campervans with dialysis machines so people requiring dialysis can have a little personal freedom to travel and enjoy life, instead of needing to be constantly within reach of a machine at their home, clinic, or hospital.”

The Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge USA pays homage to H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker, the first to drive coast-to-coast across America 110 years ago.

Is the challenge over…

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” …Thomas Edison.

You heard the man…

We'll be back...

We’ll be back…

Cranks for the memories…

After gaining a lot of ground after the first day’s over heating problems, our Aussie adventurers had made up some time by powering through the night, reaching the Route 66 parkway at first light.

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Spirits were high as the team got to Oklahoma City and onto Amarillo but then disaster struck –  the crankshaft cracked and split putting an end to our challenge. Rod and Michael tried everything to get the Tudor Rose back on the road but to no avail. Our record attempt was over…

The car was put on the back of a tow-truck and is in Amarillo awaiting a return journey to Ora Landis’ workshop where it will receive some much needed TLC. Rod and Michael are still on the road…with the bottle of water from the Atlantic, heading for LA. But will they tip the water into the Pacific as planned? Is the challenge actually over? Will the Tudor Rose be back to try again…

Hotting up on Day One

Rod and Michael got off to a great start out of Staten Island but it wasn’t just our drivers hot on the trail of a world record. The car was running very hot too. At first the fellas put it down to the full fuel tanks, both water tanks being full to capacity and the extra weight in the car, but after a while it became obvious that wasn’t the case.

Michael got under the hood to check all aspects of the car and made some adjustments but to no avail. The top of the radiator remained red hot while the bottom was cool enough to touch. This is the same radiator that managed to get Rod from Paris to Peking.

The pair had resigned themselves to waiting for a new radiator to arrive when the problem was found – a blockage in the cooling system. This was soon fixed and they were back on the road, with a fair few hours to catch up as they headed from Zanesville towards Indiana.

The Indiana Sunset

The Indiana Sunset

And they are off…

Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade and co-driver Michael Flanders set off from Staten Island, LA bound

Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade and co-driver Michael Flanders set off from Staten Island, LA bound

A new world record attempt got underway just after midnight as 70-year-old Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade and his co-driver Michael Flanders drove their 1930 Ford Model A off the sandy beach at Ocean Avenue, Staten Island at 00:01am on Columbus Day (Monday October 14th), heading for Venice Beach, California in under 60 hours.

The motoring duo will travel through ten states as they attempt the 2,947mile non-stop drive in under 60 hours. Their planned route will take them along the Lincoln Highway, the pioneering American transcontinental route as well as down sections of iconic Route 66.

After leaving Staten Island, the Vintage Adventurer headed for Columbus on the i-70, before moving onto St Louis, Kansas City, Emporia, Wichita, and the Route 66 Park near Oklahoma City. Then it’s highway 40 to Amarillo, Albuquerque, Kingman and Barstow before they start to head through Los Angeles and the finishing point of the Venice Beach fishing pier.

Track the team’s progress at GoTek7.com using the Prime Login code 014064

Filming in the Big Apple

With the Ocean2Ocean Challenge setting off from New York, the film crew wanted to get the Tudor Rose driving past some of its most iconic landmarks. This is obviously easier said than done when its Saturday afternoon in one of the busiest and most visited cities in the world.

At the Brooklyn Bridge

At the Brooklyn Bridge

First off we headed for the Brooklyn Bridge and the Dumbo area that is immediately under the bridge and has an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline. Whilst driving around, Rod spotted a pair of newlyweds who immediately found themselves having their wedding pictures with the car and Rod! Then it was more filming on the cobbled Brooklyn streets before heading for Times Square.

Times Square was a bit of a shocker to drive around but Rod and Michael took it all in their stride. Then it was off to the starting point – Ocean Avenue and Drury Avenue in Staten Island, just for one final look before the main event.

 

The Media Spotlight

Once all the touch ups on the car were done, its was time for Rod and Michael to get their close up as a camera crew for Australia’s Network 7 and a reporter from Autoweek arrived to see what the guys were up to.

After filming the guys working, it was time to take a seat as a reporter called them on the phone to interview them ‘down the line’ which meant they had to look at the person in the chair like he was the one asking the questions… but both fellas handled it like complete pros.

Then we said our goodbyes to the garage and headed for the mean streets of NYC to do some more filming. How would the Tudor Rose cope with the New Yorkers and their driving style???

Final tweaks in the workshop

After Friday was a complete washout at Hershey, we said goodbye to our dear friends and hosts Don and John from Snyder’s Antique Auto Parts and headed for New York. It was hammering down with rain and reports of coastal storms were weighing heavily on the teams’ mind. Would we even be able to start the challenge if the weather reports were true? Could the Ocean 2 Ocean Challenge be all over before we’ve even seen the sea?!

Final tweaks in the workshop

Final tweaks in the workshop

As we got nearer to New York and the Joman Auto Service garage, our workshop in Linden, the sky cleared and the rain stopped. From the minute the brakes went on as we parked up in the garage, the sun has shone. Someone is looking down on us. God bless whoever you are.

Early Saturday morning was spent doing all the last minute tweaks – checking tyre pressures, fixing the Go-Pro cameras. Rod went rummaging in the dust bin and found an old desk fan that he immediately turned into a way of cooling the radiator. He even painted it black so it looked nice.

There was just time to have a quick photo with Ricardo and the team from Joman’s when the camera crew and journalist from Autoweek arrived. Are you ready for your close up Rod???