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Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade (right) with his co-driver Michael Flanders (left)

Aussies cross America

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28th November, 2013

Australians Rod Wade and co-driver Michael Flanders have claimed a new world record for driving a pre-WWII car across the USA - ocean to ocean - from New York to Los Angeles in 50 hours, 20 minutes and 6 seconds.

Rod and Michael began the 3,000 miles journey in their 1930 Ford Model A at Staten Island at 00:01am on Friday 22nd November with the aim of reaching Venice Fishing Pier in around 60 hours, giving an estimated arrival time of the morning of Sunday 24th November.

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

The team experienced the worst of the turbulent weather in Amarillo, Texas, the place where the Model A suffered a broken crankshaft after 38 hours of driving in an earlier attempt in October of this year. The freezing rain, fog and snow forced Rod and Michael to stop every two miles to clear the windscreen of ice as there is no heated windscreen in the old car.

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 the team take on a big challenge they will be on home turf for the Ocean to Ocean Australia, driving from the east to the west but also making the return journey. This is scheduled for June 2014.

The whole reason for setting the World record is to raise awareness and funds to support kidney disease suffers all over the world. With kidney disease affecting Rod’s wife and daughter, he has raised thousands of dollars for kidney charities and the Wade family has just commissioned the first ‘Kidney Camper’ to get the ball rolling.

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.”

Rod and Michael were accompanied by the team’s support vehicle – a 1988 Plymouth retired police car that also made the journey with them. The support crew was made up of engine builder Ora Landis and Ricardo Da Cruz as lead mechanic/photographer, both from the USA, together with Arron Hage from Australia and their media consultant, Andrea Seed (UK).



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