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Old 09-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2



Rain had been threatening us all weekend. On Friday, we got lucky and managed to dodge every drop that fell from the dark skies, but on this day our luck was out - rain was coming down in sheets. Doing my best to ignore the weather, I lined the blown...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Thanks Ryan,Great read,,now I gotta ask ya,,,After having driven the Coker/Honest Charlie car,,do you have roadster fever now? HRP
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Sounds like a helluva weekend.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Sounds like a blast!
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Hey, Ryan,

Thanks for explaining in such great detail exactly what a "rally" consists of. I've heard about them, mostly with old sports cars, since a teenager in the fifties, but being mostly into drag racing in those days, I never learned what was involved. Now, knowing, I "get it" better.

Like you, I mostly enjoy the ride these days, and unlike you, am not so competitive. I just don't think I'd take the pressure of a navigator barking orders at me for 300 miles. Probably would get very nervous and freak out, ending up in a ditch somewhere. That's just me, and that said, my hat is off to you for having the nuts to try something so demanding and so different. It sounds like you had a great time, and as usual, thanks for sharing it with us.

GA
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

This type of rally is known as a TSD rally which stands for Time Speed Distance and is entirely unlike "gimmick" rallies, poker runs, and suchlike events put on for entertainment value strictly. What Ryan forgot to mention, and I don't blame him, is a concept that is the backbone of the TSD rally which is called the Main Road Rule. I won't go into the details but suffice to say that it can be excruciatingly challenging to stay "on course" and "on time" at the same time. TSD rallies are no light sunday fun drives but are usually serious brain warping intellectual exercises so their appeal is, and always has been, rather limited. For this reason they are much less popular than their heyday in the 50s through the 70s. I love 'em but they aren't for the faint of heart.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Seems like every auto sport eventually evolves to the point where the fun is completely beat out of it in the attempt to be competative. I looked into TSD rallies a few times, what I thought were amateur ones. Never got around to actually participating after I found out that Navigation, ultra-acurate speedo,clocks and other stuff was required to even have a chance. Someone telling me to get to 35, hit an apex at 17, then exit at 5mph, and then having him scream at you for missing the mark, doesn't sound like fun but maybe it is in person.

Kind of like the HA/GR stuff. started out as a cheap simple idea, but now people are spending big bucks on inlines and flatheads to be competative.

It's inevitable. almost every car related sport seems to go this direction.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Rain just seems to follow you doesn't it? Shit, I'm afraid to invite you to any of our events..... looks like some great cars there.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Great explanation of rallying.Just as complex as I thought it was! Just think of the people who enter the Great American Race and go cross country doing this.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

It's inevitable. almost every car related sport seems to go this direction.[/QUOTE]


I agree generally but in the case of TSD rallies they have been at the same difficulty level for at least 50 years. In the usual club scenario different classes are organized for different equipment levels so anyone can compete. It's true that in the upper echelons some pricey equipment is condidered de rigeur but even there it's way cheaper than in the 70s when electronic rally computers could cost a thousand bucks--equivalent to two or three grand nowadays. It is also true that it takes a certain kind of personality to enjoy TSD rallying that isn't that common. A rather less charitable way of putting it is that few are perversely obsessive enough to pursue it on a routine basis. I enjoyed it but then again I was a driver and not a navigator.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revhead View Post
Seems like every auto sport eventually evolves to the point where the fun is completely beat out of it in the attempt to be competative. I looked into TSD rallies a few times, what I thought were amateur ones. Never got around to actually participating after I found out that Navigation, ultra-acurate speedo,clocks and other stuff was required to even have a chance. Someone telling me to get to 35, hit an apex at 17, then exit at 5mph, and then having him scream at you for missing the mark, doesn't sound like fun but maybe it is in person.

Kind of like the HA/GR stuff. started out as a cheap simple idea, but now people are spending big bucks on inlines and flatheads to be competative.

It's inevitable. almost every car related sport seems to go this direction.
Yeah, I disagree... Really, the only piece of equipment that you need to be competitive is a thousand dollar speedometer. Expensive, but that's it.

I didn't see any expensive clocks or other accessories at all.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Excellent Read! It sounds like you have a great extended family with the Coker crew. I'd like to recognize Jess, myself. For all the mystique and glamour around a bunch in events like this, he was just a regular guy selling me tires a few weeks ago. I didn't know him from Job, and he never let on to his rank at the company. It wasn't until I received a follow-up email that I saw exactly what that was. Not many such folks are spending time looking up tires on the phone with ordinary Joe's like me. I expect he did good by you in finishing up.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
Yeah, I disagree... Really, the only piece of equipment that you need to be competitive is a thousand dollar speedometer. Expensive, but that's it.

I didn't see any expensive clocks or other accessories at all.
Ryan, what makes the speedo so special?

Does everyone have to run the same unit? Cable drive?
Adjustable to dial it in?

Inquiring minds...

Frank
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Sounds interesting.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

It's a digital job using ceramic magnets (mounted on the wheels). It's driven on a separate battery to avoid interference. The really big face and broad 360 degree sweep gives the gauge a really high resolution. You can easily read the difference between 55 mph and 55.5 mph... VERY accurate I guess. Here are some details:

http://home.comcast.net/~timewise1/products/825.html

I think it's ugly... But the damn thing sure does work well. Most guys seemed to have a quick release setup on their speedos so that they are easily removable when you aren't rallying.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

My wife and I tried the Rally thing a few years back when the kids were teenagers. The four of us piled in the daily driver Camry (guess we got an multiple person exemption since the children were under 18, plus we didnt really look like serious competitors) and joined the group, one of which was a Cobra replica.

With me driving and multiple navigators this turned into a real fiasco with everyone barking orders to me (..see Ryans blog " 5 MPH, 5 MPH!) and such directions as "Turn at tree with 8 branches and 50 feet from the corner" this turned into a rather tense family outing.

At the end of the day when they handed out awards we got a plastic shovel .... one can only guess what that infers.... lol. BTW I still have it after all these years.

Thanks for the post Ryan, think I will continue to pursue Land Speed Racing, at least you only have to listen to the engine.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
Yeah, I disagree... Really, the only piece of equipment that you need to be competitive is a thousand dollar speedometer. Expensive, but that's it.

I didn't see any expensive clocks or other accessories at all.

Like I said I never got into it, so I only had a short impression of what it was like. The people I met had huge amounts of electronics in the cars, Multiple GPS, timers, speedos etc. Maybe I was talking to the wrong people.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Who knew having so much fun could be so much work?
Great write-up Ryan, thanks for sharing with us! Ya signed up for next year?
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:18 AM   #19
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revhead View Post
Like I said I never got into it, so I only had a short impression of what it was like. The people I met had huge amounts of electronics in the cars, Multiple GPS, timers, speedos etc. Maybe I was talking to the wrong people.
I'm no expert by any means, but I do know that the group that held this rally (VCRA) only allows a speedo, a clock, and a stop watch. The speedo is high dollar, the clock is just one of those double a battery jobs, and the stop watch is nothing special either.

GPS, multiple timers, etc... were not allowed.

Like I said, the sport definitely has some pluses and minuses. It can get frustrating when you really just want to enjoy the car and your environment. I like to go fast and there isn't much of that... BUT, from a competitive standpoint it really is pretty damned fun. I liked it and would certainly do it again.

I guess my biggest impression from the event was how these people really drive their cars. I mean, they flog the shit out of those old cars often driving coast to coast. Hell, this Coker deal was considered a really short event and it was over 600 miles.

There is no way in hell I could do something like the great race... It would hurt my brain too much.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Coker Tire Challenge: Part 2

I first did the Great Race in 1998. The year before, a buddy of mine said,"If you'll restore that old Plymouth of yours, I'll pay the entry fee to the Great Race." I restored my 1932 Plymouth Model PB business coupe, and he kept his word. He navigated and I drove. That year the Great Race covered 4,500 miles zig-zagging from Tacoma to Boston. We were both hooked. You do tend to beat the crap out of the car you just spent thousands to restore, but the competition is great.

My buddy and I did it 4 times in my '32 Plymouth and one more time - Philadelphia to San Rafael, CA - in a 1936 Buick Century uglymobile. I wouldn't trade any of those experiences. Just to see the whole country from the back roads is spectacular. I've documented my Great Race trips at http://sites.google.com/site/gr8racers/

Enjoy!
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