About the Cannonball UK Challenges

A modern Cannonball for modern times.

Modern street car challenges for modern times

We have gone back to the roots of the Cannonball, right back to the beginning.
It all started with Erwin George “Cannonball” Baker, way back in 1904 and he continued to have motorcycle and car adventures through to 1933.

The “Cannonball UK” club has been created to give you modern day motoring adventures in cars and on motorcycles.

We use modern technology to create navigation challenges using “rally style” roadbooks.

Our first challenges will be short runs, so you get to grips with the navigation and technology then we will create long distance Cannonball Rally Challenges which will take several days to complete, testing navigation, endurance and driving skills.

A little bit of history …

An early motoring adventurer named “Cannonball” Baker was famous for his record-setting point-to-point drives, in which he was paid to promote the products of various motorcycle and automobile manufacturers. In all, he made 143 cross-country motorcycle speed runs totalling about 550,000 miles (890,000 km).

Around 1908, Cannonball Baker decided he would attempt to break the transcontinental record, crossing from one side of the USA to the other.

After a record-setting transcontinental drive in 1914, he received his nickname “Cannonball” from a New York newspaper writer who compared him to the Cannonball Express train made famous by Casey Jones.

The Records

Baker set 143 driving records from the 1910s through the 1930s. His first was set in 1914, riding coast to coast on an Indian motorcycle in 11 days. He normally rode to sponsor manufacturers, guaranteeing them “no record, no money”.

In 1915, Baker drove from Los Angeles to New York City in 11 days, 7 hours and fifteen minutes in a Stutz Bearcat, and the following year drove a Cadillac 8 roadster from Los Angeles to Times Square in 7 days, 11 hours, and 52 minutes.

For the manufacturer ReVere, he drove a car that might have been the first work’s prototype vehicle on a very extended reliability, endurance, and promotion run. The trip took about four months from June to September 1918, went over 16,234 miles and connected the 48 state capitals.  In 1924, he made his first midwinter transcontinental run in a stock Gardner sedan at a time of 4 days, 14 hours, and 15 minutes.

In 1926, he drove a loaded two-ton truck from New York to San Francisco in a record 5 days, 17 hours, and 30 minutes, and in 1928, he beat the 20th Century Limited train from New York to Chicago. Also in 1928, he competed in the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race, and set a record time of 14:49.6 seconds, driving a Franklin.

His best-remembered drive was a 1933 New York City to Los Angeles trek in a Graham-Paige model 57 Blue Streak 8, setting a 53.5 hour record that stood for nearly 40 years. This drive inspired the later Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, better known as the “Cannonball Run”

A new Cannonball for the modern era

The Cannonball Rally Challenge is designed to evoke the point 2 point motoring adventures that “Cannonball Baker” undertook, whether it be car, motorcycle, van or truck.

We have created a motorsport format which embodies these original challenges, but with modern technology and a little twist in the form of a rally format.

Keep an eye on the event page to join in or sign up for our events notification newsletter.


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