Messing with the competition *

April 1: I figure since I have the smallest engine in the Trans-American rally, I needed to work out other advantages. My owners are great people, but lack imagination in some areas so I am suggesting these possible “solutions” to assist their chances of not embarrassing me with a poor score. ( All references are listed.)

1. Remove the competitor’s gas cap and replace it with a locking one. In all fairness, hide the key in the car, maybe even put a clue taped to the cap, it will still take up valuable time while the driver and navigator frantically hunt for the key at the first gas stop. (Car and Driver, pg. 28, April 2012)

2. Hide your medical kit in the glove box of a competitor. It must be the kit described in the blog from 2/10/12 and looks like the one in this picture. Imagine the delay when at the border into Canada when your competitor is required to open the glove box to pull out his car registration! ( 2/10/12)

3.  Change the rally instructions, putting the top competitor on a totally different ( and hopefully much worse) road.  This may require breaking into a competitor’s room one evening, so make sure the competing team has made it to the bar early and stays late. This requires team work, one to drink, one to break-and-enter. But this is why you have co-drivers. (The Long Road to Paris, chapter 19.)

4. Pour ground pepper into the car’s HVAC inlet port. This works best on a misty or rainy morning when it is necessary to clear the windshield. Guaranteed to clear the windshield and driver’s sinuses. Delays caused by sneezing and tearing eyes. (Car and Driver, pg. 28. April 2012)

5. Delete a page from the rally book. This is just as effective as #3, gets them lost and takes less time. Only necessary to pull one page out. Best done as a team. One distracts the competitors (Oh God, I see smoke from under your hood! Said while running toward their car.) once they are seated and reviewing the route for the day. (The Long Road to Paris, pg. 295.)

6. Place jack stands under the suspension so that the drive wheels just clear the ground. The car will look and start fine, but will go nowhere. (Car and Driver, pg. 28. April 2012)

7. Switch cars to an outwardly identical one but with a powerful engine. This should be done once everyone is convince of your lack of competitiveness because of your small engine. I understand that the Porsche engine fits a VW Beetle. Or I might consult Herbie, or even Lindsey Lohan and see what they have used. This will take outside help but it has been done successfully. (See The Long Road to Paris, chapter 27)

If you have additional suggestions, either from your experience or just hearsay, please add your comment on this blog. I’ll be glad to pass it along to my owners.


a.k.a. Blue Blaze

* Childish pranks described here will most likely result in disqualification if you are caught. Perhaps best done only on April Fools Day! 🙂


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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3 Responses to Messing with the competition *

  1. TBC says:

    A good deal of LOL from Arnie and me. Terrific, and a great way to start off April Fools Day … or is it Bun-Rab Day. I’ll have to check with the Cadbury Bunny!

    A caress with an old, soft diaper for Blue Blaze, (The best thing for washing favorite cars)


  2. ejhowle23 says:

    Will Depends do as a washing cloth? We’re beyond the stage of having even grand-diapers on hand.

  3. I admire your spirit of competitiveness. It’s the American Way.

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