It was 14 years ago when BimmerWorld went big time and bought our first semi-trailer race hauler. It was the week before Petit Le Mans, and we were running a two-car, three-man show (including drivers) in World Challenge. On Friday, James and I picked up the new-to-us Volvo tractor from the local factory and set off for Georgia to pick up the new transporter.
Nothing like a two-man engine swap at 2AM. Ah, the good ole days (2003).
James had a Class A CDL from his early contracting days, and it was crash-course time for me in heavy trucks and big transmissions. We picked up the also-new-to-us trailer Saturday morning and high-tailed it home to VA to load on Sunday. After a full day of last-minute prep and getting acquainted with a new trailer and lift gate, James took me on a loaded-rig test drive around Radford… And then Monday morning it was trial-by-fire on the way to Road Atlanta solo. I made it, only missing a gear so badly I had to coast to a stop on the shoulder once, then parked the rig in the tightest spot I’ve ever had to get into in the paddock, and it was into the great wide open from there.
The original BimmerWorld rig undergoing it’s Lotus decal removal and transition to becoming “Big Blue.”
Our fleet of crew and cars has grown. Two cars became three became four. The old Lotus rig became “Big Blue,” and that became a giant circus tent that was later joined by a second transporter which was ultimately retired for a second modern day hauler.
The original BimmerWorld circus tent in all of its glory.
On the road again
After eight seasons, a handful of crew and co-drivers, dozens of “good” stories (or bad, depending on your perspective), more hours after midnight on the West Virginia turnpike than anyone should spend in a lifetime, and 200,000 or so miles, I handed “Old Blue” over to Dave Taylor in 2010 as he came on board as truck driver and chef extraordinaire. Dave couldn’t make the two-week New York-Canada run this year, so I dusted off the old trucker hat and hit the open road today. After a 30-minute delay at a bottleneck due to a tractor-trailer wreck 10 miles from the shop, it was pretty smooth sailing to New York.
We’ll handle the rig parking in the AM: “Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.”