For those of you who don’t know about Alex Roy and his record-breaking run across the country, this video is only going to be a taste of the story. But first, a very brief history lesson. Journalist and driver Alex Roy decided to break the famous Cannonball Run record of driving across the United States of America. He managed to break the record, with a run of just over 31 hours, using a modified 2000 BMW E39 M5 and a new documentary has been released about the now-famous coast-to-coast run called Apex.
In this short clip, we get to see why Roy chose the E39 M5 and what was done to it to make it capable enough to handle the rigors of this high-speed blast across nearly 3,000 miles. The clip is also narrated by Ice T, so it’s well worth your time.
The E39 M5 Roy chose was quite heavily modified to handle Cannonball Run-duty. It was fitted with better brakes, shocks and a new clutch, to make sure it withstood the high-speed punishment. But the reason he chose the E39 M5 was because it was simply the best sport sedan at the time, capable enough to handle hours and hours of consistent triple-digit speeds. It was also relatively inconspicuous, as the E39-generation of M5 barely looks different than a standard 5 Series. Especially in the dark blue paint of Roy’s car.
He also had several antennae, for all sorts of police scanners and whatnot, several GPS-monitoring units (this was 2006 when he broke the record. Waze didn’t exist yet) and even white stripes painted on the hood so it could be seen by an airplane. Wild stuff.
This video is really interesting to watch and makes me want to watch the rest of the film. For more of an in-depth explanation on what it takes to break the Cannonball Run, check this article out by Roy himself.