It takes a lot of nerve to spit on a dead man’s grave, especially when his body is still warm. When that man is Cannonball Run founder Brock Yates — the most important person in American automotive history who never ran a car company — it takes someone lacking in basic decency, with no respect for the man or his monumental contribution to car culture.
As I write this, several dozen sports cars are on their way from Lenox, Massachusetts to Key West, Florida, where they will abandon their cars, have a party, then fly to Havana for another party.
Their achievement? A celebration of exploitation, ignorance and commoditized gravitas. Their transgression? Calling their event the Cannonball Run.
Theirs may not be a legal crime — lawyers are allegedly exchanging letters — but it is without any doubt a cultural one, for which they should be held accountable. If you see a car manufactured after 1979 with “Cannonball Run” stickers, it is on an event that is the enemy of everything Brock Yates stood for, and of American car culture itself.