Olivia the Ford(Beer Hauler) Norra report

TaylorAnderson31

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first off, Eliseo and Marty, awesome event. My team had an intense time keeping my truck on the road this year, course was challenging, and Baja was beautiful.

The chase crew this year consisted of Chase 1, Kenny from BulletProof Diesel, Josh Martin(La Hoguera guy) Chase 2, Max Herndan(one of my old Rigid guys), co-drivers Scotty Cobett from American Racing and Drew Deckman from Deckmans En El Mogor, who also, with his crew, made the best food all the way down the peninsula. Drew brought 2 more chefs for cooking and prep, Victor and Andreas, these guys are amazing. I Also brought a couple of friends from high school so they could feel the wonder of Baja, and Mark Shonka from Armed Bandit Media to cover the whole thing.

After months of prepping we were ready, spares packed, truck was running great, crew was fed and rested and we were ready to race. Unfortunately we had an issue from the start, with well, starting. For some reason as we were getting ready to pull out of the garage for the start, Olivia wouldn't. Something electrical, something hard to find, after running a jumper off of the starter solenoid we were off the line. Last. Dead Last.

Scott Cobbet and Drew Deckman took her off the start line and made it to the first special without a penalty, thank god we started on a transit. They had a clean first leg, and I got in right before Diablo, clean run there, and into San Felipe we went. Playa Del Pariso was perfect, thanks to Sean Hoglund for help on all of our rooms, and thank you for bringing your crew over for dinner, and thank you for trying to help us find the gremlin under my console that was messing with the starter.. I especially enjoyed talking with Bob Bower, I could listen to his stories for days. Wood fired Quail, elk Ribeyes, oysters, yellowtail sashimi, wine and beer, are we really doing this? Is this what Drew has in store all week? Yes, yes he does. So awesome.

Day 2, clean prep, truck was ready. Best breakfast sandwiches ever. Period. We headed out of SF on time for the start the next morning, off to BOLA. Clean run this day, at least from what I can remember. BOLA was not hot, nice change from previous trip, wind was wicked as always. More great food of course.

Day 3, after some breakfast burritos, with the truck freshly prepped we were ready for this beast of a day, 396 miles. 1st leg was clean, cruised through Vizcaino, saw my buddy Junior from Juniors Taller(a shop we have used in the past when my Raptor brakes went out during a Trail of Missions run) if you ever need repairs in Vizcaino, he is great. Just to the left from the 1st stoplight. We left San Ignatio in our usual fashion, fast, up to the 35 mph speed limit anyway. This 208 mile leg would prove our most challenging. On our way down from the first mounting pass, my brakes felt soft, pump, pump, then my brake pedal decides to seat itself in the firewall, no return. I pry it back with my foot, same thing, all the way to the firewall, stays there. Heading down a rocky downhill into the watercrossing, no brakes. I downshift into 1st, and start cheating over to the right towards the rock face of the mountain side. Slowing, slowing, not slowing, slowing, cheat further up the side, Drew says, are you doing this on purpose? Yes Drew I am, my thought was to either get her to stop, or turn over onto its side to stop the fast approaching cliff on the right side. Eventually we stop, almost to the tipping point. Gather our thoughts. We have all gears, reverse a little off of the huge rock, and limp her down about 100 yards to a flat spot. Hood off, holy cow what a mess. Seems the rear 2 shocks in the front(I have 3 per corner)driver side have sheared their upper mounts, in turn, shearing off the master cylinder, fully explaining the brake pedal to the firewall thing. Not sure what our plan is yet, but I know the shocks have to come off. My old business partner Steve Adams rolls up, stops and I notice a ratchet strap holding his cooler down. Hey man, you mind? We proceed to ratchet strap the master back into place, using a dead blow hammer as a spacer, and it actually works. We have brakes, kind of. We head down to the water crossing, There is Steve, blown ECU. Can you tow us? Do you have brakes? Yes I do. Yes, we can tow you across the water, be my brakes. Works perfect. We tow him up the the Mag 7 pit at the top of the next hill, give him his cooler back, and head on down the road towards Loreto, at this point, on 1/8 tank of gas. Up and down a few mountains, gingerly at best, then the lights of Loreto come into view. We might actually make it. Pull into the wash, through the wash, and across the finish, and run out of gas in front of La Mission. Amazing.
the guys come and tow the truck to Hotel Oasis, Drew and I proceed to drink 10 beers at the bar, while eating a pizza and being interrupted the whole time by a drunk RZR Renter guy who was telling us what we did wrong. Really hope I get to hang out with that jackass again someday. Pretty sure we saw him pass us and get a flat 3 times during the rest of the race.

Let the fun begin. Thanks to Weather Mex for locating a welder, thanks PJ for the loaner, and thanks to Scotty Steinberger for the extra GPS antennae we needed after breaking off the wire in a hasty helmet toss to the dash. Cutting a piece off of the old Trophy Trailer, Josh, our resident Charlie Daniels of fab work, puts the old girl back together. We had a spare Master, and managed to get one of the shocks back on, solid. Don't even remember what dinner was, or much else that night. Got a few hours of sleep and woke up to a truck ready to run Day 4. Watch out La Paz, here we come. My team rocks.

Scotty and Drew take the old fixed girl to Insurgentes, clean run. I hop in and Drew and I finish off the days special of 184 miles clean, as far as I can remember. Into La Paz on the last transit, finish line celebration, one more down, and one more to go.

City express was nice, truck was prepped, dinner was ate. Buffalo Lingua tacos, clams, Yellowtail sashimi, potatoes, and huge ribeyes. And wine, and some more wine.

Last day. Lets get this thing to Cabo boys. Start line, radio check, hello, hello? Alternator glance shows 8v. poop. Limp to the male con, Cap. Kenny shows up, alternator is gone, luckily my spare is with him. Change, back on the road. Truck shoots up to 250 degree, rad fans are not on. poop. limp into Pemex, bypass the thermostats and direct wire it, Thanks Curt Leduc and team for stopping in to say hi. Fixed. We get the truck to Todos, stop for fuel and inspection. Same 2 shocks, passenger side, starting to come off. Remove those, now we have 3 shocks total on the front of the truck. We set into a sort of limp mode for the balance. MUST GET TRUCK TO CABO SO WE CAN DRINK BEER IN 4 HOURS AND SIT IN POOL. We leave the lagoon and head to San Jose Del Cabo. Long and slowish, B1k course, up mountain, down mountain, up mountain, down mountain, through wash, up mountain, down mountain, semi limping. Then it appears. 7 miles to glory, the wash. No limping here is possible, all in, going for broke. Steering is loose and sloppy, theres a new thud coming from down under, the old girl sounds like she is about to just fall to pieces. We get into the throttle, and attach the wash like its day 1. Truck is flawless, with a few new sounds, but running fast and acting like a race truck. Corner, straight, corner, straight, dip, road crossing, straight, then the final corner, we are here. Up onto the pavement, and into the finish. Amazing. What a feeling, we couldn't of won, but we finished, 3 for 3 in a race that takes out most vehicles.

I maybe came in a little hot to the podium, in fact I am sure I did. The flag lady language was bad, she was flag "cussing" at me for sure. and I won't do it again, but it felt so damn good to know that me and all of my guys were going to be in the pool in 2 hours.

Seems that last thud was the final shock on the passenger side breaking off its top mount, with a 12" piece of tube stuck to it. And it didn't punch the radiator. How did we even get here? We worked for it, we fought about it, we didn't sleep, but we made it. All good now.

Thank you to my team of magicians, they represent the spirit of Baja, the spirit of this thing we do. My sponsors, American Racing, Fox, Rigid, La Hoguera, MACS Tie Downs, Deckmans En El Mogor, Fly-N-Hi, Stay Classy Meats, and others, sorry I'm still foggy. and Thank you lord for getting us to Cabo, and back to the US, Safely.

Taylor
Olivia the Ford

We actually ended up taking the win for our class, 2 hours off of our time from last year.

let the rebuild begin. Josh's dad is a refrigerator repair man, has a great set of tools.
 

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Quailhunter

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Sounds like the the front end needs some love from Autofab
 

CHINOLAS

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Taylor, reading your Norra Report gives me the energy to continue doing this, I think there is nothing more pleasant in the life of a race promoter than reading and hearing racers talking about how good it was for them to experience the event, thanks for sharing and also big thanks for believing in us NORRA, you are a big part of the ones that make all this happen as a sponsor and supporter.

By the way RIGID lights made a big difference on all our Recovery Vehicles and Norra Crew Trucks driving down Baja and back.
 

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TaylorAnderson31

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Was great meeting and racing with you guys!!
likewise brother, been watching your updates on the truck, nice job on the finish, it aint for sissies.
see you guys next year.
 

TaylorAnderson31

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Sounds like the the front end needs some love from Autofab
completely, I got to meet John at the race, already spoke to him about a new hood, fenders and heavy duty engine mounts. We are also adding bolt in, quick change front upper suspension mounts. We fought that the entire race. You still have pics if the twin truck to mine? would love to see them.

Johnny, a friend of mine just picked up one of the Beavers trucks, I'm getting some ideas from the way they did things too.
 

TaylorAnderson31

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Taylor, reading your Norra Report gives me the energy to continue doing this, I think there is nothing more pleasant in the life of a race promoter than reading and hearing racers talking about how good it was for them to experience the event, thanks for sharing and also big thanks for believing in us NORRA, you are a big part of the ones that make all this happen as a sponsor and supporter.

By the way RIGID lights made a big difference on all our Recovery Vehicles and Norra Crew Trucks driving down Baja and back.
Eliseo, Its a race full of emotion for sure. When things don't go right people get a little rough around the edges at times. There is so much that is not seen to make this event happen, and we appreciate it. Looking forward to next year already. Its great to have a race that is based around the vintage vehicles, I plan on doing this until I can't anymore.

Glad the lights worked out well.

Taylor
 

Team Todo En

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Great write-up, thanks for sharing. I'm really glad I missed the UTV guy in Loreto LOL. After having a few cervezas at the bar and seeing some open seats at a nearby table, we ended up sitting with Don Prudhomme which was pretty cool to hear some stories on his take from the off road perspective.
Randy #66
 

bajaxp

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Viva the 'Beer Hauler.' Great write up TA. Sounds like the ole girl now needs some love'n.
 

TaylorAnderson31

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Great write-up, thanks for sharing. I'm really glad I missed the UTV guy in Loreto LOL. After having a few cervezas at the bar and seeing some open seats at a nearby table, we ended up sitting with Don Prudhomme which was pretty cool to hear some stories on his take from the off road perspective.
Randy #66
next time, come grab me...would love to talk to Don about his take for sure.
 

TaylorAnderson31

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Viva the 'Beer Hauler.' Great write up TA. Sounds like the ole girl now needs some love'n.
yes she does..great truck, now I learn about the Beef-up portion of racing..find your weak points and try her again..
 
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