Northeast 1000 (Vintage) Rally

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by SouthJersey400i, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. SouthJersey400i

    SouthJersey400i Formula 3

    Mar 14, 2007
    Romulus, NY (Finger Lakes)
    Full Name:
    Ken Battle
    I am just back from doing the Northeast 1000 mile Rally. These rallies used to be for vintage cars, 25 years and older, but are now open to all "exotic cars". From Ferrari standpoint there were maybe 5 cars, the oldest a 330 GT but he did not really 'compete' but rather transited from hotel to hotel. So my '84 400i was oldest running the rally route 'at speed'. Newer F-cars included a 458 and an FF. The oldest car was a 1952 XK120 Jag and former race car. An Alfa Giulietta also ran. My favorite car was a gorgeous Mazarati Ghibli Spyder. Both the Ghibli and the Giulietta did the whole rally with tops down in New England in late Oct, the Jag too! There were 36 cars total.

    Now for my story. My wife and I planned to do this event since early this year and were the 5th to register. These events are high cost and we made final commitment a few weeks ago. The start was in Stove, VT early Sunday afternoon and we live in the Finger Lakes 300+ miles away. So we booked a room on Lake George 2/3 way there. We set off early morning and car had a bit of low RPM misfire and was down on power at low end but ran great above 3000, but it was deteriorating. When we stopped for breakfast the engine died completely and would not start. By 11 AM we were on a flat bed headed home. I had about 3 hours to get car running or we would have to scrub completely and lose all our money or go in our Subaru and drive one of the organizers Miata's in the rally. So my wheels turned for likely causes and solutions I could actually do in 3 hours with parts available! I had a good hunch it was the distributor advance stuck in high advance mode; and this was something I could do with no parts. It took three different length screw drivers and about an hour to get all three screws loose and cap off. Rotor moved but felt a bit stiff. I sprayed some 'grease-less lube' down toward advance mechanism and bearings and wiggled rotor back and forth. We did a driving test and misfire was gone and low end power was back to normal and better than in recent months. Off we went to Lake George arriving 4 ours later than planned.

    We made it to the rally and car ran for the 1000 miles at full power and home again. As for the rally, I never did one with this timing system with the three flags at the end of each stage and you are penalized for seconds early or late. We were early on most stages and had to wait to cross finish line. We blew one stage and took a maximum; I think we had a top 10 finish on time. Although cars are started at 1 minute intervals, three of us are friends from when I helped organize rallies for the FCA Penn Jersey region (my car, and F430 and an S63 AMG). On most stages we hooked up together running very high speeds on the 50 or 55 mph sections. No tickets for us but others got a few. The 400i's torque even with the 3-speed Auto is so good on the twisty bits. I manually shifted 3-2-3-2-3 on fast and medium sweepers; I only used first once on a very tight uphill hairpin. We covered roads in northern VT, NH and NY Adirondacks. The driving was a lot of fun but the schedule n these events is hectic at my age! You also had to eat lots of food with all meals included. The rally included stops at small auto museums and private collections.

    I have lots of individual car pics but there was no good group photo of the rally cars. I hope I did not bore you.

    My car rolled to 80,000 miles on the way to Stowe and now is quite a bit over 81K vs. the 37,000 when purchased. I think it ran better this week than anytime in the 13 years of ownership.
  2. audi_328

    audi_328 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 13, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Full Name:
    Have heard of these rallies for years, but have never done one - sounds like you had a good time, especially once the mechanical trouble was sorted. I'm familiar with some of the roads and locales the rally went through, would love to see some pics from the event if you get a chance to post some.
  3. raemin

    raemin Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2007
    Lyon (FR)
    Full Name:
    R. Emin
    Photos or it did not happen :)
    rubenpadron likes this.
  4. rubenpadron

    rubenpadron Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 22, 2013
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    +1 for pics! :)
  5. james.colangelo

    james.colangelo Karting

    Jan 28, 2008
    Detroit, MI USA
    Full Name:
    James Colangelo
    +2 for pics! Great write-up though and really cool you got the car rolling again so quickly - well done. I would have suspected a bad / damp distributor cap - I don't think I would have gone for timing. Nicely done.
  6. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
  7. raemin

    raemin Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2007
    Lyon (FR)
    Full Name:
    R. Emin
    As a curiosity did you use any tripmaster or equivalent? Raphaël just enrolled his car and mine for Charbonnière Classic, and I have just 5 months to get ready. GPS not allowed from what I've learnt and my speedo is optimistic (euphemism).
  8. rovexienus

    rovexienus Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 10, 2010
    Sainte Colombe, France (near Lyon)
    Full Name:
    Jean-Michel Savary
    Hello Raoul, I am delighted to see the family taking part in the Charbo-Classic:):)

    There are no problems using a GPS based regularity timing system in the car for this rally, my brother has been following this method for a couple of years already.
    raemin likes this.

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