posted on November 08, 2010 18:57
Project Sipster Part 2 - The Road to Regina
by Dave Coleman
I finally found the second installment of Project Sipster. My only copy was a rough, half-finished early draft, so I had to re-type half of it from some old screen grabs of the original publication. This version is slightly different from the one that was published originally, most notably in its grammatical correctness. My high school English teachers would be so proud...
If none of what you just read makes any sense, go back and read part 1 here
The whole process of building and documenting Project Sipster was somewhat bizarre. Jared Holstein was living in New York at the time, where TopGear.com America was based. I was in Long Beach, California and had no idea what was happening with the project on a day-to-day basis. Somehow, though, we had to make a new story appear every week on a very strict deadline.
So Jared would spend the week frantically doing something counterproductive to the car, and a day or two before the story was due, his intern, Chris Gifford, would send me some cryptic e-mail describing what was going on. Based on that, I had to crap out something entertaining, reasonably accurate, and simple enough that people who didn't own any wrenches could understand it. The original version was so dumbed down, I had to explain what a Dynojet was. I took this re-edit opportunity to scrub a few of those details out.
Meanwhile, of course, I was working a full-time job with an hour-each-way commute. I learned to love my local coffee shops, and figured out that a peanut butter, banana and oatmeal smoothie was a reasonable substitute for dinner. All of which is nothing compared to what Jared was going through, of course, as you can tell by reading the story:
That exclamation is pretty much the last thing you want to hear after finally drifting to sleep against the rattling passenger's window of a Diesel Rabbit running flat-out across some desolate, forgotten corner of Minnesota at 2 AM. Flat-out, foot buried against the firewall, it should be noted, had been good for anything from 50 to 70 mph, depending on prevailing winds, incline, and how well you exploit the wake of passing trucks. It had been good for that speed right up until this moment...
"We're losing power!"
The panic-tinged exclamations are from the mouth of TopGear.com America Executive Producer Jared Holstein to the still semi-conscious ears of Chris Gifford, his trusty, diligent, hard-working, extremely gullible intern. This whole 70-mpg, 7-second, $7,000 project was Jared's idea. Buying a $1,700, 28-year-old Rabbit that couldn't outrun a Vespa and driving it, the very next day, 2,000 miles non-stop to Regina, Saskatchewan in the dead of winter was his idea. Jared made his bed, and now, apparently, he is doomed to lie in it. As consciousness slowly permeates his brain, numbed as it is from the triple-threat of cold, vibration, and heroic sleeplessness, Chris is just starting to recognize that he'll soon be lying in it with him.