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College friends return from cross-country travel

Men, vintage roadster finish trek

Posted: September 26, 2012 - 12:05am
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David Brock (left) and Patrick Cumby pose with their 1960 Triumph TR3 roadster at the top of Moki Dugway in Utah. The former college roommates drove the same car they had used for a cross-country trip in 1987. The convertible broke down 21 times during the journey.  Special Photos
Special Photos
David Brock (left) and Patrick Cumby pose with their 1960 Triumph TR3 roadster at the top of Moki Dugway in Utah. The former college roommates drove the same car they had used for a cross-country trip in 1987. The convertible broke down 21 times during the journey.

About a month after embarking on a cross-county road trip, two former college roommates and their beloved vintage roadster arrived back east safely.

Evans resident David Brock and Patrick Cumby, of Edenton, N.C., left May 31 to repeat an 8,000-mile trek to the California Coast they had taken after college in 1987. The pair, this time accompanied by a documentary crew, returned in early July.

Brock and Cumby made sure the same car that took them on the first trip, a 1960 Triumph TR3 roadster named Lord Percival, was up for the challenge.

“We picked June because it’s usually a fairly mild month weather-wise,” Cumby said. “Of course we hit that crazy heat spell that hit the whole country.

“We were driving in a convertible for six hours through 117 degree heat a couple of days. It was pretty grueling.”

The longtime friends traveled through Western deserts, down the Pacific Coast Highway and into multiple national parks with a four-person film crew capturing the adventure.

Cumby said the Triumph broke down 21 times, but most of the repairs were done on the side of the road.

“We only had a truck tow us one time (in Williams, Ariz.),” Cumby said. “We knew we were going to have a lot of mechanical problems.

“We carried tools with us. We had a mechanic with us too.”

The documentary crew, riding in an air-conditioned van, were filming each blunder along the way.

The documentary, now in post-production, probably will be ready for screening in a year, Cumby said.

The group usually drove between six and eight hours a day, sometimes going several days without showering, Cumby said.

“We were sleeping on the ground the whole time,” he said.

While Brock and Cumby were happy to relive the experience, don’t expect them to make the trip again anytime soon.

“We’re still recovering,” said Cumby, “maybe in another 25 years.”

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