Panama Run

By Bill Moore

Randy Denmon and Dean Lewis decided, almost on whim, to drive Denmon's Tesla Model S from McAllen, Texas to the Panama Canal, traversing some of the worst roads in the Americas, finding electric power where they can, and being shaken down by corrupt border guards.

Listen to MP3 interview from their hotel in Managua, Nicaragua.

While the motoring world was focused this week on a pair of Tesla model S electric sedans racing from LA to New York City, two gentlemen adventurers from Louisiana quietly climbed into their own Model S and with no fanfare crossed the border into Mexico at McAllen, Texas and headed -- unplanned and unaccompanied -- for Panama.

Their names are Randy Denmon, the Model S owner, and Dean Lewis. Randy is a professional geologist and part-time novelist. Dean's spent much of the last ten years, I was told, living in Shanghai, China. Neither are fluent in Spanish.

So, what possesses a couple of single guys to decide to set out, on their own, without any support, especially from Tesla, to drive in an electric car over some of the worst roads in the Western Hemisphere? According to their mutual friend and impromptu point man, Marcus Morton in southern California, Randy has been wanting to make this trip for the last five years. After buying the 85kWh Model S, he started getting serious; enough so to order a spare tire for the car and collecting a score of plug adapters. That has been the extent of their preparation. They would simply cross into Mexico and head south and take each day as it came.

When EV World reached them, they had put more than 2,000 miles on the car since entering Mexico, traveling down roads that would challenge a 4X4, finding places to plug-in where they could while being shaken down by border guards on entering Honduras. We caught up with him at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Managua, Nicaragua. After what they hope will be a good nights sleep and full charge on the Model S, they plan to reach Costa Rica by the time we post this article on EV World.

Below are some of the photo's they've shared of their trip so far, including one dramatic shot of volcano flanked Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The MP3 audio of the interview is below the photos.

Photo Gallery

Guatemala Lake Atitlan

Model S at El Salvador border

Dean Lewis with two border officers

Denmon's Model S charging

Times Article Viewed: 26914
Originally published: 04 Feb 2014


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