Parade of stock cars promotes Golden Gate Bridge speed limit
ANNE M. PETERSON
May. 02, 1997
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Rusty Wallace says he has finally done it all.
On Thursday, the NASCAR Winston Cup star drove slowly across the Golden Gate Bridge in a parade of stock cars promoting the span's 45 mph speed limit.
``I've never driven a stock car across the Golden Gate,'' he said, waving to the fans who lined the historic bridge. ``I guess I've done everything now.''
Hundreds cheered on the caravan, which rumbled across the bridge from Marin County into San Francisco. Curious commuters slowed on the bridge for a closer look, and traffic jammed briefly near the toll booths.
``This is wild,'' Wallace said.
Among those who turned out was Teresa Tabb, a 29-year-old fan who ogled Wallace's car while wearing a sweatshirt picturing her hero.
``I have a Rusty room in my house,'' said Tabb, who lives in Roseville. ``I have a 125-pound Rottweiler named Rusty.''
Before the drive, Wallace cheerfully signed autographs and toyed with his car's steering wheel, which wasn't attached to the car. He finally improvised, attaching the wheel to the steering column with a bungee cord.
Wallace was joined by fellow NASCAR Winston Cup series drivers Rick Mast, Hut Stricklin and Ernie Irvan, who are in the San Francisco Bay area for this weekend's Save Mart Supermarkets 300 at Sears Point Raceway. Several Winston West series drivers also took part.
The cars were bedecked with signs reading, ``I can drive 45 on the Golden Gate Bridge.''
``This is our 60th anniversary this month and this is the first time we've had an event like this,'' Mary Currie, spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation Districts.
The speed limit on the bridge has been 45 mph since the 1980s, Currie said, but in the past couple of years bridge officials have stepped up their efforts to draw attention to the law.
``People are slowing down on the Golden Gate Bridge,'' Currie said. ``We hope this spreads the word to even more motorists.''
Sophisticated San Franciscans gawked at the parade of noisy cars as it wound through the city's financial district. The procession ended with a downtown rally.