August 1966 Salt flat speed trials   Leave a comment


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A trio of streamliners from the H- and I-classes, with Wheel Centre Company #901H at top, “The Ball Point Banana” #555 at center and “The Orange Crate” #222 at bottom.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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In 1907, Bill Rishel and his business partners were the first to drive a Pierce-Arrow automobile across Utah’s vast Bonneville Salt Flats. Seven years later, Teddy Tetzlaff set a land speed record on the flats, pushing a custom Blitzen-Benz to 141.73 miles per hour.

After Utah local Ab Jenkins set a new endurance record by driving a Pierce-Arrow in a continuous 10-mile loop for 24 hours at an average speed of 112.9 miles per hour, the flats became the go-to spot for speed freaks looking to smash records.

Drivers descended on the flats from around the world, bringing with them custom-designed vehicles with precisely streamlined bodies and extraordinarily powerful engines.

Various classes of competing vehicles emerged, including streamliners, roadsters, and by the early ‘60s, jet-powered cars.

By the time of these speed trials in August 1966, jet cars were reaching land speeds of over 600 miles per hour.

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The Hammon-McGrath-Appenfels “Redhead” streamliner #147B wins the class trophy with a speed of 331.46 miles per hour.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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Bert Munro works on his streamlined Indian Scout with an Alex Tremulis-designed Detroit Triumph Gyronaut X-1 in the background.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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Detroit Triumph Gyronaut XM-1

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The Ratliff and Zook E-Gas Roadster, which posted 158.45 miles per hour.

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The Deeds and Saderup Studebaker, the class trophy winner in the D/Fuel Coupe and Sedan Division with 191.48 miles per hour.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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J.R. Lufkin’s #646 C/Modified Sports entry with sponsorship from Autolite and performance mods from AK Miller.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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The rocket-powered Wingfoot Express 2 built by Walt Arfons, propelled by the use of 35 Jet-Assisted Take Off pods.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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Art Arfons stands beside his Jet-propelled “Green Monster”.

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The Larson-Cummins Streamliner, which took home the D-Class trophy for its 225 miles per hour run.

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Bill and Bob Summers stand alongside their record-setting Summers Brothers “Golden Rod” streamliner.

Image: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

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4 Chrysler Hemi Engines with Fuel Injection. Top speed achieved 414 miles per hour.

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Posted September 5, 2016 by markosun in Vehicles

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