Aug 15

Bonneville 2013 – Part 1

Bonneville 2013

Speed Week, it’s the ultimate expression of piston powered speed and Bonneville 2013 continued the tradition during the start of it’s 65th year.  If you like pictures of the weird and the fast that populated the first weekend of Bonneville 2013 then hit the jump for the first part of our Bonneville 2013 coverage.

Bonneville 2013Anyone with an interest in geography and landscape owes it to themselves to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats.  Located on the Nevada-Utah border next to the town of Wendover, the Bonneville Salt Flats were once at the bottom of an enormous 1000ft deep lake that existed during the late Pleistocene era .

For almost 100 years there people have been setting land speed records on the salty remains of this ancient lake.  The last 65 years have seen the organization of Speed Week by the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) and every August people from across the globe gather to run what they’ve brung and try to break a world record.

Speed Week is open to just about anything that is piston powered.  There are numerous classes as well as a special Time Only class that lets you run just about anything, though to  my knowledge there is no official world record in the class.  Classes are segregated by displacement, type of fuel, valvetrain, amount of aerodynamic modifications, and age.  As a result just about any car or motorcycle can be built to a particular class and have a shot at a grabbing a world record.

Many of the spectators take the opportunity to show off their rides at Speed Week.  The majority of hot rods out at Bonneville 2013 had a definite old school flavor and if you’re a fan of traditional hot rods there are very few places where you’ll see better examples.

Bonneville 2013

Great cars weren’t aren’t limited to the salt, every evening they congregate in Wendover and they are definitely show worthy vehicles that have traveled from all over the U.S.

Bonneville 2013

Bonneville isn’t only about old school American iron.  I came across this unique Fiat during the Friday evening impromptu car show.

Bonneville 2013I’m not entirely sure but it looks like an old X1/9 that has been made up to look like a rally car.  Definitely different and cool in it’s own way.

Bonneville 2013Speaking of cool the top gun gearshift was pretty funny, looking at the switches and dash treatment you really get the impression that someone has put a lot of time into building the car.

Bonneville 2013Speaking of weird, this Edsel seemed to follow me around all weekend.  Everywhere I looked I saw this “interesting” car parked nearby.  Someone obviously spent a lot of time building it and the work looked really clean but I have to admit it really isn’t my thing.  To each his own I suppose and there were quite a few people that really seemed to like it.  What do you think?  Let us know in the comments below.

Bonneville 2013Flatheads are a really popular motor on the salt flats, there are actually a couple of flathead specific classes.It’s no surprise when you come across a nice supercharged flathead.

Bonneville 2013When that flathead resides in a Fox body Mustang however you tend to have a double take.  This car wins my personal award for strangest engine and chassis combo during Bonneville 2013.

Bonneville 2013Still strange but very cool was this Ranchero.  If I’m deciphering the class designation correctly this car was running in a class that has a record pace of 220+ mph.  I didn’t see it run but it wasn’t the only Ranchero at Bonneville 2013.

Bonneville 2013Early on Saturday and the line for tech wasn’t too bad.  The laid back atmosphere at Speed Week means that any spectator can walk right up and check out any car at just about anytime.  From peering over the shoulder of a tech inspector to standing right on the start line as cars launch there record attempts the spectator access is unprecedented.

Bonneville 2013That’s right a two stroke SAAB was going through tech last Saturday morning.  Not just any SAAB but an early 96 with the original 3 cylinder 2 stroke engine.

Bonneville 2013

This car is a record older in the class and managed to do 110.113 while sounding like the worlds most angry chainsaw.  As seen in this video from 2011.

That is going to wrap it up for the first part of our Bonneville 2013 coverage.  We’ll have more pics and observations from Bonneville 2013 over the next few days including a little bit of video so bookmark us, as if you haven’t already, and check back for more from Bonneville 2013.