Aug 15

Speed Week at Bonneville Part 2

One of the most amazing things about Speed Week is the nearly unlimited spectator access.  Not only is the variety of record attempting vehicles impressive, but the fact that, as a spectator, you can walk right into someone’s pit and and get up close to the vehicles and the crews makes Speed Week a truly unique event.

Everyone from the motorcycle rider on the most shoestring budget all the way up to the big budget teams was more than happy to talk about their car and their experience at Speed Week.

In talking with numerous participants I came away with three common themes for Speed Week:

1. Getting to Bonneville is part of the adventure.  Maybe it’s Murphy or possibly it’s some more obscure force of nature but nearly every team I talked to had a story about a tow vehicle breaking down, getting lost, or simply having a long and complex journey.

2. No one’s is actually ready to run when they get to the salt.  Fabricating a new intake, clearancing a hood that doesn’t quite fit over the new ProCharger and finding out that when the car comes off the jacks the exhaust drags on the ground are all things that get done on the salt before a car goes to tech.

3. There’s already a plan for next year.  Whether it’s a motor swap, moving up or down in class for a better chance at a record or buying a whole other vehicle to compete in an entirely different class, everyone already has a plan for next year before they’ve even turned a wheel.

white lakester

A Bonneville classic, probably the type of car most people envision when they think of Bonneville.


Speed Week isn't just for the classics modern iron, even exotics like this Ferrari, show up too.

Black Salt Racing's Front drive 1971 Triumph GT-6

Bonneville is known for it's unusual vehicles, exhibit A: Black Salt Racing's Front drive 1971 Triumph GT-6. They must be doing something right, they were the first Sports Modified car to break 300mph in 2011 and for 2012 they're back with a 1800hp rebuild on the motor.

Here they are setting their qualifying time in 2011.

Bonneville tech

Everything gets a thorough tech inspection to make sure it's safe and complies with the rules for the various classes. Depending on the type of engine involved a partial tear down to measure bore and stroke is necessary.

50cc nitrous

You know you're serious when your nitrous bottle is bigger than your engine. A 50cc record contender.

Ferguson Racing Streamliner

And the opposite end of the spectrum, Ferguson Racing's streamliner, a 300mph missile.


BMW sidecar

Speed Week isn't just about the cars, plenty of interesting bikes show up as well.

'49 DeSoto

Let's not forget the spectators, this '49 DeSoto is one of the cars we'll be profiling in an upcoming feature.


Rusty boat

That water way out on the salt is really just a mirage, maybe a few people didn't get the message.


weird lakester

We’ve got more Bonneville coverage coming up but if you can’t wait check out the slide show of all the pics so far:

Bonneville Part 2 slideshow

For more about Speed Week and Bonneville check out:

Southern California Timing Association

Save The Salt


  1. Lord Funkatron

    Can’t wait for the DeSoto. I’ve seen one on my local Craigslist, only a four door and it has a fully developed patina. It is is quite the badass looker with that grill.

  2. Jason

    Yeah that De Soto is just oozing cool

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