Bonneville Salt Flats Rods, Racing & People


Bonnevillains Speed & Custom

I just added the Bonnevillians Speed & Custom website address to my links list/blogroll.  Check ’em out!  This is there very cool Shop Truck, a ’29 Chevy with a 270cube inline six shooter.

This is a pic by my buddy Craig from his website (also on the blogroll).  Very cool photo and awesome truck! 

Dig the cool “Bonnevillians Speed & Custom” trucker hats, beenies and T-shirts.   Any speed shop with a name that references Bonneville is cool in my book!

I cannot wait for Speedweek in 2 weeks.

Salt Flats Speed Shop Open House August 10th

A quick plug for the Salt Flats Speed Shop Open House on August 10th (Wednesday before Speedweek).  Chris will have the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop as Special Guests again with more hot rods and land speed race cars this year.  It’s a can’t miss for any coming out to Speedweek!

Odd Balls

In this post, I wanna show off some odd ball cars.  Bonneville seems to have a decent amount of crazy.  The standard racer you will see at Bonneville is the Ford Model T, A and B roadsters, 1927 through 1934.  Lakesters (open wheeled racers) and Streamliners (covered wheel racers) are what you’ll see littering the salt as well.

One of the fastest most odd balls our there is this 1959 Berkeley convertible  called “Bonner’s Bad Berkeley”, which has been totally modified in the front per the Modified Sports (MS) rules.  This car has gone 310 MPH “out the back door” and will be bringin’ the boosted heat again at Speedweek 2011.

This C engine Gas Altered (C/GALT) coupe is Japanese in lineage.  That’s right, this is a Datsun.  Not the popular Datsun 510 or 240Z, but a 210 (I’m pretty sure).  This thing has gotta be a handful… it’s so narrow and short with the powerful V8 up front. 

Ok, I’m not sure what this bright yellow custom rod is.  It’s got lots of body mods and a totally custom, modern interior.  Anyone know what we’re looking at here?  A Nash?  A Henry J?  Who knows!

Ok, so a VW Bug is not an odd ball as far as the fact that they were in production with the same basic model for like 50 years throughout the world, but it is an odd ball for being a land speed racing chassis.  I mean, Come On!?  The VW Bug has like speed brake aerodynamics, its anti-aero.  haha  It runs in the Fuel Altered class with an F motor where the class record is held by a Honda CRX at 187 MPH.  I remember chatting with the Stahl Racing guys and I think they said the Bug has run in the high 160’s. 

I’m not sure what this is either.  It’s a Suzuki bullet bike motor powered Comp Coupe, that’s a mouth full.  I’ll have to check out the website on the roof,, maybe there’s more info.

Pontiac Fiero’s are funky cars, mid engine Pontiac sports cars, sort of Poor Man Porsches in a way.  So, how do you make a funky car, funkier?  Stretch out the nose, sit where the stock engine use to be mounted, and throw a big V8 up front and get ready to go fast.

I’ll finish tonights quirky quick cars with this chop top, long nose, almost-funny car lookin’ 1st Gen Mazda RX7 called “Sundance”.  Look at the hood scoop!  It is in line with the roof and has a nice ramp for the incoming air to ride up into the scoop.

More Random Saltines

Just photos of cars at Bonneville.

This is the vertical tail of the “Maro Special” streamliner.  It looks like an experimental jet from the 50’s a la “X-1”.  I feel like Chuck Yeager should be hopping out of the cockpit of this beast.  The goal of this ‘liner is 450MPH.  Serious biz!

This bike caught my eye.  I don’t take many pics of motorcycles.  I guess they’re kind of the forbidden fruit as its entirely impossible I’ll ever own one.  But, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a well built custom bike that goes real fast.  I liked the wraped header and the military green paint job.

Here’s Jeff Brock’s Bonneville Bombshell Buick at the 2010 Bonneville Nationals.  I caught the crew taking the hood off (or was it putting it back on?).  I dig the matching crew shirts.

Dig the Wendover mountains in the background with some handsome hot rods.  This is what you’ll find at the big Cruise In at the Nugget Casino in Wendover during the first couple days of Speedweek.

I think my favorite part of cruise ins is sitting at the entrance and watching the rods arrive.  I like to see what kind of people own the cars.  This couple look like they’re having a blast owning this Model T (Thanks for the correction Errol) hot rod with a 3 deuce small block chevy.  The yellow accents are working here but personally I think the rear meats are too meaty.

68 days until Speedweek.  I sure hope the rain/wet dries up.  I don’t think I could wait another year for Speedweek.  Pray for a hot and windy summer.  haha

Random Saltines

Just wanted to show off some photos that wouldn’t normally get a spotlight for their artistic greatness, but more for simply giving you an idea of what goes on at Bonneville.

Here’s an Altered coupe being tinkered with in the start line before runs begin just after sunrise.

The “Spirit of Rett” streamliner is a fast one.  Looks like an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile with wheels.

The very well known #444 Vesco streamliner.  It’s a beautiful streamliner with a long history of breaking records.

You seen a lot of hot rod and racing car clubs roaming around the salt flats.  The “San Diego Roadster Club” established in 1941 has got to be one of the oldest clubs still kickin’ around at Bonneville.  Not sure what the letters “WMBCSBWWE” stand for though, maybe the first letter of the names of the first members?  Anyone out there have a clue?

This #99 Helipower Firebird/Camaro is a very quick machine.  So fast in fact, it’s roof has incorporated these NASCAR beauties…

Speed brakes that open up when you’re going 200+ MPH with your rearend in front.  Great idea since these coupes with short rear over hangs like to flip ends when the aerodynamics get iffy.

The “Joint Venture” big rig racer is quite the freak machine.  But the powerplant is way cool, check them out…

That’s right, 2 V8 diesel engines with a total of 4 turbos.  Wow!  According to the lettering on the door, this car has gone as fast as 228MPH in 2006, which was a class record.  It also says its been running since 1990.

Gear Grinders plaque on a ’32 deuce coupe in the pits.  An SCTA club that’s been around since 1938, that’s a 73 year old car club people!

Here’s the “Bonneville Safari” courtesy of ACME Speed Shop.  There are some crazy pit vehicles to be found at Bonneville. 

That’s all for tonight.

Hondata Record Holding Hondas at Bonneville

So, if you noticed my Subaru WRX on the “100 Days Til Speedweek” post, then you’ll get a glimpse into my auto interests.  I can dig everything from Flathead powered Model A roadsters to all wheel drive turbo 4 cylinder rally sedans.  I love ’em all.  I’ve personally owned a ’72 VW Bug, two ’90’s era Honda Civics, a ’94 Mustang GT and currently the 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX.  This post will show some images of a couple of hot rod Hondas that hold multiple records in different classes.

I came upon the Hondata crew at Speedweek 2009 in the pit area on Friday, the day before Speedweek officially begins.  They were running 2 cars, a 2nd gen Honda CRX and an Acura RSX.  Hondata is a company that focuses on Honda ECU tuning systems.  They’re pretty much the “IT” game if you have a modified Honda 4 cylinder.

First up, the Hondata sponsored Honda CRX.  The #4240 car seen above is a car known for being a “hot hatch”, a car that can get up on 3 wheels while taking the twisties, a car great on the MPG’s and responding well to bolt on suspension and engine mods.  NOT really known for blowing doors off of sports cars in a straight line though.

The crew was fiddling around with stuff and opened the door, so I took a peek inside.  Some of the stock dash still remains and even the door cards have some of the factory cloth intact.  Buuuut… that’s about it.  Fully gutted, roll caged, all the SCTA approved safety features is all you see now.

You know this “little Honda that could” means the biz!  A parachute!  That’s right!  This is no ricer!  haha  Wait til you see how fast this Honda went in 2010 withOUT a turbo or supercharger or NOS.

I thought the exhaust tip was interesting.  I’ve seen header heat wrap before, but not on the very back end of an exhaust system.  Maybe it runs close to the fuel tank or they just don’t wanna melt bodywork.  You can also spot the required long wheel studs for going over 200MPH.  That’s right, 200!

Here’s a look at the rear hatch spoiler which is small, but that’s to meet the Competition Coupe class rules.  Also note the rear hatch glass latches.  Also a required piece if you’re planning on going faster than 2 bills.

Here’s a look at the K-series motor swap and custom intake setup.  This is the “small block chevy” of sorts for the Honda crowd.  The B-series engines from 1988 through 2000 might be considered the “Ford Flathead V8” of the import 4 cylinder scene.  The newer, more high tech and larger displacement K-series engines take the strangle hold Honda has on the naturally aspirated 4 cylinder world to 11. 

A big part of what makes this CRX run in what is called the “Competition Coupe” class is that elongated aero nose.  It’s not exactly purty, but it does the job very well.  So, how fast has it gone?  At Speedweek 2010, it ran and set the record at 204MPH in the F/FCC class, which stands for unblown (aka naturally aspirated) F engine size (123-183 cubic inches (2.01-3.00 liters for you ricers)), Fuel, Comp Coupe. 

Here’s a photo with better lighting to see the profile of the CRX.  Pretty slippery shape I think.

This same car also holds the record for the F/GCC, which is the same car class, just running gas instead of fuel.  The difference being fuel can be any number of special chemicals, for example, methanol, nitro, etc.  Gas would be stuff like high octane gasoline.  The record for the F/GCC is “only” 176MPH.  The same car also holds the class record for G/GCC at 187MPH, which is the same car, running gas but with a smaller engine, a 1.51-2.00 liter (93-122 cubic inches).  I think with more tuning, the bigger engine should be able to push the little CRX close to 200.  The same car also (man, I keep saying “also” a lot here) holds the F/FALT class record at 187MPH.  This is the bigger F size motor, with fuel but in the “Altered” class instead of the “Comp Coupe” class.  I need to grab the rule book and see what the difference is in these two classes.  I don’t think its much.  It could be differences in the nose and rear spoiler.  I’ll have to get back to you on that.

If you read this far, you’re the first.  You’ll notice that I said Hondas, plural, in the blog title.  That’s right!  There is one more record setting Honda (well, technically its an Acura) that I’ll post about soon.

100 Days Until Speedweek 2011

That’s right!  100 Days!  Can’t wait!  Salt Fever!  Me and my Subyrod are looking forward to cruising the pits, spectating at the Start Line and meeting new and old friends.

That is all.  🙂

1938 GMC Chopped Hot Rod Truck

Thanks to the H.A.M.B., I came in contact with Dave, the owner of this all metal 1938 GMC hot rod truck.  The internet is an amazing place.  First, I thought I’d share a few more pics of Dave’s work in progress pickup from Speedweek 2010.  I was able to gather up more info on the truck.

In Dave’s own words, “The frame and bed have been shortened. Even the grille I am working on now is made from pieces of the original truck grille. All of it but the tailgate is from the original truck (tailgate was an eBay find). I used as much of the original truck as I could considering the limited skills and knowledge I had concerning these older vehicles and the funds available to build the truck. I also didn’t want to waste any of the old parts. If I didn’t use it on the truck, then it was sold to fund the purchase of parts I needed. I used the original frame and modified it to what I needed. I pie cut the frame in various places in front of the cab to get the drop I needed and it has been “Z”ed 17″ behind the cab to achieve the drop in the rear. The frame has been shortened about 20”, and again all of the pieces of the frame that were cut out were reused to “Z” it. The frame has  been boxed in front of the cab forward and at the “Z”ed section behind the cab. The rear axle is a Ford 9 inch posi riding on leaf springs. The front is a Ford “I” beam axle riding on a posi super slider spring configured with the spring behind the axle and suicide mounted. I reused the steering wheel, shaft and column and I mated these to a Vega steering box that is cross steering. The front is dampened with your basic friction shocks. The tranny is a Turbo 350, but thinking of changing to a stick. When I built the truck, I built it with the intention of running Firestones all around but ended up running Coker classics due to the cost. There is a difference in the height of the tires, so once funds were available and the Firestones were installed out back it brought the truck back to the ride height it was designed to be at.”

Dave had a radiator failure, so that has since been addressed.  Getting a car that is over 70 years old to run hard and dependable will definitely take effort, it will take constant tinkering and it is cool to watch the progress of a hot rod over time.

Here’s an area that Dave has changed up.  You’ll see some update photos Dave emailed of his exhaust setup below.  I personally like these straight pipes.  It fits the look and sound of a bare metal chopped truck.  You can see some bondo there, Dave does plan to get this truck in some paint next winter.  Satin Black, what else can you paint a chopped hot rod?  haha  It’s gonna look cool for sure.

Here’s the only shot from the rear I got.  You can see the spun aluminum gas tank in the bed and the rear window, which is a pretty good size considering its been chopped.  I like that Dave’s truck still has the “GMC” body panels and logos intact.  On to some updated pics…

Here is a BEFORE shot of the truck.  This is what it looked like when Dave bought the truck.  Wow!  It has progressed quite a bit.  Doesn’t look like the same vehicle at all.

This shot shows Dave’s progress pretty well.  You can see that the stance is better with the taller rear Firestone wide white walls.  The straight pipes have been replaced with lake pipes.

Good to see the truck has a nice home out of the elements.  This helps me picture my own hot rod project in my own garage someday.  Thanks for the inspiration Dave!

Here’s a look at Dave’s grille and how its changed since I saw it at Bonneville.  Personally I think I might like the grille before but that’s ok, its not my hot rod.  I like that Dave is continuing to work on the truck, modify and hot rod it to his taste and style. 

I can’t wait to see it at Speedweek this year.  Thanks for sharing your photos and info with me.

Chop Top Bonneville Coupes

Found some mean lookin’ coupes from my Speedweek photos.   Been going through some HAMB build threads, 2 local Utah dudes from the Throttlers Car Club.  Made me look back through my photos and found these…

This is a great lookin’ ’33-34 (still need to learn the differences between ’em) chop top coupe I spotted at World Finals 2009 just after sunrise.  I like the color scheme too.  According to its class markings on the door, it runs in the UnblownVintage Fuel Flathead Altered class.  Checking SCTA’s site, the class record is 134MPH.

Roy Creel’s chop top Coupe is easily the top coupe in dry lakes racing right now.  I found this hanging from the window with some cool info about the car and its records.

The coolest part is its running a vintage 4 cylinder, a 1934 Model B to be exact.  It’s running a Nelson & Nelson billet aluminum head and fuel injection. Running gas, it has set the record at 157MPH, with fuel, it gets bumped up to 173.  Quite a difference!

There’s the aluminum headed B motor.  Cool!

Sweet 5 window coupe street rod from the Gear Grinders Car Club cruising the pits at Speedweek 2009. Man, my tastes are really starting to get fine tuned.  As much as I dig this street rod style, I much prefer a more traditional style hot rod.  Cool Avanti in the background as well.

Cool pic here under the canopy of the Tech Inspection area.  Sweet blown chop top deuce coupe with the blower hat turned around.  Next to it a belly tank lakester and another blown coupe of some sort 2 down.  The Tech Inspsection area is a cool place to hang out.  You learn alot and get to see many details of the race cars as the men in white carefully check off each car.

Now, heading over to the Nugget Casion cruise in in Wendover…Pretty sure this “59C” coupe is a Rolling Bones car.  See, compare this with the street rod deuce up above and I much prefer this chop top coupe.  Gimme steelies, black walls, flatheads and paint instead of chrome.  Oh, and lightly salted please!

So, I’ve kinda always skipped over this photo ’cause it doesn’t show the entire car, but tonight, I really dig it.  I like the vintage lettering on this one.

This tractor nosed chop top coupe (I think its a Model A) really talks to me.  I love the steering arm blister, the holed windshield visor, low ride height.  Perfection right there!

I really dig this wide white wall dark maroon coupe.  Sits super low and has that traditional flare to it I like.

That’s it for now.

Salt Flats through the eyes of an iPhone

My buddy and new Salt Fever victim, Rickrod, took some pics with his iPhone at World Finals 2010 last October.  He just sent them over.  I thought I’d share them here on the blog.  Rickrod is coming out for Speedweek 2011 with me as well.  I think I may have hooked another one!  Salt Fever is contagious, that’s for sure.

Rick was using some kind of vintage photo app or something to make the photos look old fashion.  This is the SCTA trailer.  Except for the web address at the bottom, you could mistake this for a photo from the 60’s or something.

Here’s that good lookin’ red deuce roadster street rod.  Hey, it has a “Hallock windscreen”.  I just learned the name of these wicked cool designs today actually from my buddy Nick (ex Galaxie Mild Custom owner).  I just became Facebook friends with Steve Sellers of “Sellers Equipped”.  He hand makes these windscreens.  I will have one on my roadster some day!

Rick and I both took a similar photo.  I can’t even remember what car this was on, but the hood ornament was really cool.

Well, here’s your first glimpse of my personal car at Bonneville.  This is my 2002 Subaru WRX I call “Subyrod”.  It’s my Fordor turbo flat 4 cylindner hot rod. 

Nice shots Rick!  I look forward to getting more of your photos on the blog from Speedweek!