Bonneville Salt Flats Rods, Racing & People

A 62′ Galaxie, 5 Window Coupe and Two New Friends

It’s no secret that I fell in love with this Mild Custom ’62 Galaxie 500 at Speedweek 2009 (check out the background picture for the blog in the top right).  I did a feature story with a few of my favorite photos on MyRideisMe.com HERE.  

But, over the last year and a half since that day in August 2009, I have gained a big appreciation for the 5 Window Coupe as well.  Of course, with 2 wicked hot rods, the owners have to be just as cool right?  A lot of hot rodding for me is meeting people with the same passion.  People who eat, sleep and breath cars like I do.  I really dig dudes (and gals) who build their own cars. 

This blog entry is more about the experience surrounding my introduction to Nick, ex-owner of the Galaxie (no worries, he’s got another hot rod up his sleeve) and Jeff, owner of the 5 Window and their cool hot rods from Nebraska.

I first spotted Nick’s Galaxie on Friday cruising around the pit area.  I snapped a few photos and knew it was a stand out hot rod to me.

My buddy Craig from MyRideisMe.com and I headed over to the 9:00 am drivers meeting.  We found out we could drive down the track to check it out, so we ran over to his ’27 Model T lakes modified roadster appropriately named “Bonnie”, fired up the twin carb’d 4 cylinder and not knowing what the protocol was, just started following the others to the starting line and onto the track.  As we were heading down the track, we spotted Nick again with his dad riding shotgun.

Here’s Nick and his dad, with their car guy arms hanging out the window enjoying the moment.  This would make the long trek out from Nebraska all worth it.

Here Craig and I reach Mile Marker 6 and soon pull off.  What a trip it was to drive down the Long Course where man and machine have gone 400, 500, 600 and even 700+ MPH in years past.  Wow!  Amazing history has been set on this white, salty ground.

As we pulled off, we noticed Nick and Jeff in their rods right behind us.  We didn’t know their names yet as we hadn’t actually met.  Almost simultaneously and spontaneously, we all headed west away from the return road out into the virgin salt.  Virgin salt is a whole different experience compared to the salt that cars have driven over and purposefully dragged with equipment used to flatten the salt for make shift pit roads.  Virgin salt is much more thick, chunky and sticky.  The open wheels of Craig’s ’27 Lakes Roadster were launching salt chunks up into the air and it landed all over the car, inside and out.  So cool!  So, we slowed down, all 3 cars and we parked to snap some beauty shots of the cars.  We met Nick and Jeff and introduced ourselves, then started snapping pictures.  I was able to take some epic photos.  Well, to me they are.  Partly because the photos turned out cool and partly because I really felt a part of the hot rod scene and all that is Bonneville.

Here’s Jeff’s 5 Window Coupe.  It’s certainly an unfinished car, but it has all the workings of a traditional hot rod.  I’m a big sucker for wide white wall tires on steelies and Jeff’s Coupe is working the big n little look nicely.  I blew it though, I didn’t get enough photos of Jeff’s coupe.  To be honest, I didn’t appreciate it enough at the time.  It’s since that ride in Craig’s roadster and seeing the old Model A and 30’s Fords that I’ve fallen in love with this era of Fords, the coupes, roadsters, sedans and pickups. 

We didn’t know it, but Jeff had brought along with him a homemade land speed racer, of a smaller scale.

Yes, this is Jeff and his home made rocket powered land speed racer.  LOL!  It needed some work though, it was a little unstable.  I think it needed a streamliner body fabbed up or at least a vertical tail.  haha  I wonder if Jeff has been fine tuning this machine for Speedweek 2011.  haha

This was my first trip to Bonneville with the nice Digital SLR camera.  This photoshoot just sort of happened.  It was not planned at all.  It worked out great, the way Nick and Jeff parked their cars, the mountains in the background, the photo editing skills of my wife and boom, my most favorite photo of Speedweek 2009.  My most favorite 10 minutes as well.  I chatted with Nick, Jeff and Nicks dad.  Come to find out he used to own a Comet like my dad had.  We got the details on the hot rods while we snapped away on our cameras.  Then we found out that Nick and Jeff drove out with a small group of guys from Nebraska.  That just made the story even cooler. 

I’m a HUGE CAR NUT, no doubt.  But, my involvement in the car scene has been very limited.  I have put my priorities on raising a family, going to college and taking care of grown up responsibilites.  So, my involvement in the scene has been limited to going to local car shows, checking out other peoples hot rods from a distance.  I don’t know a lot of guys who have cool hot rods.  After Speedweek 2009 was over and regular life resumed, I became Facebook friends with Nick and Jeff.  We’re not super close or anything, but I comment on Nick’s latest build, a ’29 Ford Roadster built in the traditional way and can’t wait to see these guys in their hot rods at Speedweek 2011.  It’s my small story, but its mine and it means a lot to me.  I love cars.  I love hot rods.  I love Bonneville.  I have Salt Fever bad and can’t wait to get my fix.  I’m counting the days!

See you on the Salt!

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3 responses

  1. Hey, I’ve been having wet dreams about this Galaxie since the picture showed up in a google search I made. It’s simple, smooth and timeless. I’ve had your shot of it with the Deuce as wallpaper, and even had a crack at painting it as a stencil! Stoked to find your site, and other pics, via a friends Facebook page as research. We’re kiwi’s who’re heading up to the salt this year. Hopefully, if the gods of craigslist shine on me, I’ll be rolling in in a Galaxie not too different from that one.

    April 26, 2012 at 3:23 am

  2. Hey, are you going to be at Speedweek this year?

    July 18, 2012 at 12:46 am

    • Yes, I will be there. look for a blue subaru with white wheels. 😉

      July 18, 2012 at 5:23 am

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