Bonneville Salt Flats Rods, Racing & People


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!

Soggy Salt Part 2

More photos from October 2010’s World Finals meet.  Part Dos!

Mile marker “0”.  This is the view from the starting line and looking down the Long Course, 5 miles of insanity, with 3 miles to bring your ride back to reality.  Even though you could see a lot of standing water from the rains the day and night before, the track itself was luckily dry.  There were over 50 records set in the 3 days of racing.  Everyone knows about Speedweek in August, but the World of Speed in September and World Finals in October are just as good for seeing records break.

Another view of this brightly colored rear engine beasty.  Notice the dual parachute setup and those twin tubes, I’m not sure if they’re intakes or exhausts.  I’d think if they were exhausts, they’d be more discolored and rough looking.  But, I don’t see any other exhaust outlets, hmmm, very curious indeed.  Just checked the SCTA run results and they are only showing record runs.  Bummer, I was curious to see how fast this ran.  I guess the drivers answer would have to be “Not fast enough”.  LOL

You won’t miss these guys in their bright yellow van and neon highlighter green and yellow Chevy Monza.  I’ll save the other close up photos of this one for another post.  Just a teaser for now.  It runs in the C/Classic Gas Coupe class and set a new record at 228MPH.  Its no slouch!

One more Monza, this time in a more mellow blue color.  haha  A nice sleek shape with that fastback design.  This one runs in the Classic Blown Fuel Altered class.

Heard of these guys?  haha  Duh!  This is there Mooneyes shop van.

Here’s what the Mooneyes  guys brought out.  Its an F motor (2.01 to 3.00 liter) and runs the Blown Fuel Modified Roadster class.  It is a slick lookin’ Model T roadster with a classy paint scheme and looks clean with the moon discs.  Modified roadsters have a longer wheel base, nose and have the drivers position set way back compared to factory.

Here’s the Mooneyes driver getting geared up and ready to get in.  These guys really play up the Mooneyes eyes eh?  I would too.  A brand of epic proportions.

Soggy Salt at World Finals 2010 Part 1

So, its been a long time comin’.  It’s been what? 6 months since World Finals 2010 happened… and I finally have the photos to share.  I think they’re doozies too.  It rained the morning of and the day before if I remember right.  They actually had to move the start line down the track a mile or so to get the start area out of the standing water.  But, they were able to run all day, so my buddy Rickrod and I had a great time.  Part 1 will be a few of my favorite photos from the day.

The first car we came to not long after dropping off of “Lands End” was this bright fluorescent orange modified roadster.  This car runs in the Gas Rear Engine class, very cool.  There are not many of these rear engine roadsters, so its cool to spot one in this amazing setting.

Rickrod and I had a hard time figuring out what this car was, we thought maybe a Datsun 240Z, but I think it was a euro sports car.  Either way, its not anymore, now its a blown modified sports class participant.  The engineering involved in this build is something else.  Details everywhere.

Super long bodied blown fuel lakester (BFL) with a vintage overhead cam engine (XO) of some kind kicking up salt at the start line.  Go get ’em!

One more rear engine roadster.  It is #426, I wonder if that is any indication of a 426 Hemi?  Its running a C motor according to the class decals, which is in the 300-370ish cubic inch range.  Maybe not a Hemi then.  You can see hints of a Model T roadster body back there, just barely.  It just looks like it can go doesn’t it!?

This yellow and red C/FR roadster set the record at this event with a 2 way average speed of 273MPH.  Ya, you heard me right.  Check out where the front axle sits.  Very interesting.  I spy the Mooneyes roadster in the background.

This beautiful Ferrari called Cavalio Volante (“fast horse”) has a turbocharged big block Chevrolet V8 for power.  Oh the purists are rolling in their graves right now.  The #288 Ferrari was out on the water logged flats for some beauty shots right before it backed up its first run to set the AA/BFMS (unlimited cubic inches over 500ci, blown fuel modified sports) class record at 275MPH.  Fastest Ferrari (body) in the world.  haha

Unfortunately the small event and rain seemed to scare away many of the hot rods.  These two cool old dudes were out spectating in there gorgeous Deuce Roadster street rod.  They were enjoying the day for sure.  I was happy to see a car this clean and finished hot rod out driving and getting dirty.

The straight 8 powered Buick Bombshell set a new XO/GCC (vintage overhead cam, Gas Comp Coupe) class record at 141MPH.  The owner/driver had just set the record and was out for some beauty shots.  This photo was my favorite.  What a cool car and a cool venue.  Congrats on the record!

That’s it for Part 1 of the 2010 World Finals event that took place last October.  Lots more to come!

The Fabulous Flathead V8 Part 1

Navarro, Offenshauser, Edelbrock, OH MY!!!

Not too many words to go with this post.  This is dedicated to the Flathead V8.  The look, sound and history is what gets me goin’ about flatties.  Their lakes racing history in the late 30’s and 40’s is important to hot rodding.  Sure, they don’t make great power compared to more modern OHV V8’s and may cost more to build up right compared to a SBC, but to me they have the feel, sound, look of an era that I want to remember.  The engine that started the entire hot rod culture, to you, I dedicate this blog post, Mr. Flathead V8.  haha

Navarro cylinder head, mmmm….

If 2 carbs is good, 3 is better, what is 4 carbs?

Salt encrusted flatties are the best!

Old Crow Speed Shop flathead is just right.

Twin carb’d Edelbrock powered flattie at the Nugget Casino.

I’ll finish Part 1 with this 3-deuce, blown, Offy head flattie I spotted at the Nugget Casino cruise in last year.  Cool headers too!

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 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 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!