Hot Rod Ramblings: Salt Fever in the Snow

I’m sure many of you are under snow like me.  You lucky hosers in Socal and Arizona, I’m jealous.  Seeing the white stuff outside made me think of the white stuff 2 hours west of me, the Bonneville Salt Flats, also known as the “Great White Dyno”.  I wanted to post up some pictures from Speedweek 2009.  They’re not glamorous shots or anything, but they remind me of the mecca of hot rodding that is Bonneville and Speedweek that I experienced this past August.  I can’t wait for 2010.

The wait’s over:

Bonneville Speed Week 2010 – First Look

Weather threatens Speedweek 2009 behind this 60's Oldsmobile speed racer

This red Olds is cool.  Dig the aluminum sheet airdam, blower poking through the raked hood, Mooneyes decal and Moondiscs and the front windshield littered with Bonneville Speedweek stickers.  This was the first car I shot when I got on the Salt.

Bright yellow shop truck representing the Bean Bandits of San Diego at Bonneville

This was the second car I saw.  Love the yellow with white walls against the white stuff.  This truck had a “Bean Bandits – San Diego” plate.  Super clean hot rod here.  Everyone’s gotta have a Shop Truck!

Rusty Ford roadster cruising the pits at Bonneville

Love this roadster (I think maybe a model A by the body line, I’m still learning) spotted parked in the pits to chat with some old buddies no doubt.  That vintage “Hudson Mfg Co” umbrella tells me this is likely a Bonneville veteran, prepared for sun and rain.  Much respect to the old timers at Speedweek.  Hopefully this will be me in a few years.

Mike Water's #369 roadster at Speedweek

Compare the #369 D/GR roadster of Mike Water’s with the rusty street rod above.  Notice the setback drivers position with aero wind screen, roll cage and setback engine.  That’s how its done folks!  Oh, its for sale too.  I actually saw a goodly number of race cars for sale.

#664 Belly Tank Lakester preparing to in the pits at Speedweek

The Kelly & Hall #664 Belly Tank Lakester sitting in the pits with drivetrain exposed.  Notice some things here…header covers and tennis balls used to keep the Salt out of the engine.  Check that Datsun pickup’s undercarriage.  See how the Salt sticks like snow?

Look at the rearend sitting just off-centered enough so that the driveshaft is centered.  Instead of lightweightness like in many forms of racing, land speed racing on salt requires more weight for more traction.  Look at the stack of weights just behind the engine.

Tech Inspection of a Subaru EJ25 powered Belly Tank Lakester

Shawn Killian’s EJ25 turbo Subaru powered Rat Fink inspired belly tank lakester.  One of my favorite cars at Speedweek 2009.  When asked, Shawn said it was at 2.8 Liters from 2.5.

Close up of Shawn Killian's turbo WRX powered Rat Fink Lakester

I heard it went 220-something mph that day.  I love how it still retains a TMIC (Top Mount Intercooler) just like the Subaru Impreza WRX STi that the engine comes from.  Takes skill and lots of custom fabrication no doubt to pack that much “stuff” into a belly tanker body.

Out of inspection, heading back to the pits

Out of tech inspection and ready to get in line.  Check out just how low this belly tanker rides.  Nothing like scraping belly on the Salt at 200+ eh?  What a ride that’s gotta be!  Look off into the horizon.  Nothing but sky!  Like another planet out there at Bonneville, Utah.

There you have it!  Some Salt amongst all this Snow that’s keeping me indoors during the Christmas break.  Hope you enjoyed a look back at Speedweek 2009.  I hope you can make it out to Speedweek 2010.  I know I’ll be there.  Leave a comment below to let us know if you’ll be there!

See you on the Salt!


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