Mickey Thompson roared out of the hot rodding world of Southern California to become the "Fastest Man on Wheels," when his Pontiac powered Challenger One broke the 400 mph mark at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
This didn't become an official record because of difficulties he encountered on a second run. The speed authorities require a second run and take the average for the record books. This promotional film captures the drama of his attempt.
Carroll Shelby Goes Racing
Ford provided Carroll Shelby with an engine for his start up sports car
company and AC supplied the bodies. Shelby hired a bunch of hot rod
builders in California and they created the Cobra.
Soon Ford turned to Shelby to beef up the Mustang and turn it into a Corvette
beater. The GT 350 was born.
But there was more. Henry Ford II had tried to buy Ferrari and was
spurned. Not one who was used to losing he decided to beat Enzo Ferrari on
the track. After Ford's first forays stalled they turned to Shelby to beef
up the GT 40s and take on Ferrari.
Pete Brock, Ken Miles and Dan Gurney put the cars through their paces.
Experimental Corvette -- SS
General Motors recruited engineer and race car driver, Zora Arkus Duntov,
to help them inject some performance into their brands.
Duntov wanted to make the Corvette competitive with sports cars from Europe
like Ferrari and Maserati. To gain respect it needed to win on the track.
He organized a team to build the SS or "Experimental Corvette" and took it
Chrysler Airflow at Bonneville
Chrysler wanted to demonstrate to the public that its new car, the Airlfow,
was fast and fuel efficient. They took it to the Bonneville Salt Flats for
some test/publicity runs.
Some say that despite their promotional efforts, the future arrived with a
thud when Chrysler introduced its line of Airflow coupes and sedans in
1934. The streamlined car, a product of the science of aerodynamics, had
long been predicted in works of science fiction but no manufacturer had,
heretofore, been bold enough to realize that Buck Rogersesque vision.
Chrysler's engineering triumvirate Carl Breer, Owen Skelton and Fred Zeder
scientifically tackled the aerodynamic challenge and got Walter P. Chrysler
to authorize design testing in a wind tunnel, overseen by no less an
authority than Orville Wright.
The result was more than just a slippery envelope of a body, a radical
departure from virtually all that had gone before. The design of the '34
Chrysler (and DeSoto) Airflow took some getting used to and, sadly, the car
buying public just didn't "get" the snubby deco look, a true "cab forward"
design dictated by the wind. The look was underpinned by a new kind of
construction - the body panels were mounted on a steel cage, not unlike
Saturn's, which was structurally connected to the frame creating a single
stress-bearing unit, the precursor to unit body construction. Airflow body
and frames were wood-free, another departure from tradition.
As it became apparent that the public wasn't as enthused as the engineers
and the media -- Walter P. Chrysler shared the cover of Time Magazine with
his Airflow -- the company scrambled to tone down the radical styling,
losing the deco waterfall grill a/k/a "bull nose" by the second year and
modifying design elements to hark back to more traditional,
Owning an Airflow today is tantamount to having a piece of history to
yourself. The significance of this design, even though it was a commercial
disaster has reverberated through the decades and into another century.
In just about every way, figurative and literal, Chrysler's Airflow was
ahead of the curve and remains a true automotive icon for the ages.
For Licensing Contact:
Global Image Works
65 Beacon Street
Haworth, NJ 07641
p. (201) 384-7715
f. (201) 501-8971
Break The Record
In 1970, The Blue Flame became the world land speed record holder. It was
the last American team to set the world land speed record, and the last on
the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The car was designed and built by
Reaction Dynamics, Inc. (Pete Farnsworth and Dick Keller) in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin and driven by Gary Gabelich of Long Beach, California. It had a
rocket motor using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen peroxide as the
fuel. The world record set was 630.388 mile per hour in the kilometer, also
the first automobile record over 1,000 kilometers per hour - at 1,014.656
kilometers per hour. That record was finally broken in 1997. Watch the
YouTube video "Speedquest" to see the whole story.
A compilation of historic wrecks...from 1931, to just the other day. You've
never seen anything like this before. Very rare footage. MUSIC by the HOT
To the men who paved the way in motorsports; to your bold attempts at
dodging fate: We salute you.
1963 Pontiac Catalina Mickey Thompson Swiss Cheese Car
St. Charles, IL Auction - St. Charles, IL Oct. 3-5 2008
- The first of 14 swiss cheese super duty's produced
- Assembly date was January 9th, 1963 at the Pontiac, MI. assembly plant
- 421 CID engine was rated at 405 HP at 5,600rpm
- Blueprinted & prepped: 500 HP at 6,000 rpm
- Lightweight aluminum components
- The perimeter frame had approximately 120 holes punched in the side
sections & the side of the box section was removed, hence the "Swiss
- Plexiglas windows were also available
- Factory shipping weight was 3,308 lbs. (dry) without Plexiglas installed
- Borg Warner heavy duty T-85 3-speed transmission (2.10 low gear)
- 4.30 Positraction
- Full frame-off restoration in 1990/1991
Supercar Hits 714mph
Powered by two Phantom II jet fighter engines, the Thrust SSC hits 714mph
(1149km/h) in the Black Rock Desert in 1997.
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Check out some of our more intense video's including high speed chases and
a Spectacular 100mph train crash in this new playlist:
Mickey Thompson's Off Road Warriors
Take a look into the start of Baja style offroad racing and the start of
Stadium Offroad racing. Tons of rare footage from Riverside Raceway and
tracks all over the US and Mexico.
Mickey Thompson's Challenger Comeback Version 2.5
Built in 1968, then in storage for more than 40 years. This land speed
racer went 400 mph+ in 1968 testing with only 1800 hp. It'll have 4000-5000
for this year at Bonneville Speed Week! Rebuilt by Mickey's son, Danny
Thompson, this is a great story of perseverance and a father and son