An Ode To Salt
The Bonneville World of Speed is a yearly homage to some of the craziest petrolheads out there – the salt flat racers. As it approaches for 2010 we show you a fantastic video of the US speed masterclass, and the incredible machines that run there…
If the video above doesn’t make you want to book a flight to the US next week, you don’t have enough petrol in your veins…
Every year thousands of devoted petrolheads descend on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah for Speed Week and the World of Speed. A celebration of all things speed related, Horsepower is your friend, and Toyota Prius’ should steer well clear for fear of being burned upon entry.
There was a time, centuries ago, when the Great Salt Lake covered an area of 5,000 square miles. Today, what remains of that massive lake is a very unique and special place that is also the home of one hell of a race track. There are lots of race tracks in the world. But this is the one where they go the fastest. If you’re really into imaginatively-designed race cars driven by people making no-holds-barred speed, this place is home.
If you’re a Buddhist, you go to Tibet. If you’re a motorhead, you go to Bonneville.
Whatever you’ve heard about the Bonneville Salt Flats, there’s a good chance that it’s all true. The speed of some of the cars racing there will knock you out. Its vastness will humble you. And its heat will cook you alive.
The first land speed record was achieved at Bonneville in 1914, and people have been going there every year since. It’s more like a community than many other forms of motorsport, with the vehicles modified specifically for the tough task of going very fast across salt. They have skinny tyres and wheels for cutting through the salt, disc wheels aerodynamics, and as much bhp as they can muster to get them to the highest speed possible.
It takes all sorts, with modern cars mixing with classic 1950s racers and a healthy dose of 1930s ‘rat racers’ — old classic cars chopped so they are running low to the floor, with a massive high-bhp engine out front. Check out some of the amazing machines in our gallery below.
So, are you itching to get to Speed Week next year? This writer will be there for certain.
Written by Tim Oldland, blogger at Best Of The Best