Where Cars Try to Hit Mach 1, the Salt of the Earth Is Crumbling – Paul Stenquist @NewYorkTimes

Where Cars Try to Hit Mach 1, the Salt of the Earth Is Crumbling

The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah have hosted speed chasers for decades, but the course is distressed. An advocacy group has a plan, but not the money.

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Credit…Pete Farnsworth Collection

Not even 30 years after Karl Benz built what is said to be the first automobile, Teddy Tetzlaff climbed into a Blitzen Benz racecar and blasted across the snow-white surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, clocking in at 142.8 miles per hour and setting an unofficial land-speed record.

This 1914 effort certainly generated publicity for Tetzlaff, a California-born racer, and the German automaker, Benz & Cie, that built his car, but the locale was most likely a mere footnote at the time.

The automotive legacy of the salt flats wasn’t cemented until 1935, when Malcolm Campbell rode his Blue Bird past 300 m.p.h. and into the record books: Bonneville was extremely well suited to high-speed driving

Where Cars Try to Hit Mach 1, the Salt of the Earth Is Crumbling

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Related –  Debate over future of Bonneville Salt Flats



Categories: 2019, bonneville, Bonneville Speed Trials, Land Speed, New York Times, Salt Flats

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