Tag: Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats sign stolen – Jordan Miller @TheSaltLakeTribune


The Bureau of Land Management’s Salt Lake Field office reported that the Bonneville Salt Flats welcome sign has been stolen.

According to a Twitter post from the BLM, the sign was discovered stolen on June 11. The Bonneville Salt Flats, located in Tooele County, are listed as “one of Utah’s most iconic landscapes,” with 30,000 acres of hard salt crust on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Basin.

On June 11, BLM Salt Lake Field Office discovered the Bonneville Salt Flats sign had been stolen. If you have info to help locate it, contact (801)977-4387| utslmail@blm.gov. Theft of federal property: Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in prison/fines up to $1,000 pic.twitter.com/AHCp07cnCK— Bureau of Land Management Utah (@BLMUtah) June 16, 2021

Individuals can report any information they may have on the theft to 801-977-4387. The crime is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in prison with fines up to $1,000.

What Is a Belly Tank Racer? Drop Tank Cars and Lakesters Explained – David Fetherston @Motortrend


Variously known as belly tank, tanker, or drop tank race cars, they’re associated with vintage dry lakes racing.

Little lozenges with wheels and a view port zip along a dry lake bed. They show up in drawings and logos. They pop up at local car shows and land speed events. People call them belly tanks, tankers, or drop tanks, and they are associated with vintage dry lakes racing. But where did they come from, and why do they look the way they do? Belly tank racers are a mix of WWII aircraft leftovers and hot-rodding ingenuity. They’re part of the early days of hot-rodding but are still in use today. Let’s start with where they came from. Answer: the sky.

What Is A Drop Tank Car?

The drop tank was designed to extend flying time by acting as a portable fuel cell that could be dropped once empty. That way, the pilot could more nimbly engage the enemy. They’re also known as belly tanks or wing tanks depending on where they were attached to the plane. During WWII, they were available for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, North American P51 Mustang, Northrop P-61 Black Widow, and other combat aircraft.

After the conflicts ended, thousands of the tanks languished in military surplus yards, and racers soon noticed. They snapped up the slickest shapes that would work the best as race machines. They were, and are, fast little suckers. Before WWII, streamliners ran just over 100 mph—today, more than 360 mph!

In early dry lakes racing, the Southern California Timing Association only recognized roadsters and coupes. They soon accepted streamliners because racers wanted to test new theories of aerodynamics. This morphed into many classes, and lakesters got their own game when they split from the streamliner class.

The attraction was that exposed-wheel lakesters were much easier to build than enclosed-wheel streamliners. The tank gave you the whole body, you could stuff bits of a Model T frame and a flathead motor inside and add Ford axles on both ends, and you were nearly done. That’s what the builder of the first recognized postwar tank, Bill Burke, did.

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Clayton Paddison’s 1927 Model T


For one so young Clayton has made a real splash in the Model T and particularly the hot rod aspects. Not everyone can build a T that cruises at 65mph for under $7K!

Clayton came back to my attention recently in a David Conwill article in Hemmings, where David described how Clayton will be helping him with his T

Going back a few years Clayton and his T were featured in an episode of Jay Leno’s garage

Jay enjoyed the experience so much that he ended up visiting Clayton in Oregon

You can see the article here

Clayton’s build blog can be found on the Model T Ford Forum

Bonneville or Bust

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

First Start

Engine spec

’26-’27 block, bored .080 over
’26-’27 “EE” series crank
Egge .080 pistons
.300C full-race cam
289/302 Ford SB V8 valves
New babbit bearings (rods/mains)
fully balanced engine/transmission

Chicago Transmission

I can highly recommend a visit to Clayton’s Paddison pre-war and Model T website here

Rescued from rust, this Torino Talladega hits the salt with NASCAR power – Brandan Gillogly @Hagerty


A former road and oval-track racer, Larry Wilson decided to move to a racing discipline with less wheel-to-wheel contact. Land speed racing seemed appealing and, as a fan of ’60s muscle, he decided to search for a classic car that could scratch his racing itch and get his family involved as well. Having grown up owning Falcons, Mustangs, and Corvettes, Wilson was quite familiar with compact performance cars. Although he admired Ford’s larger performance and muscle cars, he’d never owned one. For this venture, though, they seemed like the perfect cars.

Wilson is old enough to remember Ford’s NASCAR homologation cars and Mopar’s winged response. The pointed noses and tall wings of the Superbird and Charger Daytona may have brought superspeedway success, but they didn’t win over the hearts and minds of new car buyers. That’s where Wilson thinks Ford got it right.

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“You’re racing against something that isn’t human:” a short virtual film festival focused on all things Bonneville – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


Bonneville’s one of those places where, once you see it, you can’t get it out of your head. You could travel the world and not feel that you’ve ever really left home until you set foot there. You come away from the place transformed, with your perspective on horizons and scale and time absolutely demolished. You begin to reconsider what your limitations truly are.
And, it’s been said, nobody can take a bad photo at Bonneville. So it’s little surprise that documentary makers have flocked to Bonneville over the years in search of good stories and have come away with not only the stories they’re looking for, the lingering perfect-light shots they’d hoped to get, but also contemplative pieces full of prose and humanity.
There’s probably an entire film festival worth of documentaries that we could highlight in the wake of this year’s Bonneville Speed Week. So let’s do it.

Save the Salt presses Utah legislature for key funding for Bonneville restoration program – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


In federal and even state budgets, $1 million isn’t really that much — maybe enough to pave a couple miles of road — but when a state needs to cut as much as $2 billion from its budget, every dollar becomes imperiled, which is why representatives from the Save the Salt Coalition have started to urge Utah lawmakers to keep in the state’s budget the $1 million they previously set aside for a program designed to restore the Bonneville Salt Flats with more than 1 million tons of reclaimed salt per year.
“We’re optimistic (the funds) will stay there,” said Stu Gosswein, the senior director of federal government affairs for the Specialty Equipment Market Association. “We just wanted to take the opportunity to reinforce that we have this Restore Bonneville program.”
The program, estimated to cost $50 million over 10 years, will essentially pick up where a previous five-year pilot salt replenishment program left off when it ended in 2002. According to a fact sheet about the Restore Bonneville program that Gosswein shared, the pilot program transferred an average of 1.2 million tons of salt to the racing surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats per year via a brine solution, leading to a thicker salt crust and “improved” brine aquifer beneath the crust.
Intrepid Potash, the nearby mining company with a Bureau of Land Management lease to mine the salt flats, continued that pilot program voluntarily from 2005 to 2012, returning about 380,000 tons of salt per year. The BLM then mandated Intrepid to continue replenishment in 2012, after which the company started to return almost 600,000 tons of salt per year

Check Out This Flathead-Swapped Mustang Land Speed Record Holder – TORSTEIN SALVESEN @HotCars


The Flathead ‘Stang went on to Bonneville and set a world record for the XF/BFALT class by reaching 142.822 miles per hour!

The current crop of Mustangs from Ford has definitely set a new standard for power and performance within the model’s many years of production. And with companies like Roush and Shelby American unveiling pumped-up versions, the potential for serious domination on the track and on the streets seems almost limitless.

But the Mustang has also been a favorite for backyard builders and home mechanics to live out their dreams of wrenching on epic builds. Case in point is a Fox Body Mustang land speed record holder that’s featured on Engine Swap Depot with a turbocharged flathead V8 under the hood.

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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.

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

Debate over future of Bonneville Salt Flats – CBS News


Debate over future of Bonneville Salt Flats

For more than 100 years, the Bonneville Salt Flats have been one of America’s most famous speedways. The salt that stretches for miles and miles in northwest Utah makes the place look like a different planet — one that is uniquely suited to making vehicles go very fast. But today, the salt that is essential to racing is going away, and a bitter debate is raging over how that should be handled. Jeff Glor reports.

Debate over future of Bonneville Salt Flats

Read the report here

Related – Salt 101 – Bonneville Racing Guide – David Freiburger