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Old 01-11-2008, 04:58 PM
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Speed Week

Hey guys

Living in Alaska, I go out every year to NHRA national events, sampling different tracks around the lower 48, but was considering Bonneville speed week this year, in September. Has anyone experienced it? I've read their web site and other information I was able to conjure up. I've followed Bonneville happenings for many years, back to the Craig Breedlove Spirit of America days, Art Arfons, and many of the out of pocket guys that make the quest annually. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Larry
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:55 PM
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Hell yes I want to get out to Speed Week too! I have been by there twice on vacation and went out onto the middle of the salt with my mini van both times. I just can't see it sitting there without going out onto it.

I missed Speed Week this last time through by only a week.

If you go, also make the Windover Air Force base which is right near it. This is where they trained WWII bomber crews including the Enola Gay and Bockscar!

Brian

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Old 01-12-2008, 12:12 AM
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I've been once in '89, and it was neat. I'd love to go again, last year someone asked me to crew on a streamliner I built the body for.

If the meet doesn't get rained or winded out, it is not terribly exciting. There is alot of waiting in line for the track to clear, IIRC sometimes they run 2 lanes if the salt will allow. The heat is pretty harsh, and the sun's reflection from the salt will sunburn yer 'nether parts if you aren't careful.

The best place to be, IMO, is at the 3 mile marker, that is where you can see and hear the cars the best, usually the fast guys are about topped out there. I saw Al Teague go past us at about 350mph...on 7 cylinders

Yeah baby

I watched a guy in a Camaro lose track of the black line and do a wide sweeping turn at speed out into the rough salt off the side of the lane...you can lose yourself pretty easy out there.


The starting line is pretty mundane, unless you like watching push trucks push the cars off ..most of the fast guys need a boost as they can't get traction. wandering through the starting line is neat, lot's of innovative shade devices attached to cars for crew comfort during the several hour wait to run and work/tuning is still going on in line.


Pits are cool, alot of folks are old time racers, and at least when I was there there was some degree of friendliness towards fellow racers.

I don't know if you found the lsr site, http://www.landracing.com/
http://www.scta-bni.org/

there are a bunch of links from there ...


I know a few folks that are b'ville regulars, a couple of record holders and a few old timers too. When I worked for Poli Form I got to work on body parts for Ron Main's "Flatfire", Chuck Salmen's "$um Fun", and a tiny little bit on Jack Costella's "Nebulous Theorum".

Nice people , all of them.


One of the mods here, "One More Time", Sam, , is involved in a salt car as well.


Someday I would like to run a car in the production coupe class just for fun.

Save the salt.

Later, mikey
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:23 AM
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Most people don't know that the track has to be groomed, I didn't. The first time I went out on the salt with the family in van I was going about 50 or 60 and I just about loosened every bolt in the damn thing! That salt is ROUGH before it is groomed.

Hey Mikey, give me a call this coming Aug and maybe we can plan on going out there!

Brian
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:57 AM
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I lived just North of Salt Lake for 6 years and never went out. It was a 145 mile drive to Wendover and probably another 30 min to the action. Wendover is a small place so you better make your motel reservations well in advance unless you plan on bringing your own living accomodations. As other experienced ones said, It's hot and dry out there and if you think you might need it, you better bring it. Like the essentials beer, water, beer, toilet paper, beer, sun screen, beer, know what I mean?

Marty, a neat part of Wendover Army Air Corp Base, was the low budget method of loading the "Fat Boys" into the aircraft bomb bay area. They dug a trench with a ramp down into it. Fat Boy was on a low trailer that was backed into the trench and the bomber was skillfully towed or taxied over the trench and the bomb was jacked up into the bomb bay for attachment to the release locks. All of this Yankee ingenuity was taking place with the clock ticking at a steady fast forward rate and some extreme conditions. Wendover was selected for this project because there was nothing there at the time so security was fairly easy to provide. I wonder how many of the people that worked on this historical project stuck around and took part in "Speed Week" in the later years?

Trees
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:44 AM
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They have a little museum there at the air base with some great memoribillia like a flight jacket from one of the crew of Bockscar. The air base is in pretty rough shape with only the museum/office being restored. But the hanger that was modified for the larger Enola Gay and Bockcar B-29 is there. Notice the raised "hole" over the door for the larger vert stabilizer. This is a great link to a site about the field. Out West (click here)

Brian

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Old 01-13-2008, 11:11 AM
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I hope you know that Bonnieville Speed Week is in August. Land speed racing is just about the purest form of racing there is. Man / woman and machine, flat out for miles. No bump drafting, no bracket racing, no speed limits. It is most likely too late to get a motel in Wendover, try Wells. About 60 miles away. This is the 60th. Speed Week and Rod & Custom has advised thier readers to bring their street rods out. There is always hundreds of rods in Wendover and at the salt during speed week. Sure it is hot and dry. Bring shade, water, favorite beverage, insect repellant, and the darkest sun glasses you can find. That white salt is blinding. I will be there Thursday, Friday, Sat. & Sunday with my tourquiose 59 El Camino. Look me up and I will buy you a beer! John
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:29 AM
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I've never been to Bonneville but plan to make a sojourn out there one of these days. I have been to the Maxton speed trials in eastern North Carolina that are held several weekends per year. A fair number of guys who run at Bonneville run at Maxton too. Maxton is a standing start mile run on an old air strip. MPH is recorded at the one mile marker. I'm tentatively planning on running my modified '95 Corvette there next year.
Running at Bonneville would be awesome but due to cost and logistics involved with actually running there makes it simply a pipe dream for me, at this point anyway. But I'd be more than happy to just be there once for an event and experience what is the ultimate Mecca for any true, dyed in the wool, old school hotrodder like me.
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:25 PM
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I hope that you, old hot rodder that you are, make the time to attend Speed Week sometime. Just to say you have been there even if you cant race. On Saturday morning you can drive your personal car (slowly) down the course. Maxton sounds like it would be great fun. Let's see...273 gears in my drag race Camaro, 36 inch tall tires, 6800 rpm. Whee! John
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:39 PM
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Howdy,I have some friends around Anchorage / Elmendorf, Sometime in my lifetime I want to build a racecar of somesort for Bonneville and get into the 200mph club

Shane
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:31 PM
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I've lived in Utah for over 20 years and haven't made it out yet. Just this past October my wife and I and another couple went out to watch and hit Wendover for some gambling, but the weather turned to crap that day and they didn't run . So this year I'm going to try again and maybe try the August event so the weather should be great. I've also got a '27 T roadster body in the garage I'd love to build into something to get me into the 200MPH club too!
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:30 PM
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Man oh man, I've been trying to get a room in the area, absolutely nothing available. Wendover has nothing open, not even small motels. Looked in Wells, NV, same thing. The next nearest place might be Elko, NV, but quite a daily drive.

Thought about renting a motor home in SLC or Provo, but they're pricey. Anyone now of a hideaway in the area?
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:06 PM
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I have to tell you, I am looking at staying in my van (no, not down by the river) in some parking lot and just go for it. I have done this in the past sleeping on the ground next to by bike or something like that. I'll relive my younger days and do that.

Brian
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:48 PM
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hey nova, I MAY have an extra room available in Wendover. I have it reserved for a local friend but he may no go. At the rainbow I think. Will have to check with the boss (wife). John
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:07 PM
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There is a KOA close by, but that's usually filled up early as well. I don't know if folks still camp out by the bend in the road, I remember seeing alot of campfires out that way...

Lots of fun at nighttime in those outside camping spots...

Later, mikey
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