vintage, nostalgia and memories


September 17, 2016

See Amazing Pictures from 1966 Bonneville National Speed Trials

In 1907, Bill Rishel and his business partners were the first to drive a Pierce-Arrow automobile across Utah’s vast Bonneville Salt Flats.

After Utah local Ab Jenkins set a new endurance record by driving a Pierce-Arrow in a continuous 10-mile loop for 24 hours at an average speed of 112.9 miles per hour, the flats became the go-to spot for speed freaks looking to smash records.

Drivers descended on the flats from around the world, bringing with them custom-designed vehicles with precisely streamlined bodies and extraordinarily powerful engines.

Various classes of competing vehicles emerged, including streamliners, roadsters, and by the early ‘60s, jet-powered cars. By the time of these speed trials in August 1966, jet cars were reaching land speeds of over 600 miles per hour.

Art Arfons stands alongside his jet-propelled "Green Monster."

The Hammon-McGrath-Appenfels "Redhead" streamliner #147B wins the class trophy with a speed of 331.46 miles per hour.

Bert Munro works on his streamlined Indian Scout with an Alex Tremulis-designed Detroit Triumph Gyronaut X-1 in the background.

The Summers Brothers "Goldenrod" C-Class Streamliner makes a run on the salt.

The Hammon-McGrath-Appenfels "Redhead" streamliner #147B.

The Alex Tremulis-designed Detroit Triumph Gyrnonaut X-1.



The Ratliff & Zook E/Gas Roadster, which posted a 158.45 mile per hour speed.

The Deeds and Saderup Studebaker, the class trophy winner in the D/Fuel Coupe and Sedan Division with 191.48 miles per hour.

Neil M. Thompson's gold-metalflake painted sports car.

J.R. Lufkin's #646 C/Modified Sports entry with sponsorship from Autolite and performance mods from AK Miller.

The rocket-powered Wingfoot Express 2 built by Walt Arfons, propelled by the use of 35 Jet-Assisted Take Off pods.

Bill and Bob Summers stand alongside their record-setting Summers Brothers "Golden Rod" streamliner.


A trio of streamliners from the H- and I-classes, with Wheel Centre Company #901H at top, "The Ball Point Banana" #555 at center and "The Orange Crate" #222 at bottom.

Donald Barr's H-Class Streamliner, which attained a speed of 145.92 miles per hour.

The Hammon-McGrath-Appenfels "Redhead" with the engine cowling removed to expose the supercharged Hemi powerplant inside.

The Larson-Cummins Streamliner, which took home the D-Class trophy for its 225 miles per hour run.

The Designers International Special, "Tempest in a T-pot" streamliner campaigned by team Ron Benham and Don Hurley.

(Images: Eric Rickman/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images, via Mashable/Retronaut)

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