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Hagerty Employee

Understanding Bonneville streamliners, lakesters, and roadsters

The recipe for success on the salt flats and dry lake beds of Bonneville is a generous helping of power and traction with as little aerodynamic drag as possible. In order to level the playing field among entrants, however, racers must be grouped into specific classes. We already covered the basics of the SCTA’s engine and fuel classes, but that only deals with the horsepower part of the recipe. The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) also created dozens of car classes so that competitors can push the envelope in design or recreate hot rods of the 1940s and still have a place in the record books.


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New Driver

I drove my 1972 Vega, fully loaded with my college stuff, on the Bonneville Salt Flats on about May 8, 1978, setting the unofficial world land speed record for a Vega at 94 mph! I was the only person there...


   Living in SW Idaho, I'm only about 1/2 day drive from Bonneville.  It's been a few years since I've gone, but I've made the pilgrimage, I think, 6 times.  It is a unique experience, for sure.  I've never taken a competition car there - only been as a spectator.  I've camped out at the Corner and eaten out of a cooler for three days.  I've burned the crap outta my pale flesh while watching the events, even after spreading on half-a-gallon of SPF50.  Some years there is water to drive through to get to and from the track area - so I've worried about slat water rot under my rig.  I've drunk 3 gallons of water in 2 days and sweated off 5 gallons.

   And you know what?  Worth it and more!  If you've never been, it's a bucket-list item for sure...