Although many people have visited the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, most live their entire lives without ever experiencing what it’s like to run top speed down the salt, let alone win. I recently received a note from a dear friend of mine, Peter Brock from BRE Racing fame.
He sent me a photo of this car – Bombshell Betty – a 1952 Buick Riviera land speed racer that has broken the World Speed Record in its class at Bonneville… twice.
Bombshell Betty is a 1952 Buick Super Riviera, owned by a man named Jeff Brock from New Mexico. Here’s some video footage of what it’s like in the salt. Entering the third mileon the Salt Flats in Bonneville starts the timing for setting land speed racing records on the 5 mile course. This video, The Third Mile from Carlos G Maier, features Ronnie Dunn going fast, very fast in Jeff Brock’s 1952 Buick.
Bombshell Betty competes in the XO/GCC class, consisting of old school petrol engine cars, where he tops around 141 mph.
This Land Speed bombshell looks aggressive and beautiful at sunrise.
The sun, salt, and speed make for an incredible combination.
Take notice of the “bomb” shaped headlight buckets and the wheel covers, which add to the aerodynamics of the car. The wheels throw off columns of spinning air that upset the airflow traveling down the car’s side and increase drag. These solid wheel covers attempt to reduce that effect.
Read more: Bonneville Speed Week Field Guide – All About Bonneville Speed Week – Popular Mechanics
Streamlining the front of the car helps lower the drag coefficient. The nose of the Buick was narrowed by 6 inches. Those bomb-shaped headlight buckets might add to the aerodynamics of the car, or they might not. Regardless, they look cool as hell.
The engine is a 320 cubic inch straight-8 cylinder.
Lowering the roof reduces the frontal area of the car, making it more aerodynamic at speed. The choptop roof is FUNCTIONAL while looking amazing.
Here’s a video of Jeff Brock and his car, featured on the Popular Mechanics website.
This last photo has absolutely no relevance to Jeff Brock’s Buick Riviera, but it does feature some bombshell Betties of another sort that are relevant to the interests of our readers… and the customer (reader) is always right.
:: John Brooks
DAMNNNNNNNNNNN I need to get to Bonneville this year!!!
Love this car! One of my favorites at the Salt every year. I actually have some really cool photos of this car on a thin layer of water from like 2 years ago, but doesn’t have the new nose airdam and wheel covers. Pics are still on the dang computer. FML! Yes you need ot come to Bville this year AA!
AWESOME. Chris, I’d love to see more of your photos from Bonneville!!!
i like this car and this web site a lot. motormavens keeps things INTERESTING!!!!!!!
hello, this is a amazing car. i got to hear this thing run in 2008 when it first came out to the salt!
thanks for posting this, fantastic photos!
You could certainly see Mr Brock’s passion for the car by looking at the work he’s put into it. Our scene hopes for even more passionate car builders such as him.
Yes yes yes. That car is so sick. I live in Salt Lake but have never been out to the salt flats. I definitely need to make the pilgrimage one of these years.
Great pics!!! not only the last one but all of them.
@Mitchell and Joe: YES!!!! I hope to get out to the Salt this year, so I can shoot my own photos out there!
There’s a spot open in the RV for you Antonio…
Here’s my take on the Bonneville Bombshell: http://www.myrideisme.com/Blog/bonneville-record-setting-1952-buick/
Jeff’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet, much like everyone I’ve met at Bonneville.
@pikesan: Thanks man! I think I might have to take you up on that offer! Hopefully you don’t get too pissed about my snoring. haha
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Does anyone like it?