Posts Tagged ‘El Mirage’

COVERAGE> Bonneville Salt Flats Speedweek 2010

Speed Week 2010, run by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) at the Bonneville Salt Flats has come and gone. It's more than a week later and I've still got Salt on my Suby (and my brain). For reals, I washed out more white stuff from under my bugeye WRX today. The Salt gets EVERYWHERE! I love it! Salt Fevaaaaaaa!

As I was snapping pics...photos (this is MotorMavens, these are photos!) of the activities, I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you guys on MotorMavens.com. There are TONS of things going on at the Bonneville Salt Flats! There were over 500 vehicle pre-entries at Speed Week 2010 - plus over 100 hot rods roaming the salt! Amazing! My hope is that I give you a flavor for what you'll experience WHEN (not if) you guys and gals attend your first Speed Week.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Imports at Bonneville Salt Flats

I'm stoked to be writing about the Bonneville Salt Flats for MotorMavens! I've been a HUGE fan of the site since it started last year. A super quick intro might be in order, I guess... I'm Chris Hecht, originally from SoCal, now living in Utah. I'm a husband of ten years, father of four boys, Quality Engineer for a medical device manufacturer by day, and car fanatic by... day and night. I live two hours from Lands End - where paved road meets the other planet known as the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I've been going to Bonneville's "Great White Dyno" for three (going on four) years. I was first invited out by my co-worker and friend Dallas Volk (too bad he's no relation to Volk wheels haha) - but he is a member of the prestigious 200MPH Club. He and his family have been racing a 1929 Ford Roadster his entire life. Dallas, his dad Larry (current President of the 200MPH Club!), brother Patrick and sister Allison (nicknamed "Hollywood") are all in the 200MPH Club. I'm not, but I have contracted a dreaded disease...

I've officially been diagnosed with Salt Fever - and it's uber contagious. Bonneville has its own culture and feel, just like drifting, time attack or drag racing. There are the old timers and veterans who keep the traditions alive with the new blood learning the ropes while adding their own style, flair and background.

I hope to bring to the MotorMavens readers a view of this motorsport and share the cars and culture that make it what it is today. For this first post, we'll have a look at some of the import land speed cars I've spotted. As you'd guess, the majority of cars built to make top speed runs down the long salt, of course, are American. However, the great part about Bonneville (and El Mirage) is that there are A LOT of classes to run in - many of which are perfect for Japanese and European cars because of their engine selections and aerodynamics.

Check the first picture. This Ferrari (#288) runs in the AA/BGMS class (AA = over 500 cubic inches, Blown (super or turbocharger), Gas Modified Sports). According to SCTA's site, it went 235mph and there's a comment on the notes..."Smoke?" Like any motorsport, land speed racing is all about the details. Check the front fenders...aero diffusers (not sure what they call them) to help direct the airflow and add stability. Most of these cars never see a wind tunnel, but the aero tricks are tried and true.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Vintage Hammer strikes El Mirage

As you may have seen our previous post about land speed racing, this past weekend we headed out to the most famous dry lake bed in Southern California - El Mirage. We arrived in the afternoon and the weather was hot, but the racing was cooling off. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had been blowing extremely strong cross winds across the desert, which eventually brought the event to an early stop. Undaunted by a little wind and a lot of dust, we continued on through the pit area until the dull sheen of dust covered metal captured our attention.

Strong and resilient with something to prove, this rear engine modified roadster provided contrast to the cracked up surface of the historic lake bed. After speaking to a few helpful guys hanging out nearby, we were told that this roadster was designed and built by an experienced land speed racer named Fabian Valdez from Vintage Hammer Garage in Yucaipa, California.   Read more...

COVERAGE> El Mirage and Land Speed Racing

About an hour and a half north of Los Angeles lies El Mirage, a historic dry lake bed that has been a home to land speed racing and the organization that hosts these land speed racing events, the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) for over 60 years. Just think about it - sixty years! That's a long time. Even though it is only about 1.5 hours from where I live and I've known about El Mirage for years, I had never actually been to El Mirage until this past weekend.

For me, the journey to El Mirage was something like a time warp. We had to drive through the high desert of the Antelope Valley, and eventually began noticing lots of old homes and old buildings... not to mention ghost-town looking businesses that look like they haven't seen a customer walk through their doors in a decade.

On Sunday, Travis and I decided to drive our Nissan Cube press vehicle up to El Mirage to check out the scene and see what it was all about. On the way to the legendary dry lake bed, we stopped off at this liquor store/gas station for drinks, and were happy to find an old Ford hot rod parked outside at the gas pump. I approached the owner of the car, a gentleman named Dave, and said hello while he was refueling his hot rod with a funnel, as the gas station's modern style gas nozzles wouldn't be long or slender enough to get the entire neck of the fuel nozzle into the vintage gas tank without spilling onto the side of his old Ford.   Read more...