Many racing legends and innovations have been born on the 160 square mile barren patch known as the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 1950s in particular saw a revolution in the hot-rodding scene that became more aware of the importance of aerodynamics, weight and drag. There were many that still fiercely held on to pure, brute horsepower over anything else– but many moved forward and a new dawn of streamlined dragster designs utilizing plastic and fiberglass bodies were born that changed the face of American racing forever.
The pics are truly amazing. Great speed machines, as well as that classic 1950’s style– good grooming topped with denim, khakis, white tees, coveralls and awesome old-school racing graphics. There’s also some great video w/insightful commentary at the end– if you can survive the xylophone noodling in the background… Definitely born too late, I was. Photos by J R Eyerman.
Commonly called a “Lakester”– these open-wheeled, tank bodied dragsters were first raced on dry lake beds before the SCTA scene made the move to the Bonneville Salt Flats. This one’s sportin’ a rear-mounted engine.
The Bonneville Salt Flats speed meet, 1954.*