Bonneville Speedweek 2017

It was in the mid 1960s when the BBC news reported a new world land speed record was set. I was watching the TV with my dad and watched a jet car blast across the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was amazing and I said to my dad I would like to go their one day and watch these vehicles.

Well this year I made my mind up to do some of my bucket list projects and go to the Salt Flats. Recent years the weather has stopped the event, so my wife Julie and I followed the weather from March till June and then we booked the flight.

Dave Branch, Steve French, and Baz Rathbone

We planned two days and when we approached from Wendover it was an awesome sight looking through the windscreen of the car.  We knew Dave Branch, Stephen French and Baz Rathbone were there and sure enough we spotted the Union Jack flying high. Also there were the Diamond Mob, Chris Ireland, James McGregor and Martin Wilmott.

British Camp on the Salt
Chris Hawkshaw and the Diamond Mob

We arrived Sunday and were told the Diamond Mob with Chris Hawkshaw riding had set a new record, despite the oil pipe coming off on the second run.

Steve French waiting on his crew at the edge of the earth

Julie went and did the coverage of the short course and I did the long course. Stephen French and Chris Ireland also set new records a day after we left.

If you haven’t been to Speedweek, the pits are about 3 miles long. There are various bikes, cars and streamliners, even a truck.

On Monday, the SCTA had to move the start line a mile—making the long course 8 miles instead of nine—because the start area was breaking up due to the push vehicles trying to get grip.

The salt is getting thinner. I met a racer who had been going to Bonneville since 1949 when you had to drill three foot into the salt to secure equipment, now it’s three inches in some places. So if you are thinking of going to Bonneville, I would go sooner that later.

Burt Munro film bike from “World’s Fastest Indian”
Burt’s great nephew Lee Munro on his new CP-Carillo and Pingel sponsored Indian

Mitsuhiro Kiyonaga
check out Mitsuhiro’s front fender
Check out this sweet chrome bike
Chet Thomas
Dave Tatom

Chris Ireland
Eric Ritter
Gary McGavin
George Poteet’s beautiful 400+ mph “Speed Demon”

Jean Caillou
Anything goes at Bonneville. Check out Giles Pujol’s steed
Ron Shincke
James McGregor

Russell Nelson
Johnnie Rouse
Check out this guy’s Tabasco necktie headgear

Ken Hardman (insert phallic joke here….)
Mark Zwieg’s rig could pull your trailer to the races on time

Ralph Hudson
Reg Cook

Robert Dalton
Ron Tesinky

story and photos by Steven and Julie Moxley

Leave a Reply