The Bonneville Speedweek brings all sorts of people to the event. Some drive from far away lands in their hot rods that lack what many of us normally take for granted in our cars; cushioned seats, carpet, sound deadening, or even a roof. But the trip to "the Salt" in your home brewed hot rod or rat rod is a pilgramage to pure automotive glory. There's a huge sense that everyone that is at the event lives the lifestyle to it's fullest with style is one of the biggest aspects of the whole event. Everyone and everything oozes with magnificent style on and off "the Salt!"
As we came onto the flats in at dawn, we came across this rat rod facing into the track and facing into the Utah sunrise.
As I shot the rat rod above, I heard a car coming up and saw this crawling up to the track. This is the resulting snap.
Another view of this car showing it's crazy period specific paintjob.
The matching interior complimented the actual pain job very well.
These old dashboards just ooze with style.
Imagine driving around this car and just how cool you'd look driving it!
Here's a shot from the starting grid. The driver sits in the car while he gets strapped in for his high speed run.
It's just amazing to see all these seriously slammed cars crawl around the salt flats. This car in particular, I could barely fit one of my Chuck Tailor shoes to do the "ricer-ride-height/stance" test –seriously slammed.
There's a plethora of engine blocks sticking out of their cars' body work.
This is what basically the driver sees –straight into infinity.
When you first step onto the salt flats, you notice the cleaniness of the place, the epically wide open expanses. Then some clouds start rolling in then bathes the whole flat with some majestic light.
The people that run, drive, and spectate the event have a culture all to their own. These are men that came to The Salt many, many years ago, and the salt has seeped into every fiber of their being. They live to come out here to witness speed or to be a part with speed. These men are rough, seasoned, and come back every year, for years on end. It's guys like these that has kept the hot rod culture alive for so long.
This is one of the many cars which I've completely fallen in love with. I would drive this stretch nosed Cadillac XLR if there was a street version that looked like this and was this low! Such presence.
The engine has been pushed back a whole lot. I just love the lines of this car…
There are unslammed hot rods on the flats, but, in my humble rice opinion, they're definitely not as styling as the things that hide daylight efficently. This slammed Studebaker's stance is just out of this world…
… and it's tucking rim!
On the complete and polar opposite of land speed cars which are based off of real production cars are these streamliners. These cars are a whole different ball game… but they're just beautiful. They also are way more low than the lowest of the production based cars. Daylight never exists on the underside of these cars!
Here's the number 77 stream liner out on the grid during the cooler morning hours getting ready for the run with a target of 377+mph!
All of these streamliners have extremely tall gearing to be able to achieve the speeds that they do. So, most of them have to be pushed off the starting line with a support vehicle before the car can pull away in with its own power.
It is quite a sight to see the streamliner pull away from the supporting vehicle so quickly then disappearing into the horizion. You can then listen to the radio and hear the mile marker updates to see how the car is is fairing out there: "mile three the car is at 280mph, mile four the car is at 352mph…."
It's just pure insanity out here. There's absolutely no way a normal mortal man can even fathom what life is like on the salt flats at 350+ miles per hour!
I know Speedhunters is a car based site, but there's a huge presense of top speed bikes throughout the whol event. This particular one caught my eye because under all that awesomely retro aerodynamic body work beats the heart of a bobber (also known as a 'rat bike'). If you notice really carefully, you can spot the rusted out fuel thank.
On the completely opposite end from the rusty rat rod spectrum are super clean builds like this one. Love the stance, the white walls, and the wheel covers!
This man is living. So hard!
This car is bagged and is oh-so-sexy when it is completely laid out on the salty floor.
This huge piece of awesome junk is a perfect example of the extreme rat rod style builds that you'd spot out there. This car has no roof, unless you cound the surf board strapped on top of it. Life must be amazing when you roll around in such amazing piles of junk. So muc character and charisma.
I end this brief article with this image. This image absolutely reaks of style; the ridiculously high shift stick shift with the skull shift knob, the salt on the car's floor, which is old wood, to the caution sign on the dashboard.
When spending a whole day on the salt flats, you find out that there is almost zero shade to hide from the blaring mid-day sun and that there are very little places to sit. So, you just plop yourself down on the what was once the lakebed of a thousand mile wide lake. When you stand up, you notice that your pants are a bit moist. This is from the salt sucking the moistures straight out of the air. The salt gets into everything, your clothes, bags, socks, shoes, camera gear, and encrust your car. The salt starts to seep deep into you. And you get the strange feeling that you want to come back, but not just once, but every year. Salt fever hits you and you realize that you're just as nuts as all the other nutters coming out every single year for years on end. But you're okay with that. The Salt sucks you dry, but you just want more of it.