Wait. Challenger? That thing got a HEMI in it?
Actually, it has two.
And those two 500-cubic-inch V8s powered Danny Thompson’s Challenger 2 streamliner to a new 406.7 miles-per-hour land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats this week for the 2016 edition of Speed Week.
Perhaps more significantly, Thompson—son of Mickey Thompson—broke his family’s 48-year-old land-speed record, finishing what his legendary father had started. He broke the non-blown, non-gas fuel streamliner record by 14.2 miles-per-hour. The previous 392.5 mile-per-hour mark had stood as the class record since 2009.
Danny Thompson’s 406.7 mile-per-hour record was just 0.1 mile-per-hour better than his father’s top recorded time—406.6 miles-per-hour in Challenger 1 on Sept. 9, 1960. A broken propshaft kept Mickey Thompson from making the second backup timed run, a requirement for permanent entry into the record books.
Along with Danny Thompson, fellow land-speed racer George Poteet added his name to the exclusive 400-MPH Club this week as well. A list that now has 16 names.
Here’s our interview with Thompson at SEMA 2014, talking about the car:
The Carbinite LSR Team Can Empathize with Mickey T.
Our friend Rob Freyvogel piloted his big block Chevy-powered Carbinite LSR streamliner to a 363.1 mile-per-hour run Tuesday in his AA/BGS class (that’s Blown Gas Streamliner with an engine above 500 cubic inches). Unfortunately, the group blew a hydraulic line on the front suspension, which caused significant damage to the front-end of the fiberglass body and prevented them from making their second pass to back up the run and establish the new record, according to the Carbinite LSR team’s Facebook page.
The current class record is 348 miles-per-hour.
It’s unclear whether they’ll have the opportunity to make their second pass—a heartbreaking development after a singular focus on breaking this very record in recent years. You can read more about the Carbinite LSR streamliner and the unique challenges of chasing land speed records in our story from early summer.
Want More From Bonneville?
Our friends at BangShift are killing it this week with salt flats racing coverage. There are more stories and photos than you have time to look at, but you should probably try anyway.
Here’s a sample from BangShift‘s photo galleries: