Tags: danny thompson | land | speed | record

Danny Thompson, Land-Speed Record Setter, Tames Bonneville

Image: Danny Thompson, Land-Speed Record Setter, Tames Bonneville

Danny Thompson in Challenger II at Bonneville. (Screengrab of YouTube video)

By    |   Monday, 15 Aug 2016 11:12 AM

Danny Thompson landed a speed record for piston-driven engines over the weekend with two runs of more than 400 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, breaking the record of his late father Mickey Thompson.

Thompson raced at Speed Week in Challenger II, a blue streamliner built on the chassis of his father's 1968 racer, noted CNN. On Saturday, Thompson revved up Challenger II across Bonneville at 411 mph. He followed it up on Sunday with a 402 mph run, for an average of 406.7 mph.

Thompson shared the experience with a video that was posted on Twitter.


"I wasn't quitting until it got done," said Thompson, who was delayed previously by mechanical problems and two rainouts, noted CNN. "There has never been any doubt. It was going to happen."

"This is what we came here for. What does it take to go 400 mph on salt? You know, it takes determination. It takes guts, for sure. And ambition. How bad do you want it?" 

It was 1960 when Thompson's father drove 406 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in his four-engine Challenger I, said Autoblog. His father, though, never officially held the record because he could not make a second trip on the eight-mile course, via racing record rules, because of mechanical problems, noted CNN.

"The Challenger II project actually evolved out of a larger program originally intended to generate buzz for the introduction of the 1969 Mach I Mustang," Danny Thompson told Autoblog in July, referring to Ford Motor Company's involvement. "(Ford) decided to take three Mustangs to Bonneville and break as many records as they could."

Danny Thompson said his father wanted to do the same thing using funny cars and the Challenger II using Ford's 427 SOHC motorsport engine, noted Autoblog. He said Ford was also closely involved with the design of the Challenger II.

On March 16, 1988, Mickey Thompson and his second wife were killed in the driveway of their home in Southern California and a former business partner Michael Goodwin was charged in 2001 on two murder counts in Orange County, noted CNN. The case was later refiled in Los Angeles County and Goodwin was convicted in 2007, noted the CNN.

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Danny Thompson landed a speed record for piston-driven engines over the weekend with two runs of more than 400 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, breaking the record of his late father Mickey Thompson.
danny thompson, land, speed, record
396
2016-12-15
Monday, 15 Aug 2016 11:12 AM
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