May 29th 2020
Danny Thompson Sets Piston-Driven Land Speed Record In Challenger II
In one of the great Bonneville stories of all time, Danny Thompson set a land speed record in Bonneville for piston-driven vehicles 50 years after this father, Mickey Thompson, did the same thing in Challenger I. Danny's Challenger II streamliner was built by his father, then resurrected by Danny for the LSR attempt, which was successfully set at 450.9 mph.
Here's the note Danny posted on his website:
"We did it! On Sunday morning, eight years of hard work culminated in a 450.909mph return run. Averaged with yesterday's speed of 446.605mph, we achieved a new two-way AA/FS record of 448.757mph, enough to make us the world's fastest piston powered car. That has been the goal since day one of the project, and it wouldn't have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of my crew. The men and women who volunteered to join me on this crazy adventure are the reason for today's success. I can never thank them enough.
"This year's Speed Week marked the 50th anniversary of the Challenger 2's construction. In 1968, my dad, the mad scientists at Kar Kraft, and an elite group of Southern California gearheads created a vehicle that they believed had the potential to become the world's fastest hot rod. It took five decades, a lot of elbow grease, and a few modifications, but I feel like I've finally been able to fulfill their dream, as well as my own. Thanks guys. I share today's record with all of you.
"I should talk about the run itself! It got a little squirrelly. I was almost lock-to-lock at around 430mph, which was quite an experience. If you'd like to ride along, we've embedded a cockpit video below this post. Additionally, we recorded our usual evening podcast, and posted some photos taken by the wickedly talented Bubb Lannan. Lots of good stuff today. It's my pleasure to share it with you.
"Speaking of which, I'd like to thank all of you for coming along with me on this wild ride. The interest, support, and encouragement has meant a lot to both myself and the crew. We made it happen with your backing.
"We're in the books! What a fantastic day."