Bonneville beats the bug

We could all use a little bit of good news right about now. Here’s our contribution: One of America’s must-see automotive happenings, and we mean that sincerely, is really going to happen early next month. The 2020 Bonneville Speed Week, with appropriate social distancing, will indeed take place on the hallowed, yawning reaches of the Salt Flats beginning August 8th and running, weather and salt conditions permitting, through August 14th. With the exception of rainouts, this celebration of pure, naked, unadulterated maximum velocity has been run on the hard-packed salt continuously since 1949. This is an absolutely vital element in the development of hot rodding and land-speed competition in the United States. Bonneville is, in a word, sacred. Full disclosure: In 63 years, I’ve never been lucky enough to make it out there – regrettably, Speed Week usually runs up against the Knoxville Nationals for Sprint cars in Iowa – but rest assure, this event is at the very top of my must-see list and it belongs on yours, too.

Whether it’s an EV, a Honda Trail 50 from the 1970s or a rocket-powered supersonic needle, there’s a class for it in the Southern California Timing Association’s rule book. As evidence, we present the photo above: A diesel-powered Crosley pickup is right at home on the salt, whose sheer, majestic emptiness make it one of the most distancing-friendly spots on the planet. Interested? Start out at Salt Lake City and mosey west on Interstate 80; remember to exit at Wendover, Utah, right on the Nevada border. Entries are being accepted through the end of the month, and you can learn more here. As a piece of trivia, the SCTA’s club journal is America’s oldest published car magazine, dating without interruption to 1937. Thanks to our longtime pal Tina Van Curen at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, for sharing this positive news.

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