September 26, 2016

VROOM! Speed week at Salt Flats

by Richard Markosian with Adam Vicinus

Every August the Salt Flats transforms from one of the most desolate places on earth to an RV, redneck, and motorhead city. Testosterone and adrenaline junkies with a serious need for speed convene for a week of competition to show the glory of what metal, rubber, and salt can produce when appropriately engineered.

The men we encountered who came to the Bonneville Salt Flats to join the “200 Club” or the “300 Club” were too busy for chit chat. They were taking their odd mix of recreation and chest beating machismo too seriously to explain in any detail why they do what they do, or what really motivates them. They were, however, happy to talk about the customization jobs they performed on their vehicles; the cubic inches in their cylinders.

Though an outsider may never fully understand motivations, the event is truly a sight to behold with categories like speed demon cigarette cars, “Rat Rods” (which are mostly converted Model As or Model Ts), vehicles converted from WWII fuel tanks, souped-up motorcycles, speeding submarines—the list could go on and on. All were spending an afternoon in the salt and plumes of exhaust with the temperature at 105 degrees. It was a true pleasure. Despite running out of water—we didn’t want to go home. There was so much eye candy. So many displays of freakish power; so many loud engines of every pitch and tamber; and so many men who would never shop at the Pottery Barn. I like these “salt” of the earth people, and I’m excited to return next year.

bullet racerEvery August the Salt Flats transforms from one of the most desolate places on earth to an RV, redneck, and motorhead city. Testosterone and adrenaline junkies with a serious need for speed convene for a week of competition to show the glory of what metal, rubber, and salt can produce when appropriately engineered.

salt rat racerThe men we encountered who came to the Bonevillle Salt Flats to join the “200 Club” or the “300 Club” were too busy for chit chat. They were taking their odd mix of recreation and chest beating machismo too seriously to explain in any detail why they do what they do, or what really motivates them. They were, however, happy to talk about the customization jobs they performed on their vehicles; the cubic inches in their cylinders.

Though an outsider may never fully understand motivations, the event is truly a sight to behold with categories like speed demon cigarette cars, “Rat Rods” (which are mostly converted Model As or Model Ts), vehicles converted from WWII fuel tanks, souped-up motorcycles, speeding submarines—the list could go on and on. All were spending an afternoon in the salt and plumes of exhaust with the temperature at 105 degrees. It was a true pleasure. Despite running out of water—we didn’t want to go home. There was so much eye candy. So many displays of freakish power; so many loud engines of every pitch and tamber; and so many men who would never shop at the Pottery Barn. I like these “salt” of the earth people, and I’m excited to return next year.