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Salt Flats

Old 11-11-2010, 08:16 AM
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Salt Flats

Living in Salt Lake City you would think I have visited the Bonneville Salt flats many times and gone to the speed trials. Actually not. The trials are pretty hard core and crowds are not what is wanted during the speed runs. For years I drove through the flats on my way to other places. One day though, several years ago when I still worked for a living and drove a company car (Buick Century) I go a wild hair and took the off ramp to the tourist overlook. In all the years of driving past it I had never been there. I found eight or ten cars in a parking lot raised about five feet above the salt with various tourists gazing at the endless white expanse. There were no cars out on the salt but I could see where many tracks were laid down going out from the parking area. On an impulse I decided to try my luck, so I floored the accelerator and launched the Buick onto the salt as the tourist stood there with their jaws dropped open.

It's amazing how versatile a company car can be. Once out on the salt I put the pedal to the metal and got up to about 105 mph. You'd think a Buick Century could do more than that but the surface out there is actually slower than pavement: the only advantage for speed is just the endlessness of the flats with no dangerous barriers. Before long I saw a black Chevy Blazer on the horizon coming toward me. Shortly after that I noticed another identical Blazer approaching from my left. Well, I'm no right wing paranoid nut but you have to wonder what the #%#@'s going on. What's next, a black helicopter? I slowed down and a guy in one of the Blazers waved me to stop. I rolled to a stop and he pulled beside my car and asked me what I was doing out there.
Well I guess I was in a frisky sort of mood because I told him I was driving my car, what the bleep was he doing out there? At this point I wouldn't have been surprised if these guys were on loan from some government skunk works or something but instead of jumping out and arresting me they said they were out there making a car commercial and I was getting into their camera angle and would I mind driving somewhere else.

Well, by this time I had had my thrills and the Buick didn't look like it was going to go much faster than 105 or maybe a little more, so I told them sure thing. They politely thanked me and I headed back toward the tourist parking barely visible on the horizon. All in all it was a fun trip but the next week I went in for an oil change and the bottom of the car was one solid salt crystal, salt on everything even packed into the wheels.

Needless to say the salt flats are for company cars, not little red stewies so if you find yourself driving by the salt flats and think about taking a spin, don't do it.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:28 AM
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Awesome story Dude! I always wanted to drive there and check it out, thanks for the heads up on the salt I was going to bring Stewie but now NO WAY!
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:13 AM
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Great story!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:12 PM
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Great story dude. Always wanted to go there some day
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:02 AM
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I have a buddy who has been there every year for forty years. One year he stuffed a Chevy in to an Austin Healy, drove from Sacramento to the salt, set a record for cars driven in, 180 mph and drove home again.

If you haven't seen the movie "The Worlds Fastest Indian", find it and watch. I'll guarantee any gear head will get a kick out of this true story. My buddy remembers Burt Monroe being at Bonneville.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:26 AM
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Great read.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:43 AM
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"World's Fastest Indian" is one of our favorite movies. I never get tired of watching it.
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