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Author Topic: 448mph Record Holder Danny Thompson 1968 CHALLENGER 2 STREAMLINER at auction.  (Read 3767 times)

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Offline J79

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Being auctioned Saturday Jan 11, 2020, Lot #S130 KISSIMMEE Florida.
https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0120-397299/1968-challenger-2-streamliner/?utm_source=AAInfoNet+Master&utm_campaign=cc30aac7a2-FL20_Challenger2&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa410e9114-cc30aac7a2-116548713&goal=0_fa410e9114-cc30aac7a2-116548713&mc_cid=cc30aac7a2&mc_eid=9a7747301c

Youtube video by Mecum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBJ64JTxJ4M
Youtube video showing the world record run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci6GYi8S-2Q
Youtube video showing a tour of the car with the body panels off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgRL4ktwlZI

Holds the fastest ever certified speed record run for a piston-driven vehicle
Designed by Hall-of-Fame driver Mickey Thompson in collaboration with Kar Kraft in 1968
Driven by Danny Thompson to a new SCTA AA/FS record of 448.757 MPH on August 12, 2018 at the Bonneville Salt Flats
In 1968 Mickey Thompson tested the vehicle at around 400 MPH at Bonneville, but the course flooded before an official run could be made.
Chassis built by famed Indy Car constructor Quin Epperly with MT Advanced Engineering team and overseen by drag racer Pat Foster
Bodywork formed by Tom Jobe and Nye Frank with assistance from Louie Teckenoff
Restored, retrofitted and updated over 7 years by Danny Thompson in his Huntington Beach, CA shop
In 1968 Sports Illustrated declared Challenger 2 'a rolling textbook in sophisticated automotive design'
4-wheel-drive
Twin Brad Anderson 500 CI dry block A-fuel-type Hemi V-8 engines
B&J Big Boy twin 3-speed transmissions
Blue exterior
Two 30-gallon aluminum fuel tanks
Designed to run on fuel mix of 87 percent nitromethane and 13 percent methanol
Curb weight of approximately 5,800 pounds (wet)
32 feet long, 36 inches wide and 37 inches high at the canopy
Bodywork made up of 68 hand-formed aluminum panels connected to the subframe by Dzus fasteners
4130 steel tube chassis
Custom Hadley Boxes driven by Gates belts
Accufab throttle bodies
Magnesium quick-change rear ends
Suspension designed by Kar Kraft
King ultra-high speed shock absorbers
Fire suppression system behind rear engine
SK Specialties billet 2024-T351 aluminum wheels
Mickey Thompson Bonneville LSR tires with 1/32-inch rubber/prototype nylon weave/banded steel
Carbon ceramic disc brakes
Dual parachutes with four foot blossoms
Sold on a Bill of Sale
Dubbed ?Challenger 2,? this twin-Hemi-powered streamliner holds the certified record run as the fastest naturally aspirated, piston-powered vehicle in history?an automotive milestone that was 50 years in the making.

Designed and built by Hall of Fame driver, self-made engineer and prolific promoter Mickey Thompson in collaboration with Kar Kraft of Brighton, Michigan, Challenger 2 was Thompson?s second land speed car intended to break the overall piston record. In 1960, Thompson had become the first American to break the 400 MPH barrier, piloting his Challenger 1 streamliner to 406.60 MPH at Bonneville to exceed Englishman John Cobb?s one-way record of 402 MPH. Unfortunately, the car broke on its return run, robbing Thompson of the coveted two-way record, but it ultimately set the stage for his next attempt.

That came in 1968, when Thompson returned to the famed Salt Flats with the Challenger 2, which was originally christened the ?Mickey Thompson Autolite Special.? In contrast to the somewhat heavy-handed approach taken in the four-engined, Pontiac-powered Challenger 1, Thompson?s new creation was a tour-de-force of elegant engineering, described by ?Sports Illustrated? at the time as ?a rolling textbook in sophisticated automotive design.?

With financing and engineering input from Ford, Thompson hand assembled an all-star team of California Hot Rodding and racing talents to handle the job. Drag racer and fabricator Pat Foster managed the project, and famed IndyCar constructor Quinn Epperly built a portion of the chassis in his shop with the remainder completed by the team at MT Advanced Engineering. Meanwhile, Tom Jobe of ?Surfers? Top Fuel dragster fame and the ubiquitous Nye Frank massaged the aluminum panels used to form the car?s slippery envelope, with assistance from the talented Louie Teckenoff.

The completed streamliner?s first tests at Bonneville showed great promise. Thompson initially drove it to approximately 365 MPH, eventually reaching a terminal speed in excess of 400 MPH, but rain flooded the dry lakebed, preventing another record attempt. Ford subsequently pulled its sponsorship, Thompson moved on to other racing activities, and the quest for a new record was abandoned.

Having already retired from racing, Mickey and his son Danny pulled the car from storage 20 years later with plans for another record attempt, but tragedy struck; on March 16, 1988, Mickey and his wife, Trudy, were murdered in front of their home in Bradbury, California, and their grieving son placed the car and the rest of his father?s racing memorabilia into storage for another two decades.

But Danny never lost sight of the dream he shared with his father, and on the 50th anniversary of the original 406 MPH run, he took the wraps off Challenger 2 and moved it to his Huntington Beach, California, shop to facilitate its resurrection, during which he restored, retrofitted and updated the car to meet contemporary SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) requirements.

The basic machine remained unchanged; fully 32 feet in length, it is just 36 inches wide and 37 inches high at the canopy. Its 4130 chrome-moly steel tube chassis is cloaked in 68 lightweight hand-formed aluminum panels affixed by Dzus fasteners, yet it stills weighs in at a mighty 5,800 pounds.

Beneath the repainted aluminum envelope, Danny and his team executed a plethora of upgrades. The two Ford 427 SOHC engines that originally powered the car were replaced with twin Brad Anderson 500 CI dry-block, A-fuel-type Hemi V-8 engines, each driving one set of wheels and running on a brew of 87% nitromethane and 13% methanol through Accufab throttle bodies, more than doubling the original output from a combined 1,800 HP to 5,000 HP. Twin 3-speed gear boxes connect the engines through two Top Fuel triple-disk clutches, two B&J Big Boy 3-speed transmissions, two Hadley Box belt-drive engine connectors and two specially manufactured extreme heavy-duty magnesium quick-change differentials.
Suspension design is by Kar Kraft with a one-off set of ultra-high speed shock absorbers from King, while the rolling stock is a combination of SK Specialties billet 2024-T351 aluminum wheels fitted with Mickey Thompson Bonneville LSR tires with 1/32-inch rubber/prototype nylon weave/banded steel reinforcements to withstand the tremendous centrifugal loads of 400-plus MPH speeds. New engine mounts, cockpit driver controls, fresh air tanks, steering-wheel-mounted air shifters and a three-bottle fire suppression system were added along with a new steering system. Four carbon-ceramic disc brakes and dual 400 MPH-rated parachutes with 4-foot blossoms ensure safe, sure stops.

On August 12, 2018, Danny Thompson drove the resurrected Challenger 2 to a new SCTA AA/Fuel Streamliner record of 448.757 MPH, vindicating his father?s faith in the streamliner and closing the circle on a 50-year quest to return the Thompson family name to the top of the Bonneville record books.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 11:58:59 AM by J79 »
"My, people come and go so quickly here." Dorothy, from the movie Wizard of Oz.

"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure, and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, 1874-1922.

From the movie Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper:

"Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt boy... Mandrake, come over here, the Red Coats are coming!"

"He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious "automotive" bodily fluids."

Offline 4-barrel Mike

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Mike Kelly - PROUD owner of the V4F that powered the #1931 VGC to a 82.803 mph record in 2008!

Offline dw230

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I believe that Speed Demon set a record at 462 at a Cook Shootout event.

DW
White Goose Bar - Where LSR is a lifestyle
Alcohol - because no good story starts with a salad.

Offline Elmo Rodge

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Dan, 462 was one way. I was there, too.  :cheers:
Wayno

Offline J79

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Would it have been easier to bring a lowering trailer,  push the car on to the trailer, then tow the vehicle so it's facing the direction they want to go? As compared to installing 4 jacks on the car to lift it and slide a rotating device under it.

In this video, he briefly shows the lifting jacks.
Youtube video showing a tour of the car with the body panels off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgRL4ktwlZI
"My, people come and go so quickly here." Dorothy, from the movie Wizard of Oz.

"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure, and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, 1874-1922.

From the movie Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper:

"Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt boy... Mandrake, come over here, the Red Coats are coming!"

"He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious "automotive" bodily fluids."

Offline TrickyDicky

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Dan, 462 was one way. I was there, too.  :cheers:
Wayno
Anyone remember which year Speed Demon made the 462 run?

Offline J79

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Dan, 462 was one way. I was there, too.  :cheers:
Wayno
Anyone remember which year Speed Demon made the 462 run?

464.246 Monday, August 13, 2018. Looks like this is accurate. From this website: http://speeddemon715.com/
"My, people come and go so quickly here." Dorothy, from the movie Wizard of Oz.

"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure, and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, 1874-1922.

From the movie Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper:

"Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt boy... Mandrake, come over here, the Red Coats are coming!"

"He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious "automotive" bodily fluids."

Offline TrickyDicky

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Dan, 462 was one way. I was there, too.  :cheers:
Wayno
Anyone remember which year Speed Demon made the 462 run?

464.246 Monday, August 13, 2018. Looks like this is accurate. From this website: http://speeddemon715.com/

I think it is more likely to be the second one in that list (462.345 Tuesday, September 20, 2011).  DW remembered it as being a Cook Shootout event.

However, the Speed Demon list is potentially confusing because it (mainly) lists exit speeds, rather than the average over a mile (or kilometre).  On September 20, 2011 Speed Demon was timed at 458.159 mph for the km and 457.964 mph for the mile.  These were both one-way speeds, so there was no record set.  Only the exit speed was 462.345 mph.

The list also misses out five or six runs in 2017 for reasons that escape me.  Add another one in October 2018 (after the list appears to have been compiled), and the headline could be "Speed Demon - 47 Runs Over 400mph".   :cheers:

I would prefer to omit the four runs where the exit speed was over 400 but the mile speed was below, giving a more accurate "Speed Demon - 43 Runs Over 400mph".  :dhorse:  :deal

Offline J79

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Mecum Auction has listed an estimated selling price of $900,000 - $1,500,000 on the Challenger 2. https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0120-397299/1968-challenger-2-streamliner/
"My, people come and go so quickly here." Dorothy, from the movie Wizard of Oz.

"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure, and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, 1874-1922.

From the movie Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper:

"Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt boy... Mandrake, come over here, the Red Coats are coming!"

"He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious "automotive" bodily fluids."

Offline Vinsky

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Sunday, Mecum did a 30 minute special (promo) on the Challenger 2 streamliner and the Mustang Bullitt that McQueen used in the movie. Both are quite good stories.
https://www.mecum.com/collector-cars/
John

Offline J79

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Today, Saturday Jan 11, 2020, Lot #S130, around 11.30am Pacific Time is the day Challenger 2 goes to auction. Watch it live here: https://www.mecum.com/auctions/kissimmee-2020/live/
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 12:27:18 PM by J79 »
"My, people come and go so quickly here." Dorothy, from the movie Wizard of Oz.

"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure, and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, 1874-1922.

From the movie Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper:

"Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt boy... Mandrake, come over here, the Red Coats are coming!"

"He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious "automotive" bodily fluids."

Offline J79

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Sold for $510,000 plus additional fees.
"My, people come and go so quickly here." Dorothy, from the movie Wizard of Oz.

"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure, and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, 1874-1922.

From the movie Dr. Strangelove, General Jack D. Ripper:

"Mandrake, in the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress come here and feed me this belt boy... Mandrake, come over here, the Red Coats are coming!"

"He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious "automotive" bodily fluids."

Offline jimmy six

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Funny how folks can argue speeds. I'm OK with it BUT looking in the SCTA book the Thompson streamliner currently holds the highest record speed. He didn't receive the Hot Rod trophy as even with setting his record Poteet and his crew kept changing engines until a one way speed was higher than one of Dannys. Funny as one of the engines needed a single valve spring to make the return run and again needed another valve spring if it was to run again but there was no point. I watched Richard Catton change the first one and he told me he had one more.
2 totally different programs and there are others who also want to join the "black" hat chapter of the 200 MPH Club and I don't blame them. George has over 40 runs at 400+ which is an unbelievable accomplishment. As a owner/driver/spectator and 2 club member to LSR I can only hope something happens with the condition of the salt so we can a see or hear the 500 mph has been reached by any wheel driven and especially a piston powered vehicle.
First GMC 6 powered Fuel roadster over 200, with 2 red hats. Pit crew for Patrick Tone's Super Stock #49 Camaro

Offline TrickyDicky

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Not sure if it is funny ... but ...

Turbinator 2 has reached 500 mph.

 :clap :dhorse: :clap :dhorse: :clap :dhorse: :clap

Offline racefanwfo

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I wonder if the car would have sold for more if it had been listed with barrett jackson instead of mecum.
The speed that you wish to achieve is only limited by the depth of your wallet.