1955 Jado Special, Photo courtesy of Don Palmer

1955 Jado Special, Photo courtesy of Don Palmer

Zero to 1000

Take in the rich history of speed from the very first land-speed record to the most recent attempts. Walk along the boardwalk and take in record-breaking moments from blisteringly fast motorcycles and automobiles over the decades, as well as the impact of land-speed courses like the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. One-of-a-kind scale models and period toy cars show the evolution of land-speed vehicles, accompanied by books, photos, programs, and other memorabilia of the time. Alongside the exhibit, sponsored by Castrol, discover Mickey Thompson’s fleet, including the Assault 1, Attempt, and Challenger as well as tributes to his Pontiac Catalina and two-cylinder dragster — with its original engine.

 
 
 
 
 

Jado Special

Back in 1955, Hot Rod Magazine ran a four-page feature by Gene Alfred on a then-new salt shaker — the Jado Special. The car, a hammered ’34 three-window, went on to have a storied life before becoming a part of the permanent collection of World of Speed in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Back in the early '50s, Jim Kamboor, who worked at Harvey Aluminum in Torrance, California, decided to build a Class D Competition Coupe for Bonneville. He picked up a ’34 coupe for just $200 (it was 1954, after all), and, with the help of friend Don Alpensfel, who operated Don’s Speed Shop in Gardena, California, embarked upon his project. The name Jado came from theirs, a combination of "JA"mes and "DO"n [...]

 
 

 Photo courtesy of Holly Miller

Photo courtesy of Holly Miller

 
 
 

Mickey Thompson Attempt

Having successfully set a number of national and international records in his Assault I dragster at March AFB on May 14, 1960, Mickey Thompson returned on July 9 the following year with a fleet of cars. His intention: to break as many records as he could on the 8,000-foot runway in the day he had allotted.

The four-car team consisted of a Class F Dragmaster powered by a blown two-cylinder Pontiac Tempest, the fully streamlined Attempt powered by Class D and E four-cylinders, the blown 303 Pontiac-powered Assault I from the previous yea,r and a 389-powered Pontiac Catalina. This time, all the cars were painted dark blue, and despite the 109-degree heat, Mickey hopped from car to car and drove to 14 of 18 possible records [...]