The Dry Lake: Rat Rods and Bellytankers

05-19-2010, 02:43 PM
Went out to El Mirage dry lake last weekend and took quite a few photos of the LSR cars.

Like always, it was a journey into a past when people built fast machines from junkyard parts and speed equipment. Had to miss a Ferrari show a few blocks from my house, but it was worth it. There weren't as many cars as last year, but the ones we saw were wonderful examples of homegrown ingenuity - all kinds of strange, but functional, setups.

There are a couple of former pickup trucks here that are beyond description. They would make great models - I wish I had the skills! And how often do you see a Chevy Vega race car?

Unfortunately, the scourge of the dry lakes is the wind, and it came up around noon. The dust gets so bad that you can't see 50 feet at times. So everybody went home early. But it was worth the trip just to see the cars.

The actual LSR runs aren't that interesting. All you can see is the start, and then they disappear into the distance.

If you enjoy rat rods, LSR cars, streamliners and assorted oddities, check this out.

Photos from a previous trip are at:

05-19-2010, 02:51 PM
I've been wanting to do a 'salt' car for a long time.

05-19-2010, 03:19 PM
I've been wanting to do a 'salt' car for a long time.

Between those two albums, I hope you find the inspiration. Let us know if you start a project; be interesting to follow.

05-19-2010, 03:29 PM
Wow...I'm so jealous! Been wanting to get to the Bonneville Salt Flats for many years - one of these days. The colours of the cars look amazing against the white salt background, even the sand of El Mirage looks cool.

Did you know they recreated a Bonneville LSR meet at the Goodwood Festival? It was very surreal, stuck in the middle of green Sussex countryside!!! I was astounded by how well they'd done it. Saved some pics here, which I hope you enjoy:

I've got a 1/8th belly tanker on my to do list too - probably the So Cal car!:wink:

05-19-2010, 03:57 PM
Whoa...just found this link:

Could be fun to build!:iceslolan

05-19-2010, 05:52 PM
Whoa...just found this link:

Could be fun to build!:iceslolan

Definitely! I have Monogram's old Challenger kit; I'll get around to it one of these days. But it would be nice to build one of the less commonly seen cars. Since a bellytank is basically symmetrical, it might not be too difficult to build one from scratch. Didn't somebody make a kit for the Xydias car? I'm pretty sure it's been diecast by Autoart or somebody.

That's a great website, by the way. Thanks!

I think you'll find more shots of bellytankers in my shots from 2009. There's often a V8-60 powered tank out there. He does about 130. You see some strange things at El Mirage. Last year, a silent electric motorcycle got into the 140s. (Seems that dragging that cord slowed him down.)

That Goodwood pseudo-salt flat is more than a little out-of-place in England. Goodwood is in the south, but it's still rainy. A friend lives near there, in Penzance, and he complains bitterly about the weather. The Earl of March was lucky his salt flat didn't turn into a British version of the Salton Sea.

El Mirage is a long way from Bonneville, and not just in distance. There are no money cars out there; it's strictly DIY. But it's a blast.

05-19-2010, 06:47 PM
I'm next door to Goodwood at the moment - heard some interesting racing noises today! Don't know what was on, but spotted two new GT40s, a '63 Galaxy (in full race trim) and a beautiful XJ13 replica out on the local roads! :smokin:

Weather's been beautiful here today and got myself a tan already, but it can be bitter in the Winter. I'm guessing your pal may be in Portsmouth as Penzance is a long old drive from here! Nice place though, spent many years at college down there (well surfing, actually!)

I'm sure I've seen a 1/18th diec*st of the Xydias car somewhere? There was a guy in America doing 1/8th fibreglass belly tanks at one point. I thought it would be an easy route to use the Revell 1/8th deuce flattie parts, at least for scaling everything to size.

I'm a real sucker for the old red scallop scheme, would make a nice pair with the Doolittle Gee Bee pylon racer!

05-19-2010, 10:42 PM
What a great album, thanks for sharing this. Naturally I was very partial to the Challenger 1 pic in your post. Thanks again.

05-23-2010, 08:31 PM
Very cool pictures! Loads of neat cars, I think land speed is so much fun because you really get some oddballs. There was a resin 1:24 bellytanker on ebay now and again a while back. I wonder why no one makes a vaccuuformed skin and the builder can scratch the rest? Cool stuff, thanks for sharing!

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