Fittingly, as I type this the backdrop behind me is a white out. This video looks inside the Treit and Davenport Target500 land speed streamliner and it is both a glimpse at the mechanical and the human end of the effort to reset the wheel drive land speed record. The car has been appearing at Bonneville for the last couple of years and will be making what the team hopes are legitimate attempted to reset that record on Lake Gardiner in Australia during 2018.
Les Davenport is one of the best known alcohol crew chiefs in the drag racing world and he is one heck of a driver himself having taken this car to speeds nearly 400mph. The lead man on the project is Marlo Treit who has been heading to Bonneville for nearly 70 years now. He’s the man who is central to this video and central to the operation of the car.
Building one of these behemoths is an enterprise in an unto itself. The physical proportions of the thing are insane and then all of the raw materials, labor, and money, that go into it would make small countries envy the build budget. The reward? You go 385mph while figuring the car out and everyone questions if you will ever go any faster than that.
One of the amazing and difficult factors in a car like this is how much things change while you are building it. Sketches of this car began in 1998, it was completed in 2012. Along those times lots of cars like the Speed Demon and others showed up with an admittedly more high tech approach and have owned the salt since. Does that mean that Target550 won’t meet it’s goals? Certainly not but it does make this absolute monster of a machine look a little more blunt force trauma than others of late.
We love this car and seeing it in person is breathtaking. Seeing and hearing it run are even better than that.