Milestone: Danny Thompson’s Challenger II Is On The Bonneville Salt Right Now! Test Session This Weekend – Check Here For Details


Milestone: Danny Thompson’s Challenger II Is On The Bonneville Salt Right Now! Test Session This Weekend – Check Here For Details

(Photos by Peter Vincent and Holly Martin) – Well the dream has become a reality for Danny Thompson and now the rest of the world will get to see how that reality plays out because the awesome Challenger II streamliner is officially on the salt at Bonneville for the USFRA (Utah Salt Flats Racing Association) test session. Think of this as a “test-n-tune” meet for competitors to use for final tweaks, shakedowns, and adjustments before the flood gates open in a month for the SCTA’s famed Speed Week on the salt. The huge deal about Thompson being at this testing session is the fact that it has been 46 years since the car had rolled on the awesome surface. Recently, the Challenger II ran at El Mirage dry lake bed which was the first time the car had moved under its own power in a competitive environment for decades as well and the team learned some valuable stuff at El Mirage that they went back to the workshop and applied to mechanical changes in the car.

Thompson learned that the shifting setup was virtually impossible to operate with thick fire gloves on so he revised that, there were other smaller things on the mechanical end that were addressed as well. While we do not have anyone on thew salt (we don’t think….) directly covering this event, we do have some friends out there that have their phones ready at a moment’s notice to provide any updates or news when something happens (good, bad, or otherwise). Like every year, we start getting all wound up about our annual pilgrimage to the Great White Dyno right around now, especially because the buzz builds on who is coming and what they are bringing. We’re going out on a limb here and saying that this is going to be one of the fastest meets in history because of how many big time ‘liners are talking about showing up. We’re not necessarily counting Danny Thompson’s car in there yet as this is the machine’s first year back on the salt and in the history of ever, few men have shown up with a new rig like this and absolutely blistered the barren landscape with big speeds. We hope that he does, but we also understand that this is a year of learning and development for the Challenger II.

Stay tuned RIGHT HERE all weekend long as we’ll be bringing you all the news that is fit to print on the Danny Thompson Challenger II front while he’s testing and tuning at the USFRA session over the next few days. Until then, oogle these incredible photos from Holly Martin and Peter Vincent who are on the salt with Thompson to document the resurrection of this famous car.

challenger challenger2


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12 thoughts on “Milestone: Danny Thompson’s Challenger II Is On The Bonneville Salt Right Now! Test Session This Weekend – Check Here For Details

  1. GuitarSlinger

    Fingers crossed … here’s hoping …. and keep posting those Peter Vincent photos as well if you would !

  2. Mike Cottrell

    As long as the salt is good speed week this year should be one for the record book. The salt was bad last year at speed week and all events after were cancelled due to rain. I can’t be there this weekend but I will be there for speed week. I need a fix!

  3. TheSilverBuick

    Hoping not, but I’m expecting a lot of rain this summer (followed by piles of snow in the winter….). We’ve been getting thunderstorm rains 4 out of 7 days the last couple weeks.

    1. GuitarSlinger

      Unfortunately you may be right . The summer monsoon flow has come early this year to UT [ as well as here in CO and NM etc ] and all bets are we/they are in for a cooler than average as well as wetter than average season thru out the region .

  4. JOHN

    AWESOME!!!! It gives me the chills seeing that thing on the salt. That has to be quite a moment for Danny. Best of luck to him and the team. I hope he leaves Speedweek with a record!!! I have never rooted for someone more deserving of a record.

  5. Göran

    Good luck Danny!
    Your father is probably sitting up above as your biggest fan.
    Hope you break the record and show them that Thompsons are Kings of Bonneville.

    / Göran ,Sweden.

  6. 38P

    Nice deal for Mr. Thompson . . .

    But I can’t really get excited about it without the SOHC mills or the vintage (if not iconic) Autolite Special livery. Kind of seems like giving the Mona Lisa a Junior-League Bob (a type of haircut, FYI) . . . or putting Elvis in Robin Thicke’s “Beetlejuice” twerking suit . . . .

    1. JOHN

      This is just testing. I’m sure this thing will be an amazing looking car once all ready to go. I would be shocked if there was not at least a nod to the original paint scheme. I mean the blue is a similar color, and is obviously the base coat…

  7. RAZ

    Anyone with that legacy is bound to succeed! It might not be this year but it will happen. I will pay attention to this one.

  8. ratpatrol66

    I heard Danny ran 245 on first test run. Not sure what they are doing for course length at this test and tune? Haul Ass Danny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. bob

    Danny,you and your team are the most rewarding at this years Bonneville Test ‘n Tune and Speed Week. To bring your dad’s Challenger II back to the salt after 40-years, what an accomplishment. And oh, what a tremendous tribute to your dad. You know he is ridding with you during every pass….

    You have made him proud!!!!

    Best of LUCK!
    Bob R.

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