Being that 2014 was a complete wash at Speed Week, I delved back into my photo archives to see what coolness was lurking in there from 2013. I found some cool engine shots and that got me looking for more.

While lots of people are seduced by the amazing bodies and incredible chassis fabrication at Bonneville, I am a knuckle dragging, horsepower loving kind of dude, so motors are my obsession. There are so many different ways to get your car down the salt and no two are exactly alike. They look different, sound different, and all make different amounts of power. From the old Indian motorcycle engines that are working for all they are worth at relatively low speeds to the nitro burning monsters powering a couple of the streamliners (as well as roadsters and other cars!) and everything in between, internal combustion exists in a myriad of forms on the salt. The 16 photos below don’t necessarily represent by 16 favorite engines or 16 engines I have been dreaming about, but they do show a huge cross section of power plants.

Of all the impressive stuff I witnessed on the salt, the thing that sticks with me the most is how much horsepower guys are able to get out of stuff like a GMC 302 inline six, a flathead Cadillac, and other engines of that ilk. We’re talking several times improvement over the factory rating and sustaining that power at WOT for miles and miles on end. That is super impressive stuff as even the best modern parts are at the mercy of the prehistoric aged block that they’re living in.


Turbo engines are mind numbingly awesome as evidenced by Speed Demon’s 440+ mph run using an engine that’s under 400 inches with a pair of hair dryers. It must make the big nitro guys question their path when a little Chevy that has been updated and improved( just a little…ha ha!) powers that car down the salt faster and harder than the nitro drinking Hemi mills. This is yet another reason Bonneville rules.

You choose your path and see it to the end.


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