In Pursuit of 400 MPH

It seems that the saga of the
Speed Demon needs another update... So here goes...

You no doubt recall the previous entry regarding the Speedweek adventures of Rodder's Reunion regular George Poteet along with his land speed racing partner Ron Main. Well, they returned to the great white way a few weeks back for a special invitational event focused on a handful of streamliners. Both the four-wheeled automotive based liners and their two-wheeled motorcycle based brethren were invited. The point of all this was to bash FIA and FIM speed records into the nether regions at the
TOP 1 Oil World Land Speed Shootout, an event conceived expressly to pursue land speed records via these special purpose machines. No spectators, just the invited LSR vehicles.

Did it work? You be the judge... The Speed Demon set a (so far) "unofficial" one mile record of 345.522 (the number is awaiting certification by the FIA). George also took ownership of a naturally aspirated record with the "Demon" at 250.853 MPH. But it was an "unofficial" one-way exit clocking of 390.560 with the turbocharged engine that left onlookers amazed.

Digest that last number for a moment... 390 plus from a four cylinder Mopar "half hemi" engine. Not an official record, but oh so close to the Speed Demon gang's long stated goal of cracking 400 MPH. Apparently, it's only a matter of time before it happens.

This is not to imply that attaining these speeds and setting such records is some sort of walk in the park. The "Demon" suffered an engine fire during this event, cooking much wiring, and rendering another front tire useless. This after a front tire let loose at the Speedweek event in August and wreaked havoc on the underpinnings of the Blowfish. No, the pursuit of 400 MPH is more like a walk along the razor's edge.

The Speed Demon is more thoroughly dissected in this
online article from the pages of Hot Rod magazine. Meanwhile, we probably shouldn't be real surprised to see the quad century mark eclipsed before it's all said and done. Congratulations to George, Ron, and crew for the records they've collected so far, and good luck with future efforts on the briney surface of the world's fastest race course.