Danny Thompson, son of late motorsports innovator and entrepreneur Mickey Thompson, has launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to return his father’s 1968 streamliner, Challenger II, to the salt course at Bonneville with the intention of breaking the piston-driven world land speed record. Accomplishing that feat requires a speed of at least 450 mph, something Danny believes is possible with upgrades and improvements he and his team have been making to the original vehicle over the past two years.
“My dad was the first American to go over 400mph in a car, but he didn’t get the record. We’re going to fix that. The Challenger II had the potential in 1968, and it has the potential today.” – Danny Thompson
The crowd-funding campaign invites interested parties to get involved and help support the project by going to Kickstarter. Based on donation levels, various rewards are offered. In addition, all backers get to vote on the paint scheme designed and applied by famed automotive designer Chip Foose.
Final assembly and testing of the streamliner occurs this winter, with measured FIA and SCTA record runs to follow next summer. More information, including high-resolution photography available for media use, can be found at thompsonlsr.com/contact.
· The car is 32ft long, 34in wide, and weighs 5500lbs.
· The skin of the car is made-up entirely of 68 hand formed aluminum panels. They are connected to the subframe via simple Dzus buttons.
· The streamliner has two engines, one on either side of the cockpit. The original 1960s setup delivered nearly 1800hp. Our new engines provide close to 4000hp.
· The engines are dry blocks (waterless), which means all of the cooling is provided by the fuel. A single run will consume approximately 50 gallons of nitro blend fuel.
· The tires are a prototype nylon weave backed with banded steel. There is only 1/32 of an inch of rubber. Any more would spin off due to heat and expansion. They are custom made by Mickey Thompson Tires.
· Primary stopping power is provided by dual parachutes that deploy four foot blossoms. There are also four carbon fiber disk brakes.
THOMPSONLSR is a multi-generational quest for speed. Mickey Thompson, the first American racer to go over 400 mph, built Challenger II in 1968 to claim the world land speed record. Designed and assembled by hot rod royalty (Kar Kraft, Epperly, Buttera, Jobe), the futuristic vehicle was mothballed after the salt course at Bonneville unexpectedly flooded during testing. Originally conceived of in 1988 as a father-son restoration, Danny Thompson and his team are now resurrecting the world’s fastest piston-driven vehicle in his father’s memory.
ABOUT MICKEY THOMPSON
Mickey Thompson was a giant in the field of American racing. He designed and built the original slingshot dragster, invented the Christmas tree starting light, and held the first patent on the wide oval tire. He founded SCORE, the sanctioning body responsible for the Baja 500 and 1000, and the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group, which pioneered indoor stadium racing. He held more land speed records than any other individual, and was the first American to go over 400mph in a car. He is a member of the Automotive Hall of Fame and five other similar bodies. He was murdered in 1988 while working to restore the Challenger II in partnership with his son Danny.