Stay up-to-date with our progress.
When our engineer Tim Gibson sat down to design a new set of wheels for the Challenger II, he knew that we needed material of the highest possible quality much faster than most companies could deliver it. To solve our problem, we turned to ThyssenKrupp Material N.A. They were able to supply us with the 4,000lbs of 2024-T3 aerospace grade aluminum we needed to build just 16 wheels for the streamliner. We'll update this entry with pictures of the manufacturing process and the final product as our friends at SK Specialities shape the raw aluminum into some of the fastest wheels on the planet. Thanks TKMNA!
About a month ago, a young racer named Paige interviewed me about my dad for her sixth grade book report. I liked it very much, so I'm reposting it here with her permission. - D/T
Promoter, Innovator, Legend
By: Paige X.
Imagine living in 1960. On the morning of September 9, you will be the first American to pass 400 mph. You squeeze into the Challenger cockpit, ready to go. You are determined. You have no ounce of fear. Trying to break a speed record is just part of your everyday life. The crystal white salt glitters on the seven mile course. The Bonneville Salt Flats, a place where many others have attempted to pass the land speed record before you. Today, you would do it, because you are Mickey Thompson. You are “always looking forward to your next adventure.” You gaze upon the flat terrain the stretches far beyond your view. As the course officials give you the okay signal, you take a deep breath...Read More
This was an exciting month. A lot of the individual projects that we've been working on independently are finally starting to come together. Plus, we've taken delivery of the second engine. Twin monsters.
This month we take you into the cockpit, onto the trailer, and directly in front of the nose. We also show off some of our newly finished front end parts. Did you know that virtually all of our photos are taken by the talented Holly Martin? You should visit her new website here: www.metalandspeed.com
One of the biggest stumbling blocks on a car like the Challenger II is maintaining aerodynamic slipperiness while simultaneously providing the engines with sufficient air to properly ignite the fuel. To feed the front engine, we have a center-mounted flush duct that sits on top of the vehicle, roughly where the hood would be on a normal car. When the car is in motion, it directs plenty of air to the front engine with minimal aerodynamic impact.
The rear engine is more challenging because it is situated behind the driver’s canopy. As air travels over the canopy, it is directed upwards, creating a null space in the area a top mounted intake would normally be located. To get around that problem, my dad and his crew added NACA ducts to both sides of the vehicle adjacent to the the rear engine. But to be frank, they were one of the few parts of the original vehicle that didn’t work well. The ducts directed oncoming air into a squirrel cage, where it had to spin 180 degrees before reaching the throttle bodies. The air tended to stall within the cage, which eventually necessitated the addition of small ears to the NACA ducts. This improved their function, but had significant aerodynamic disadvantages.
My original plan was to replace the NACA ducts with a rear air scoop, which is the most common solution utilized by other streamliners. I mocked it up in cardboard, but when Tim Gibson, my engineer and aerodynamicist, saw the result he deemed it aerodynamically unacceptable. Tim’s a ridiculously smart guy, so after gathering and calculating all of the necessary data, he presented me with a solution that provided sufficient air intake without significant aerodynamic disadvantages.
His solution was a set of side-mounted straight intakes with specific veins that funnel air directly to the throttle bodies. While this superficially resembles the NACA duct solution, it is simpler, more efficient, and actually works. The master metal shaper Terry Hegman took Tim’s drawings and spent the next three weeks hand shaping the intakes into the car’s aluminum skin. I’m glad we have Terry, because there simply aren’t that many people who can do that anymore. The end result, as you can see in the pictures, is gorgeous.
See you next week.
We have amazing fans, and they send us a lot of great stuff. We repost most of it to our Facebook Page, but Facebook can be confusing, and we've received several requests to make it more easily accessible. Starting today, we'll be posting PDF copies of old Mickey Thompson articles here, where they are easy to access and read. Please note, a lot of these files are REALLY BIG, so they may take a while to download, especially on mobile devices. For that reason, we've appended the author bylines with the file sizes. Enjoy.Read More
THOMPSONLSR is more than excited to announce that AIRAID® will be joining our team as a sponsor. AIRAID® designs and manufactures the finest premium air filters, throttle body spacers, and cold air intake systems in the industry. In our articles and blog posts we talk a lot about our insistence on using (or building) only the best and most reliable parts for the Challenger II. AIRAID® products were always our first choice when they were available for our needs. Having them as a sponsor is just icing on the cake. Thanks AIRAID®, and welcome to the team!
AIRAID® is a leading manufacturer of Cold Air Intake systems, throttle body spacers, and premium air filters for cars, trucks, and SUVs. Founded in 1997, AIRAID® products continue to drive the performance intake industry with innovative design and technology advancements. Each AIRAID® product line is designed in-house using the latest CAD / CAM software and rapid prototyping tools. Once developed, each product is subjected to exhaustive real-world testing to ensure it delivers maximum performance (measured on our in-house Mustang chassis dynamometer) as well as unmatched fit and finish.
In addition to bolt-on Cold Air Intake systems for production vehicles, AIRAID® is also heavily involved in motorsports of all types. AIRAID® has an extensive line of racing filters that are used by racers competing in dozens of racing series, including NASCAR, NHRA, NMCA, SCORE, BITD, NHRDA, LOORRS, and many more.
All AIRAID® Premium Filters are produced in-house using only the finest materials available and highly specialized manufacturing equipment to ensure a level of quality control no other filter company can match. This is just one of many reasons why all of AIRAID®’s filters are backed by our “No Hassle” Lifetime Warranty. All of AIRAID®’s product lines are proudly manufactured in the USA. For more information about AIRAID® products, visit www.AIRAID.com
This month's update is all about air intakes, drive shafts, parachute tubes, and the never ending work on the front end. If you're curious about the changes we've made, our upcoming RACER.com Diary will go into a little bit more detail about the modifications.