Happy New Year everyone! 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Challenger 2. My dad, the whiz-kids at Kar Kraft, and some of the best hodrodders California ever spawned built the car over a frentic six-month period in 1968. It took my crew and I a fair bit longer to get it back into shape, but by 2016 we had a 400mph+ AA/FS record, and in 2017 we reached our highest speed ever, 435mph. We seriously considered retiring the car last year, but it seemed like a shame to miss the anniversary, and the whole team felt that higher speeds were attainable. After ruminating on it, we decided that the C2 probably had one more year in her.
That in mind, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be returning to Bonneville for Speed Week 2018. The event will take place between August 11th and August 17th. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, and we’ll have access to a better racing surface than we’ve gotten over the last couple of years. We don’t currently have plans to participate in any other events, but as always, we’ll see how things shake out.
As some of you probably recall, the SCTA’s World Finals event was cancelled last year due to rain. It was devastating news at the time, but it did mean that the streamliner has basically been race ready since September. That said, it’s hard not to tinker, and Valerie and I have made a few modifications and upgrades since then. We completed a more thorough repair of the nose cone, which was damaged during Speed Week (minutes before our fastest run in fact—Terry and Eric actually finished repairing it on the line). We also replaced a large portion of the aluminum belly pan, which had been damaged over time due to salt exposure. Finally, we switched out the previous seatbelt system with a new set from Crow Safety. They make great stuff.
Along those lines, racing, as I’m sure all of you know, is expensive. We have terrific sponsors, but the beast is always hungry, so we are looking for new partners for our 2018 runs. If you know an individual or company that might be interested in coming on board, please get in touch using our contact page.
That’s it for now. We hope to see all of you out on the salt this year, but if you can’t make it, we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date with the Challenger 2 here on our website, as well as on our social media channels. Here’s to a fast (and safe) 2018!