Bonneville Salt Flats Race Cars take Center Stage at Pennzoil AutoFair

Charlotte Motor Speedway

A dozen racers built for the Bonneville Salt Flats, representing some of the fastest cars on earth, will assemble during the April 4-7 Pennzoil AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The wide-open Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah have been used for full-throttle, top-speed competition since 1912. Hundreds of cars, trucks, and motorcycles arrive at the flats every August for Speed Week, each driver hopeful to place his or her name into the record book. Perhaps the most recognizable of land speed record (LSR) cars are the streamliners, those sleek “jets without wings” that can cross the salt at speeds in excess of 400 miles per hour. Five such streamliners will be displayed at AutoFair, including one that has recorded a 420.9mph trap speed and another with a 1,800-horsepower Chevy V-8.

The rest of the LSR competitors coming to AutoFair look more like regular street cars, although modifications to chassis and powerplants make them far faster than anything you can buy in a dealership. There is a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup that has punched its way through the air at 262.118 miles per hour. A steroidal 1985 Pontiac Firebird GTA that has blown through the timing lights at 237.217 miles per hour will be part of the exhibit. Vintage iron is a popular segment of LSR racers, and the AutoFair display will feature some of the best, including a 156mph 1929 Ford roadster, former NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham’s 1936 Chevrolet modified known as “Ghost,” a 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe, and a 1953 Studebaker Champion that has set dozens of LSRs.

During all four days of the April 4-7 Pennzoil AutoFair, the Bonneville Salt Flats collection will share exhibit space with the Best of the Best, a Ghostbusters tribute car, a motorized Rocket Ship Car carnival ride, and a 60th anniversary display of Chevrolet’s El Caminos.

The Pennzoil AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, kids can enjoy face-painting, bounce houses, and other games and entertainment in the Play Zone. Hours for the April 4-7 Pennzoil AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Single-day tickets are $13 each day for adults. Admission is FREE for children 13 and under with an adult. A four-day Weekend Pass is available for just $32. To buy tickets, AutoFair attendees can call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267), shop online at, or buy them at the gate.


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