Book reviews, December 1988, December 1988

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Bonneville Salt Flats— Speed Limit 1000mph by George D Lepp. 128pp. 101/2″ x 9″ . (MRP Ltd, Unit 6, The Pilton Estate,46 Pitlake.,Croydon, CR03RY, £12.95.)

This book is claimed to be the only one available about Bonneville; about the drag races and trials which still take place there, perhaps, but Ab Jenkins wrote of the place in the days of the Land Speed Record attempts at Salt Lake and the long-distance records established there.

Lepp graphically brings out the atmosphere of these modern-day speed blasts, where you get a special hat for exceeding a two-way 200 mph. The big colour plates are a tribute to the art of the cameraman rather than studies of the cars used, and the captions tend to be repetitious. But if you like fine speed shots, of brave bikers as well as car drivers, this might be your book.

I learned some things from it, such as that the 265.553 mph Gale Banks Pontiac Firebird TransAm gains aerodynamically by having no front brakes (stopping with the aid of twin chutes), that a modified Porsche 911 holds a class record of 183.737 mph (unless the book has dated), and that a Mazda RX7 called “Rotary Rocket” has exceeded 200 mph on 530hp from its 80ci twin-rotor twin-turbo motor. WB