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A Peek in the Performance Attic - Part Two

At the 1989 Bonneville Nationals, #440 recorded speeds
of 123.938 and 122.510 mph for the two-way run – a
record-setting average of 123.224 mph.




The #440 Subaru Justy has held the I Production land speed record for almost 18 years. That’s a long time for any motorsports hallmark to stand. It’s a testament to those who took #440 to Bonneville and to Subaru.


More Subaru performance vehicles in can be found attic articles, starting with part one in Version 3.2.



Bonneville Flats


Few places on earth lend themselves to driving vehicles at high speeds like the Salt Flats. Vehicles attempting record runs require time and space to reach their highest speed, sustain it for a measured mile, brake to a safe stop, then turn around and attempt the run in the opposite direction.


The Salt Flats provide an excellent space for such runs. Courses are prepared on the bed of salt that covers more than 30,000 acres near the border between Utah and Nevada along Interstate 80. The salt surface is white, and drivers follow a long, black line that extends beyond the horizon.


According to Roger Banowetz, “Bonneville is not a very hospitable place in the summer. The event is a week long. It’s mostly hot, with no shade, and likely to be windy in the afternoon. It’s subject to day-ending or event-ending flooding thunderstorms. Most teams get up predawn to arrive at the ‘salt’ (the dry lake surface is salt) when the air is cool. Generally, cool air is considered a performance-enhancing characteristic.


“At the beginning of the week, competitor enthusiasm is high and waiting lines for a run are long. As the week progresses, cars set records and go home, cars break and go home, patience runs thin and cars go home, records are out of reach and cars go home. Finally, wait time is much less for those that hang in.”



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