The Teverbaugh & Kirkland Bonneville Special

The Teverbaugh & Kirkland Bonneville Special

This wild ‘D” Modified was built by John Teverbaugh and Robert Kirkland to run at Bonneville for the 1957 – 1959 seasons, and was known as an innovative racer in terms of design, style, and engineering. First on the punch list is the beautifully designed fiberglass body (Corvette and Devin inspiration comes to mind) that was purchased by Bangert Ent. in Hollywood, then modified to be more aerodynamic by John with the skirts, headrest with dorsal fin, and cockpit cover all being added. The final product was mounted on a rigid chrome-moly tube chassis built by Robert. The car ran army surplus aircraft disc brakes and was actually the first car to use a parachute on the salt to help slow it down from high speed and correct it’s course if things got hairy. The Special was originally equipped with a 6-71 blown 368 Mercury engine with Hillborn Mechanical injection which should have made it good for 200 mph, but was known for blowing engines above 5500 RPM. This left the best runs in 1957 and 1958 only hitting 164 mph when the engine blew half a mile from finish and coasting through the speed traps. Before all his money and motors blew away, John Teverbaugh sold the car. It changed hands a few times and after a 13 year restoration, she was “updated” with a Chevy motor, coil overs, and rack and pinion steering when it re-emerged in 2005.

WAY better pictures than mine can be found here.


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