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GM Performance's So-Cal Bonneville Fleet...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 2,942


  2. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 697


    I agree, they did a great job of melding the old and the new. It may not be everyones' cup of tea, but I really like the white HHR nomad in the background of picture #7.
  3. BigBlockBuck
    Joined: Jun 19, 2010
    Posts: 64


    I know anything factory supported at something as holy as Bonneville is pretty sacrilege, but I must admit GM’s fleet was pretty sweet, especially the Lakesters. It got a little lame when they rolled out a Saturn though.
  4. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,805


    A TON of heritage there. Alex Xydias is so vital to that history and keeping the spirit alive.
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  5. thanks for going to another party without me .. again

    looks like a fun evening thanks for tying it in on here:)
  6. Thanks for sharing. Thats my kinda party! i dig the Nomad too...
    a couple months ago while working on Murray Pfaff's Imperial Speedster one of the GM Engineers that had something to do with that HHR (my mind is coming up blank on his name) stopped by. He was telling me about the time Jim Minneker barrel rolled it on the salt at Bonneville at 249.793mph! Jim walked away with nothing more than a sore neck due to the incredible amount of engineering that went into the cage and safety system of that thing.
    i just borrowed these images from

    Attached Files:

  7. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    from SUGAR CITY

    What the compound on those red "tires"?? They look like some sort of gel compound.
  8. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 697


    I'd have to disagree about it being sacrilege. Manufacturers have been running and testing cars out there for years. Here is but one example:
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
    Joined: Sep 9, 2002
    Posts: 930


    That is really cool. Its hard to think that a lto of these fellows then were building hot rods and race cars out of new or almost new cars.

    It is neat to see the tradition continued in the same but totally differnt manner. and could you also imagine trying to build hotords out of todays coupes and sedans...Woof...
  10. Ugly doesn't go far enough when applied to that Cadillac monstrosity.
  11. Yeah I'm pretty curious as to what's going on with those things myself?!?! Very space age looking with all that rim and the little bands of compound.
  12. BigBlockBuck
    Joined: Jun 19, 2010
    Posts: 64


    I guess sacrilege was a little harsh. I was talking more about a racer on a budget with something they built and assembled themselves going up against a factory backed team with a virtually bottomless check book. The factories have had an awesome history with land speed racing, Mickey Thompson's factory backed efforts are legendary, but that was a different time. I wasn't saying I was agianst it, I just would rather root for the under dog.
  13. weez
    Joined: Dec 5, 2002
    Posts: 860


    It's pretty unique that the So Cal team has this identity that spans so much time, and that Alex Xydias is still involved!

    I used to live about a block from there, pretty nondescript place! My friend's girlfriend was (or still is?) a designer there, but I never checked it out.

    One thing that's no fun about car design, is that no one can talk about what they're working on, which is always frustrating to me. But most of the designers I hang out with are hot rodders anyway, so that gives us something to discuss!
  14. SAVAGE
    Joined: May 13, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Alliance Vendor

    WOW Very cool
  15. Brickster
    Joined: Nov 23, 2003
    Posts: 1,127


    I can't believe that they rebuilt the wrecked HHR. That's more amazing than the original construction.
  16. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,805


    They built a whole new car at SO-CAL.
  17. SSR push truck. Puke.
  18. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,653

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    It's always amazed me that the "retro" inspired new cars get so much criticism. I mean, we bitch about Detroit being stale, but when they push the envelope, we make fun of them.

    The PT, HHR, and SSR might not be your thing... But at least they have a personality-annoying or not.
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    (available to hoodlums around the world soon)
  19. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,670


    TJJ app!?! I'm excited!!

    I really want to know about the engines in that belly tank looking thing and the HHR.. I'm assuming the smaller pipe coming out of the side of the HHR is for a , and I do like turbos quite a bit...
  20. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,670


    And I want to hear em!!

  21. I nearly ordered a PT Cruiser before they first hit the streets. the salesman ticked me off so i didn't do it. don't care for them now but when they first came out they were neat.
    I also worked at the factory building the SSRs right up untill they closed the doors (they eventually tore it down) and got to spend a little time behind the wheel of one with the 6.0L and a 6 speed. pretty cool vehicle. got looks and compliments EVERYWHERE you went, and not much beats cruisin in a drop top.
    My latest daily driver is a 2008 HHR that i have, so far, resisted the urge to modify. i plan to drive it into the ground (i do 150 miles a day just going to work and back). i like to day dream about some day resurrecting it with an LS7 V8 and box tube chassis... but i guess i'm getting a tad off topic aren't are. ;)
  22. BStoltz
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 121


    Dam those are some sick cars.......a few years and a whole lotta luck and i might be on that design team!!
  23. Rex Schimmer
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 747

    Rex Schimmer
    from Fulton, CA

    The Ecotec lakester that they actually ran at B'ville was somewhat of a turd. I don't think it ever ran over 200, if it did it wasn't much. I talked to one of the young, "I know it all" engineers from GM that claimed to be the aero guy on the car and I asked him why it was not faster than the original So Cal lakester and he said (I am not making this up) "Well the original car had a V8 in it!" The GM lakester had a turbo Ecotec engine with enough electronics to launch the space shuttle and it couldn't beat a Bobby Meeks flat head on a little nitro.

  24. Brickster
    Joined: Nov 23, 2003
    Posts: 1,127


    I was told otherwise.
  25. Beef Stew
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,257

    Beef Stew
    from So Cal

    Yeah, they built a new car.
  26. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951


    It's unfortunate that they wouldn't 'crack the hood' on the original belly tanker to show what bonneville racing history was really all about. But that would have given a nod to the competition -as old as it may have been.

    Placing the tanker in amongst a line of GM stuff just seems to me to be misleading the public by associating a great part of past history with something that GM has never had or held.


    Long live the Flathead Ford

    (all just my opinion of course)

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  27. oaktree
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 71


    Man, I would have loved to have been there!
  28. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,084


    Exactly what I was thinking regarding 'poppin' the hood', but I do think it was relivant and fair to display the original Lakester to show where they were coming from.
    As far as "show what Bonneville racing history was really all about", don't forget the 'Jimmy 6' was there too, followed by the Cad, Olds, Buick and Poncho OHV V8's not to mention the great Chrystler Hemi and others.
  29. Bobbyhotrods
    Joined: Nov 13, 2004
    Posts: 19


    Yeah, I was oogling and photographing the HHR in the line at Sunnyville. The car was friggen gorgeous! Then 2 minutes later it was gone...stunning twice!

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