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Motion Pictures MG Does It Again at Bonneville in 1957

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,241


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    MG Does It Again at Bonneville in 1957


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Some things to note:
    They entered right off 80 over a small dike to the race area, which I believe is part of the Saldero Dike
    I really like the 'fire suits' of a white t shirt and slacks.
    Minimal roll cage, as mentioned.
    Thoes racers had big (formal dances)
    And later, Mickey Thompson used the same shape for one of his runs on the salt and later the body went to Jim Travis that campaigned it as The Pumpkin Seed
    stillrunners and Dean Lowe like this.
  3. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,223


    Re typo41's comment(& others in the same vein) : We TODAY attribute "having big balls" to all the old racers ; no argument there, but you need to remember : they didn't know about today's modern "safety standards & gear" back then. That was just "the way it was done" & the quote : "Racing is dangerous & sometimes people die" was an accepted fact.
    stillrunners and Dean Lowe like this.
  4. The car that Mickey used, and wound up with Travis, was originally built by Bill Burke. Bill gave it the "Pumpkin Seed" name. He used a Bill Stroppe built Ford six in it to earn his 200mph club hat.
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  5. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,101


    Check out the Vargas print on the factory wall behind the car when Sir Moss is trying it out.

    And I like that '57 wagon tow vehicle!
  6. Here's a short video clip of Sir Stirling Moss in the MG EX181 streamliner @ Bonneville in 1957:

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

  7. Stirling Moss  in the EX-181.jpg
    May 29, 1957: Stirling Moss tests out the cockpit in his custom-built MG EX181
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

  8. Stirling Moss with the EX-181 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1957 (1).jpg
    Stirling Moss with the EX-181 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1957 (2).jpg
    August 23, 1957: Stirling Moss with his custom-built MG EX181 on the Bonneville Salt Flats
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  9. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,241


    Look at cutaway drawing and where the driver's feet are placed in the very front of cockpit- About a half inch 'crumple zone' if things go wrong!
  10. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,241


    Stirling Moss with the EX-181 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1957 (3).jpg Thats actually American racer Phil Hill in this shot... The 'test pilot'.
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  11. Friend of mine built a MG Bonnie car years ago. Went fast, I think eventually went 259.
    kidcampbell71, jnaki and stillrunners like this.
  12. #84 A ~ Modified Sports @ 1989 Speed Week (by Wade Moore).jpg #84 AA ~ Modified Sports @ 1989 Speed Week (by Todd Olson).jpg
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  13. ^^Cool, I'll add these pics to my Butch file.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  14. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,831


    Always hard to believe there is a blown Chrysler under that hood.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  15. Never to be seen again.
  16. Blade58
    Joined: Mar 5, 2012
    Posts: 303

    from apopka ,Fl

    Cool story ,and with a 4 cylinder
  17. Big Plan Dan
    Joined: Sep 16, 2015
    Posts: 134

    Big Plan Dan

    Here's a link to another MG-sponsored assault on Bonneville from the same era....

    This movie features a round race course on the salt flats with a circumference of 10 miles, with the highly modified MG racing in circles for 12 hours.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  18. wisdonm
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 431


    The latest and current MG record holder is HAMB member Chris Conrad, aka Milwaukee Midget, in his I/GT MG Midget. milw midget 800.jpg

    We are installing a totally unheard of (on this side of the pond) engine this Saturday. If it passes it's chassis dyno test, they're Bonneville bound for 2018.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  19. Jonneville
    Joined: Aug 27, 2010
    Posts: 87

    from NY and UK


    Stirling told me that the fuel cocktail they used in the '57 factory streamliner was particularly lethal - when he took his foot off the gas the toxic fumes were sucked into the cockpit, making him choke and his eyes run, a bit of a problem as the canopy was screwed in place so he and Phil had to hold their breath for as long as possible when slowing down.

    I just looked up what the car ran on and it was 86% methanol laced with nitrobenzene, acetone and sulphuric ether.

    A pal and I ran a couple of ex-factory MG racecars at Bonneville in 2007 and 2008. One was EXF, a streamlined MGF, the other a wagon built by So-Cal Speed Shop. Stirling Moss was one of our consultants, which is why I was lucky to hear more about his time at Bonneville. He said he considered it his greatest achievement, more so than his famous win in the '55 Mille Miglia for Mercedes in the SLR.

    It was a real honor being helped by Stirling, along with our other consultants and friends who included Andy Green (current holder of the World Land Speed Record at 763 and change), designer Peter Stevens (former MG design chief and designer of many fabulous cars like the McLaren F1) and Anthony Reid (factory MG racer at Le Mans and other races).

    We pushed the C/Gas/Coupe record in the SoCal wagon at 226.319 back in 2008 - see the photo at the top of this post.
    kidcampbell71 and HEMI32 like this.
  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,932



    On one of my first surf trips to the Huntington Beach area in 1959-60, was in an MG roadster. It had our two, 9 foot plus surfboards tied down on a custom bumper/windshield rack made just for this roadster. That was the simple set up to get two guys and longboards to the beach. The chatter all of the way down to the beach on this 40 mile round trip was my friend’s cool MG.

    Sports cars back then were very popular with the girls and my fiend did not let that pass. When people saw us all bundled up sitting under two longboards, they waved and smiled at us, solidifying my friend’s statement about MG roadsters and some drawing power, etc.
    But, not only did I have to listen to the sports car vs girls lecture, but up popped the story of the fast MG Streamliner that raced at Bonneville with the same basic motor that he had in his sports car. I had no idea about the streamliner and his motor, so I just shook my head and listened to the wind blasting by my ears. (From all directions)

    I do remember reading about Phil Hill driving, then Stirling Moss, driving for the record setting run. But, we were local SBC hot rod guys with little to no interest in an MG powered streamliner. Ingenuity works in all sorts of ways from little 4 bangers to big time hemi motors. So, I politely listened and learned.


    The waves were large and consistent on that day. To top the day of surfing, I got my first blast of a board in the mouth for many stitches. Then, I had to listen, again, about MG sports cars all the freezing way, (with a towel stuck in my mouth) to our family doctor’s office back in Long Beach, for some repairs. That was a day to remember. I had no complaints as it was my only way to get to the beach and go surfing at the time.

    On another day, it was a longer trip down to San Onofre State Beach. Back then in 1960, it was not a state beach, but a private club, only for members. (on the huge northern Camp Pendleton complex) We were not members, but my friend was an ex-Marine with credentials. He was able to get us on the military base with his legal bumper sticker and I.D. even though we had two surfboards tied to his custom rack on the small MG roadster. That was the coolest thing.

    Yes, it was a draw in the parking lot because no one else had two long boards almost as long as this little MG sitting there as we were changing.

    Back in 1958-60, these little guys were one of the most popular classes at Lions Dragstrip. sports cars at Lions in 1959
  21. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,615


    My MG does not go that fast. Even with the supercharger.

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