Plan Your Visit
Call Center 800.835.5237
Museum. Village. Factory Tour. IMAX. What will you do first?
Plan Your Visit
Vacation Packages
Open seven days, year round, 9:30am-5:00pm
Click here for additional hours.
Discover over 50 packages including overnight accommodations and tickets to The Henry Ford starting at under $130
Learn More

Goldenrod, a one-of-a-kind race car that shattered the world land speed record in 1965, was unveiled September 8, 2007 at Henry Ford Museum. Goldenrod joined 125 other classic cars permanently displayed inside the museum.

"We are extremely honored to add Goldenrod to our collections," said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. "This magnificent machine signifies the spirit of two young, creative and determined minds. This vehicle and the spirit and ingenuity that it represents is a clear example of ordinary people taking extraordinary measures to achieve the American dream."

Goldenrod roared into history on November 12, 1965, with a speed of 409.277 miles per hour at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, breaking Englishman Donald Campbell's 1964 record. Goldenrod quickly became a design paradigm for other land speed record race cars, and its record stood until 1991.

The Goldenrod race car was built by brothers Bob and Bill Summers, two hot rod enthusiasts and manufacturers of specialized auto parts. They were determined to create the fastest hot rod on earth, just for the sheer joy of racing fast and breaking records. In a former vegetable stand in Ontario, Calif., the Summers brothers created and built Goldenrod, which measured 32 feet long, 48 inches wide and 42 inches in height in a sleek design.

"The Summers brothers were heroes of mine when I was younger, and I am delighted to have a hand in bringing their race car to Henry Ford Museum and preserving it for future generations to enjoy as well," said Bob Casey, curator of transportation for The Henry Ford.

The Henry Ford purchased the Goldenrod in 2002 and restored it to its original glory with the help of a grant worth more than $87,000 from Save America's Treasures.

Many racing enthusiasts believe the Summers brothers created an engineering marvel with Goldenrod; visitors will be able to enjoy the beautiful design of this unique race car and be inspired by its innovative design and the its builders' resolve and imagination.

The Summers brothers and the Goldenrod at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1965

Driver Bob ("Butch") Summers stands by the Goldenrod at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1965

Driver Bob ("Butch") Summers secures his crash helmet during a demonstration run for the car's sponsors in 1965
Learn More
Goldenrod Podcasts

Listen to the stories behind the Goldenrod race car, the newest addition to the Henry Ford Museum's collection of significant automobiles. As the restoration work preceded, our curator of transportation Bob Casey interviewed Bill Summers (his brother died in 1992) about their experiences designing, testing, and driving the Goldenrod.

Click links below to download the MP3 files. Due to their size, it may take some time for them to download.

"When did you decide to build a car to beat the land speed record?"
(Length: 10 mins, 58 secs.)

"Why we named it the Goldenrod."
(Length: 1 min, 39 secs.)

"The California Highway Patrol pulled us over."
(Length: 3 mins, 27 secs.)

"Memories of my brother Butch"
(Length: 1 mins, 10 secs.)

"Butch was fearless."
(Length: 1 mins, 31 secs.)

"Did you ever race the car again?"
(Length: 33 secs.)

"Who were your heroes?"
(Length: 1 mins, 14 secs.)