1965 Goldenrod Land Speed Race Car

Summary

In November 1965 this sleek car flashed across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats to break the world speed record for wheel-driven (as opposed to jet or rocket powered) cars. One key to its success was its long, slim shape that minimized wind resistance. The other key was the clever engineering that packed four Chrysler "Hemi" engines and the machinery to drive all four wheels inside that slim shape. Goldenrod's record of 409.277 miles per hour stood until 1991. Builders Bob and Bill Summers were part of an automobile culture unique to Southern California. This culture spawned a "hot rod economy," made up of people who made their living building cars and equipment, promoting races, operating tracks, selling equipment and accessories, and writing about cars and events. Bob and Bill's success at Bonneville allowed them to become part of the hot rod economy by starting their own business building custom transmission and driveline parts. Engines: Four Chrysler "Hemi" V-8s, overhead valves, 426 cu. in., 600hp each

In November 1965 this sleek car flashed across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats to break the world speed record for wheel-driven (as opposed to jet or rocket powered) cars. One key to its success was its long, slim shape that minimized wind resistance. The other key was the clever engineering that packed four Chrysler "Hemi" engines and the machinery to drive all four wheels inside that slim shape. Goldenrod's record of 409.277 miles per hour stood until 1991. Builders Bob and Bill Summers were part of an automobile culture unique to Southern California. This culture spawned a "hot rod economy," made up of people who made their living building cars and equipment, promoting races, operating tracks, selling equipment and accessories, and writing about cars and events. Bob and Bill's success at Bonneville allowed them to become part of the hot rod economy by starting their own business building custom transmission and driveline parts. Engines: Four Chrysler "Hemi" V-8s, overhead valves, 426 cu. in., 600hp each

Artifact

Racing car

Date Made

1965

Subject Date

12 November 1965

Creators

Chrysler Corporation 

Summers, Bill 

Summers, Bob 

Summers Brothers Racing, LLC 

Place of Creation

United States, California, Ontario 

Creator Notes

Made by Bill and Bob Summers, Summers Brothers, Inc., in Ontario, California, with engines from the Chrysler Corporation.

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

2002.103.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Aluminum
Metal
Plastic (Organic material)
Rubber (Material)

Technique

Customizing

Color

Black (Color)
Gold (Color)
Orange (Color)

Dimensions

Length: 3.75 in  (Stroke)

Diameter: 4.25 in  (Bore)

Length: 32 ft

Height: 48 in  (At top of tailfin)

Width: 48 in

Horsepower: 2400 hp  (1789.68 kW)

Weight: 6000 lbs  (Total)

Inscriptions

Logo on side: SUMMER / S / BROTHERS On side, between logo and American flag: GOLDENROD In script print on side of cockpit panel: BOB

Specifications

Make & Model: 1965 Goldenrod land speed racing

Maker: Bob and Bill Summers, Riverside, California

Engine: Four Chrysler V-8s, hemispherical combustion chambers, overhead valves, 426 cubic inches each

Transmission: Two Spicer 5-speed manuals with first gear removed, simultaneous shifting via special Hurst shifter

Height: 42 inches to top of tail fin, 28 inches to top of engine hood

Width: 48 inches

Wheelbase: 207 inches

Overall length: 384 inches

Weight: 8000 pounds

Horsepower: 2400 at 6700 revolutions per minute

Pounds per horsepower: 3.3

Competition History: Set the record for wheel-driven vehicles at 409.277 miles per hour at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The record stood for 26 years. Driver: Bob Summers.

Related Content

Connect 3

Discover curious connections between artifacts.

Learn More