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Posts Tagged ‘Bonneville Salt flats’

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LW001505

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Original caption, ca. 1951, Utah, USA — On the Measured 13 Mile Straight-a-way Course, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. Roland R. Free, Making a New American Motor-Cycle Record. Roland R. Free, of Los Angeles, Calif., riding a British-Vincent Motor-Cycle in a prone position to cut down wind resistance approximately 2 miles, on Sept. 11, 1950, established a new American speed record for 1 mile @ 156.71 miles per hour. Mr. Free’s picture was taken from an automobile running parallel to the black line while traveling in excess of 100 M.P.H. just before the auto reached the measured 1 mile zone of the 13 mile straight-a-way course, Mr. Free caught up with the automobile and immediately after his picture was taken, he gave his Motor-Cycle the gun; the photographers say it seemed like they were still, the way he left them with his sudden burst of speed. — Image by © Lake County Museum

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LW001507

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Original caption, ca. 1951, Utah, USA — Mormon Meteor. The World’s Greatest Unlimited Speed Record Maker, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The Days Run Completed. Holding All Speed Records from 10 Miles to 7,134 and from One Hour to 48 Hours. Mormon Meteor: David Abbott (Ab) Jenkins. Owner-Driver, and founder of the Salt Flats as a race course. Utah born and reared 1883. Religion, (Mormon). Holder of more world’s unlimited records than any man in history of sports. The only man who has ever driven an automobile continuously without relief for 24 hours, under supervision of contest board. Awarded champion of champions plaque and cup for the world’s safest driver. In 1950 at age 67, he made his fastest lap of 13 miles @ 199.19 M.P. H. Raced his last time in July, 1951. Now retired. He attributes his stamina to the fact, he never in his life, tasted liquor or tobacco. Average M.P.H, Distance: 199.19, 10 Miles — Image by © Lake County Museum

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Rollie Free made made history aboard a 1948 Vincent HRD V-Twin motorcycle, often referred to as the “Bathing Suit Bike” due to the scant attire of its rider, Roland “Rollie” Free.  John Edgar hired Free to make the attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Sept. 13, 1948. Free initially removed the bike seat and laid flat out on his stomach to minimize wind resistance, and when the stitching on his leathers failed and they began flapping in the breeze, he discarded them too, opting instead for a simple pair of tight bathing trunks, a swim cap, and a pair of tennis shoes. Tragedy could have been the result, but Free averaged a smoldering 150.313 mph, smashing the previous American speed record and establishing a new world record for unstreamlined and unsupercharged bikes.

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Roland Free breaking world's speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats while laying on his bike  --September, 1948.

Roland Free breaking world's speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats while laying on his bike --September, 1948.

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Roland Free breaking world's speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats --September, 1948.

Roland Free breaking world's speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats --September, 1948.

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Roland Free breaking world's speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats while photographers try to snap pictures  --September, 1948.

Roland Free breaking world's speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats while photographers try to snap pictures --September, 1948.

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Roland Free chatting with photographer at Bonneville Salt Flat --September, 1948.

Roland Free chatting with photographer at Bonneville Salt Flat --September, 1948.

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