People, Places & Racing News

SEMA Heritage—From Small Seeds

Petersen Publishing Company photographer Pat Brollier captured two hot-rodding legends hard at work on this day in May 1961. On the left is Mickey Thompson, who a year earlier became the first American to go faster than 400 mph in his four-engine Challenger streamliner on the Bonneville Salt Flats. On the right is Bill Burke, who set a personal milestone of his own at Bonneville in 1960. Piloting his tiny “Pumpkin Seed” streamliner, powered by an equally small 156-in. Ford Falcon engine (tuned by Ford engine expert Bill Stroppe), Burke set a Class D Streamliner record of 205.949 mph and earned himself a place in the prestigious 200 MPH Club.