Dave Spangler drove the Team Vesco Turbinator II off the Bonneville Salt Flats and into history as the very first wheel-driven automobile to exceed 500 mph. The car’s speed averaged 493 mph in the measured mile and recorded a 503 mph mark as it exited the timing lights, meaning it was still accelerating.
In order to put the 500 in the official record books, Team Vesco need to make a second run, but weather at Bonneville was against them this year. That official stamp remains just out of reach.
“Dave drove the car straight and true,” Team Vesco matriarch “Jinx” Vesco said. “We have looked over everything and nothing was hurt; we are ready for our record run! It’s been a very long time in coming.”
In September, TEAM Vesco was the top record-setter at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) World of Speed with a 482 mph class record. In August, at the SCTA Speed Week, the team earned the HOT ROD Magazine Top Time Trophy with a 463.038 mph in class 3/T.
The Turbinator II is powered by a Lycoming T3 turbine tuned by Advanced Turbine Services, which feeds a reduction gear case that distributes the scorching horsepower to all four wheels at once.
“Our organization is very glad to be part of history. This an epic event and amazingly, 500 miles per hour does look different than 400,” World Finals Race Director and SCTA President Pat McDowell said.