Photos: Courtesy of Aaron Brown
Video: Coyote Videos
That sticker on the side of Aaron Brown’s Uncatchable ’39 Ford land speed racing truck isn’t just for show.
Read About Our First Encounter with the ’39 Ford here:
“I use RacingJunk.com almost exclusively for my restoration business,” said Aaron, “whether it’s for a trailer, vintage race car, or land speed racer. I’ve even gotten jobs off there for the shop.”
That meant that RacingJunk was the obvious place to look when Brown decided to build the racer, and it wasn’t long before he rounded up a prize: a whole truck available outside of Dallas. “We agreed on the price, trailered it home, and took it apart,” Aaron says.
The rest is history. Well, history in the making.
The truck has been a super star wherever it goes, gathering eyeballs and accolades, but it’s more than just a show pony. Built to top 200 mph, the ’39 is fast, and getting faster, and Aaron Brown and his supporters from Roush Yates and C&R Racing are striving to turn it into a record breaker. They just had their first shot at the 200, running the truck at the Ohio Mile at the beginning of May. It’s definitely a collaboration between Brown and the two race parts powerhouses.
“I buy a lot of parts from Roush for my restoration business. Jim Melton was familiar with the project, he presented it to Mike Alvarez and we started working together.”
C&R Racing supplied the transmission and gears, and returned to retune it. None of those parts, or the work involved in tuning and installing them, are cheap. “Without the support of these big companies, the little guys couldn’t succeed,” Aaron says, grateful. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for their support.”
The car spent some time on the show circuit after it was first built. “It was a Featured Vehicle at the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals,” Aaron says, understandably proud. “It was the first time a rat rod had offered that kind of appeal. You take the vehicle anywhere and it’s fun – plus, it represents a small group of guys driven to build something. The whole project is aspirational.”
Not happy with just building an eye-catcher, the team was determined to make the rat rod a land speed dream. In Ohio, they took it up to 186mph, and they learned a lot: namely, that it’s both consistent (two passes back to back at 186.4 and 186.5 mph), fast, and not fast enough. Yet.
“I’m happy with the way the weekend went, “ Aaron explained. “The team did an amazing job, everyone at the shop, the track, the supporters, the crew, nothing ever fell off of the vehicle, it fired right away. Plus, I learned that you can’t baby it. I have to give it 100% as a driver, since the crew is giving it their all.”
In particular, Aaron acknowledges the intense work put in by his sons Spencer and Tony Brown, along with the entire crew who puts their all into it. “I’m just the driver,” he said, self-effacing. “I also want to thank the Call Family Distillers in Wilkesboro, NC, the folks at Goodridge US and UK, and http://www.vetmotorsports.org/, an organization that coordinates to bring military vets to the track. All of these groups and people have helped us to get us where we are, and are helping us to prepare for our next challenge.”
For the next pass at Ohio in June, Roush Yates is working on the engine package. “They’re doing some chassis/dyno work, and C&R is looking at the gear ratio and tranny, “ says Aaron. “We left a lot on the table for the first set of runs. We didn’t know how the truck was going to handle, so we focused on that first, and speed second. Now we have a chance to focus on speed because it handled so well. It accelerates like a rocket.”
For the June East Coast Timing Association event, Aaron is working on building his confidence and driving ability.
“We went out there, and qualifying was supposed to be 125,” he explains. “I looked down at the phone which had the odometer readings and we were going 161. We had to slow down. The second qualifying at 150, we got up to 175 and had to coast across the line. The third and fourth runs were 186.4 and 186.5. We’re consistent, but we’re not at 200 yet. But we’re getting there.”
Uncatchable may not have broken 200, but it’s already earned two landspeed records from the East Coast Timing Association, one in the B/GSS – Unblown Gas Super Street category, and one in C/GSS – Unblown Gas Super Street. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Please click here to vote for “The Uncatchable” in the SEMA Battle of the Builders.