Utah has a rich history with the automobile and modern racing. The natural salt flat formations have attracted drivers to the state for almost a century. Originally, it was a destination for those wanting to test their vehicles or to set land speed records, but it wasn’t long before these runs would evolve into a drag racing culture.
In 1968 the famous Bonneville Raceways would officially open, marking a formalization of the racing culture that had naturally developed on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Today, Bonneville Raceways is now known as Rocky Mountain Raceways. Both the track and the salt flats remain hotspots in automobile culture, still attracting engineers, drivers and thrill seekers to put their vehicles to the test.
While the salt flats have always been a hub in automobile culture, one of the earlier events that is said to mark the beginning of racing culture on the flats took place in 1925. Ab Jenkins challenged a special train that was set up to run across the salt flats, using his stock Studebaker. He beat the train by about 10 minutes and the news spread taking an underground culture closer to the limelight. Between the 1930s and the 1970s, the salt flats would spawn many famous rivalries between dragsters. Many world land speed records would be set, broken, then re-set, only to be broken again. Even in the 1930s, some vehicles were capable of traveling over 300 MPH!
In the 1970s, much of the racing culture would shift to the race track with the opening of Bonneville Raceways. Famous drivers from the world over would come to race, bringing many racing fans with them. Bonneville Raceways was also a popular spot for the youth of Utah who would park at the fence that ran along the track and watch from their vehicles. However, this popular activity would come to an end in the late 1980s due to rioting and other illegal activities that were taking place along the fences.
Master Muffler is proud to be a part of Utah’s rich racing history and prevalent automobile culture. We love working on performance vehicles. There are few things more rewarding than witnessing the result of hard work and precise calculations being expressed through a beautiful piece of machinery. If you have any questions or need work on your high performance vehicle, give us a call. Whether you’re into racing or offroading, we can get you taken care of. We’ve got performance parts, experience installing them, and the passion to get your vehicle in top shape. Choose Master Muffler because we are as excited about your vehicle as you are!