1959 Mickey Thompson Challenger 1 Land Speed Car

Mickey Thompson had run at Bonneville a number of times in a variety of hot-rods and modified drag cars throughout the 50s and in 1959 arrived with a four-engined streamliner built as light as it could be. He failed in his attempt at Cobb’s outright record but shattered the mark set for an American built machine with a two-way average of over 345 mph. The following year he returned with superchargers added to the engines, requiring large intake scoops added to the top of the car to feed them. In this form he became the fastest man on earth with a one way run but transmission trouble on the return meant that the record didn’t stand. Mechanical problems put paid to his final 1962 attempt almost before they began. The shapes of the car in both forms are very well replicated and for 1:18 scale models they are surprisingly small, but a measurement check shows them to be extremely close and actually a few mm too long. The panel engraving is excellent, the paint finishes to a high standard and decals are carefully placed.

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