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Original Issue


The hottest (and weirdest) automobiles in the world are the super hot rods shown opposite and on the following pages. They race on the Bonneville salt flats in Utah, and it was there that 25-year-old Bob Bowen (left) drove faster than any other man in 1954. He put his red Shadoff Special (opposite) through the electronic mile at 252.80 mph.

Disembodied streamliner, its shell plastered with advertising, was stripped for work on twin Chrysler engines before speed run of 219 mph. Fastest of the big cars was Shadoff Special (below) which set a record of 248.26 mph

"Beast No. 5," built but not driven by polio victim Chet Herbert, reached 212.64 mph on power of two overhead valve Dodge engines. Herbert, confined to wheel chair, supervised all of "Beast's" pit work

Bulbous nose of Lakester, developed for racing on California's dry lake beds, resembled a leering shark's head

Modified roadster, a streamlined stock car powered with souped-up Lincoln engine for racing, waited for push to starting line

Howard Special, two aircraft fuel tanks with engine in one and driver in other, was hand jockeyed to a pusher starting truck

Big Kenz Special was jacked up after 245 mph run which left heavy deposits of salt on the underside of its body

Young hot-rodders pushed competition coupe with chopped (lowered) top to get it started (above). Speeding roadster pictured below is world's fastest and was first to exceed 200 mph with run of 202.07 mph at Bonneville Flats