glenn leasher infinity land speed record


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Samuel Hawley is a writer of narrative nonfiction and fiction. His books are highly eclectic. He has written about 16th-century East Asian history, 19th-century Korean-American relations, Olympic sprinting and land speed racing and a circus elephant named Topsy who was electrocuted in 1903. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.


The images below were kindly sent to me by Ron Christensen, who grew up in Wendover, Utah, where his father Paul Christensen owned the "Flying A" service station from 1954 to 1963. They are a series of stills from 8mm film of Infinity that Paul  shot on September 10, 1962.

infinity land speed record
Infinity prior to its run. That's Ron's older brother, David Christensen, in the foreground.

glenn leasher infinity bonneville
Glenn Leasher getting into the cockpit of Infinity.

glenn leasher infinity jet car
After the crash: part of a pan shot showing the Infinity wreckage and debris field
on the Bonneville Salt Flats....

leasher infinity bonneville salt flats
...and the rest of the pan showing the black lines of the LSR course and more debris.

leasher infinity wreckage
Detail from the above pan shot showing the Infinity's shattered cockpit and nose section.

infinity jet car wreckage
Infinity's cockpit, the car's metal sheathing stripped away by the force of the crash to reveal the tubular frame. Ron Christensen: "You can clearly see the red shoulder belts still attached to a cross member located behind the driver's shoulders. The lap belts appear to the black and are still there also being fed up through the large holes in the bottom of the seat (a little hard to see because of poor lighting). Notice that the aluminum seat appears to be undamaged, and that there was virtually no protection above the driver."

infinity jet car land speed record
Infinity's J-47 jet engine...

infinity jet car glenn leasher
...and more wreckage.

glenn leasher death certificate
Glenn Leasher's death certificate, "skull fracture" listed as the immediate cause of death. His body was sent back to his home town of Wichita, Kansas

glenn leasher infinity grave
Glenn Leasher's grave marker at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in Wichita, Kansas.

ron sharon david christensen wendover 1954
And thrown in just for fun, here (left to right) is Sharon, Ron and David Christensen (in helmet) posing with a race car and an unknown man (the car's owner?) at their father Paul Christensen's "Flying A" service station in Wendover, Utah in 1954. Thanks, Ron, for sending along all these great photos!

hawley speed duel land speed record

copyright 2011 Samuel Hawley