craig breedlove spirit of america


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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.


spirit of america sonic I bonneville
A slightly strange shot of Spirit of America-Sonic 1 at Bonneville in 1965; somehow it looks like a model. (courtesy Ron Christensen)

spirit of america lee breedlove tom hanna
Sonic 1 at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Oct. 1965. That's Lee Frank at left, Tom Hanna beside her, an unidentified Utah Highway patrolman on the right. (courtesy Ron Christensen)

bonneville land speed racing spirit of america
Sonic 1 at Bonneville, 1965, most of its body panels removed. (courtesy Ron Christensen)

spirit of america sonic one body panels
Spirit of America-Sonic 1's body panels laid out on the salt. (courtesy Ron Christensen)

bobby davids spirit of america crew
Bob Davids, circa 1965. (courtesy Bod Davids)

bob davids spirit of america land speed record
Bob Davids, 1965. (courtesy Bob Davids)

spirit of america sonic 1 repairs
Spirit of America-Sonic 1, body panels stripped off (at Wendover?) 1965. (courtesy Tom Mayenschein)

spirit of america repairs land speed record
Sonic 1 being worked on, possibly in a hangar at Wendover Air Base, Nye Frank at left. (courtesy Tom Mayenschein)

stan goldstein spirit of america manager
Spirit of America-Sonic 1 team manager Stan Goldstein, 1965. (courtesy Stan Goldstein)

spirit of america mascot dog peeing
While building Spirit of America-Sonic 1 in LA, Craig Breedlove and crew adopted two abused dogs as mascots and named them "Stars" and "Stripes." One died from the mistreatment it had received, but the other survived and was taken along to Bonneville in Oct. 1965. Here he is peeing on a Sonic 1 body panel. (courtesy Ron Christensen)

craig breedlove motorcycle bonneville
Craig Breedlove at the Bonneville Salt Flats, 1965. (courtesy Tom Mayenschein)

craig breedlove sonic 1 land speed record 1965
Craig and Sonic 1. The enlarged front side fins and the flanges sticking out above the rear wheels date this shot to late October/early November 1965. (courtesy Tom Mayenschein)

walt sheehan spirit of america sonic 1
Craig Breedlove with Walt Sheehan, Bonneville, 1965. (courtesy Bill Moore)

craig breedlove spirit of america sonic 1
Craig getting ready for a run in Spirit of America-Sonic I, November 1965. Count the fire extinguishers! (photo by Lester Nehamkin)

craig breedlove spirit of america sonic 1
Another shot of Sonic I, November 1965. That is Nye Frank in the white tee-shirt, leaning against the cockpit. (photo by Lester Nehamkin)

craig breedlove land speed record
Bonneville Salt Flats, Nov. 2, 1965: Craig Breedlove is hoisted aloft by his Spirit of America crew after setting a new land speed record of 555.127 mph. There is no way Art Arfons can come back and reclaim the record--not this late in the season. 

craig lee breedlove land speed record
Craig kissing his wife Lee after his 555 mph record. Their celebration would be short-lived. On Nov. 7, 1965, Art Arfons returned to the salt to reclaim the LSR on his first try with a two-way average of 576.55 mph. 

craig breedlove bill moore land speed record 600mph
...and still the game wasn't finished. On Nov. 15, 1965, Craig Breedlove returned to Bonneville to take the LSR back again from Arfons--again!-- with a two-way average of 600.601 mph. Here he is with his old friend Bill Moore. (courtesy Bill Moore)

hawley speed duel land speed record

copyright 2011 Samuel Hawley