Sport: Nightmare on Salt

On early runs over the bumpy, damp salt flats at Bonneville, Utah, the long, low car had slued into stomach-stopping skids. But burly, brush-cut Mickey Thompson, 30, still managed to whiz Challenger I over the measured mile at 363.67 m.p.h. to set a new American land-speed record. With that, Thompson determined to make one more try at the world land-speed record of 394.196 m.p.h., established by Britain's John Cobb.

Thompson waited as his pretty, blonde wife eased the bumper of the family station wagon against Challenger's rear and began to push. At 60 m.p.h., Challenger's four Pontiac engines bellowed to life....

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