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Photographer Ray Gordon had the opportunity to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats last month as the event regularly attracts visitors from far and wind to witness speed at its finest. Gordon’s name is strongly associated with the automotive world as his intuition and skills in capturing speed and action are well-acclaimed. As he returned from Bonneville Salt Flats, Gordon shares his collection of elegant shots from his seasoned adventure.
Gordon’s full journey can be explored from the passage below:
“Cody Adams, good friend and owner of Hurst Racing Tires and I packed my 1996 Dodge shorty van full of survival gear (beer and beef jerky) and left for Bonneville Speedway 5:00 a.m. Friday, August 12th. The 12 hour drive had us rolling into the little desert town of Wendover, Utah right at dinner time. As soon as we rolled into town there were traditional ’30s, ’40s and ’50s lakes style hot rods as far as the eye could see. This was going to be a good year for speed week.
The Salt Flats are located right outside of Wendover, Utah. Wendover is split right down the middle. Half is Utah and half is Nevada. We spent most of our time in Nevada since that’s where the cars, casinos and real beer with alcohol was. It was a good night.
Up before dawn on Saturday, we headed for the salt. What a weird place. It might as well be the moon. The largest flattest place on the planet. It’s a very hostile environment. Temps reaching 100+ during the day with a giant white salty surface bouncing the suns rays everywhere. You had better make sure that you put sun block everywhere. I mean everywhere. I have heard horror stories of people wearing loose shorts and the sun reflecting off the salt sizzling their junk like bacon. The only shade you can find on the salt are the port-a-potties.
Saturday was an epic scene. Cars and motorcycles and speed freaks of all shapes and sizes came together to say fuck you to the heat and the harsh environment to break some speed records. There is work to be done. No posing here. The heat and salt have a great way of keeping the kooks away.
Sunday was just as epic and and even more people came out but a storm rolled in right when they shut the racing down at 7:00. Crazy desert lightning storm. We headed into town and watched the lightning hit all around us and rain wash all the salt off the cars and the streets flood. I always forget how crazy the desert is.
We headed for Oregon in the morning but there were still hundreds of hard core racers that got up and headed back to the salt to chase the records. There was still 4 days left to run them until they break.
Once we got back to Gods green earth It really set in just how weird the salt flats are. Literally a different planet. Hot rods in space.
I am hooked and I will be there every year for the rest of my life. I hope to see you.”