CHALLENGER I

1959

Challanger 1959

 

 

1959:

 Mickey Thompson built this car on his own and on October 6, 1959 M/T drove it to a World Speed Record of 363.48 MPH and the world speed record in A/BFS Class which stood till 1990 when Al Teage broke it at 389.372 MPH. In 1960 Mickey made a one way run of 406.60 MPH.

The first major technical problem was finding tires capable of safe operation at speeds greater than ever achieved on land. The problem seemed so insurmountable that the project came close to dying at birth.

  Mickey had went to various major companies and asked them for tires capable of going well over 400 MPH. The Reaction: negative, Get Lost. Until he went to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

 Goodyear executives listened attentively to M/T's plans, deliberated, and said "OK, we'll build them."

  To M/T's luck, All concerned happened to be in the right place at the right time. Goodyear engineers had been working on development studies for a radically new type of tire involving principles not to be found in any other commercially available tire.

 Goodyear's design engineer Gene McMannis (See Special Note Below) working on their mechanical structure and chemist Jim Loulan concentrating on their compounding

 

 

 

Click on a Picture to ENLARGE

tires



 

 

 

 

 

Special Note: Gene McMannis who was Goodyear's design engineer in 1959, later went into business with M/T and started the Max Trac Tire Company which is better known by every one as Mickey Thompson Tires . Gene McMannis was the owner of Mickey Thompson Tires until 2006 when it was sold to Cooper Tire & Rubber Company . BACK

 

 

Prev

Back

Next

© Copyright 1990-2006 Thompson MotorSports.Com