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.
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.
listened attentively to M/T's plans, deliberated, and said "OK,
we'll build them."
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.
Gene McMannis (See Special Note
Below) working on their mechanical structure and chemist Jim Loulan
concentrating on their compounding