The history books and visitors' brochures identify Teddy Tetzlaff as the first man to set a speed record on the salt flats of Bonneville, when he wound his Blitzen Benz up to 141.73 mph back in 1914. Teddy was ahead of his time. The first Bonneville SpeedWeek wouldn't be held until 1949, making 2008 the 60th annual event.

I wonder if Teddy would recognize the salt flats today. The terrain hasn't changed, but he'd definitely be amazed to see a mile of pit area, 500 race cars, and 3,000 spectators. He'd probably be speechless watching Fred Dannenfelzer hit 360.077 mph to set a new Blown Fuel Lakester record in the DRM Racing car. But you don't have to go half the speed of sound to set a record at Bonneville, and I think he'd cheer for Tamra Tulp going 82.803 mph in Pete Richardson's flathead four-banger '31 A to grab an open record in Vintage Gas Coupe.

Bonneville is like no place else on earth. In fact it's not even like earth-it's more like our own private hot rod planet. No buildings. No pavement. No plants. No animals. Just race cars and racers and salt. It doesn't matter how many photos or how much footage you've seen, or how many stories you've heard or read-there's really no way to know what it's like until you've been there, and there's really no way to describe it once you have. Even so, here is one more story and a few more photos from our trip in August.

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