To this day, the name Mickey Thompson still reverberates in the automotive world, as the racing pioneer served as one of the most influential figures in automotive history, leaving behind a timeless legacy that will never be forgotten. Along with his accolades and innovations in the sport of drag racing, Thompson set more speed and endurance records than any other man in history during his driving career. And the records he established at the fabled Bonneville Salt Flats will forever live in infamy. In 1958, he powered his twin-engine HEMI-powered dragster to a 294 MPH world record, and in 1959, returned with the infamous “Challenger I” setting four world records with a speed of 345 MPH. He then cemented his place in history in 1970, becoming the first driver to exceed 400 MPH. in addition, he set a slew of world records driving three different Mach 1 Mustangs.
Images credit: George Klass/Accufab Performance
Thompson’s life was tragically cut short in the spring of 1988, but as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and half a century after his father broke the 400 MPH barrier, son Danny Thompson is following in his fathers footsteps as he prepares to crack the 300 MPH mark behind the wheel of a Mustang.
Last year, Thompson drove an E-85-fueled Mustang, prepared by Brent Hajeks’ Hajek Motorports to the fastest time in history for a Mustang at 252 MPH at Bonneville. the team then returned in the fall and reset their own mark at 255 MPH. This was accomplished with a 2008 Mustang powered by a supercharged 5.4-liter powerplant producing 1,100 horsepower. With their sights set on the 300 MPH mark, a new combination is being prepared and the team hopes to hit the salt in October.
The new Mustang, again owned and prepared by Hajek, features body panels made from soy-based carbon fiber adorned in soy-based paint, with a streamlined nose to get it through the air at the incredible speeds the team hopes to achieve. John Mihovetz and his team at Accufab Performance have been tasked with building the powerplant for the effort, which will be another 5.4-liter Cobra Jet Modular engine, with four-valve CNC heads, topped a custom fabricated inlet for the twin 105mm throttle bodies situated atop a Kenne Bell liquid-cooled screw supercharger. According to the folks at Ford Racing who put the car through the wind tunnel, it will take in the neighborhood of 1,300 horsepower on the E-85 fuel to push the car to 300 MPH.