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Discussion Starter · #2,024 ·
Alan van der Merwe in the 3-litre Honda set a new record for a F1 car at Bonneville in 2006 with a top speed of 246mph (some sources say 248mph).

Whichever figure is accurate, it falls a long way short of speeds achieved by the Auto-Unions and Mercs before the War.
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Alan van der Merwe in the 3-litre Honda set a new record for a F1 car at Bonneville in 2006 with a top speed of 246mph (some sources say 248mph).

Whichever figure is accurate, it falls a long way short of speeds achieved by the Auto-Unions and Mercs before the War. View attachment 314102
I imagine the Auto-Unions and Mercs would be spluttering along in 2nd or 3rd gear and trying their best not to oil up their plugs at the speed the Honda was travelling at.

Aside from the Films Le Mans and Grand Prix, my 3rd favourite of all time is set at the same location, Bonneville Salt Flats, but the subject has 2 wheels and for me is just as impressive:


Anyone who hasn't seen it I would highly recommend it.
 

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Whichever figure is accurate, it falls a long way short of speeds achieved by the Auto-Unions and Mercs before the War.
But weren't those Mercs and Auto-Unions fitted with special fully aerodynamic bodies? The Honda record car had a stock, F1 type bodyshell, if you can actually call that a 'shell' anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,027 ·
The Honda had its front and rear wings removed for the same aero reasons that the Auto-Union and Merc streamliners had streamlined bodies. Your use of the word, "but", is singularly inapplicable, therefore.
 

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Alan van der Merwe in the 3-litre Honda set a new record for a F1 car at Bonneville in 2006 with a top speed of 246mph (some sources say 248mph).

Whichever figure is accurate, it falls a long way short of speeds achieved by the Auto-Unions and Mercs before the War.
The classes run at Bonneville although somewhat impenetrable at first sight are in fact logical. The F1car and the pre war cars would have run in different classes, even if using the same sized engines. The ore war cars are “streamliners” which have enclosed bodies but the F1 car would be in the “lakester” class which has open wheels. Further the MB and AU’s ran “fuel” whereas the F1 car runs “gas”.
We are not therefore comparing like with like for straight line competition, even if all cars are notionally GP cars.
Give the F1 car to a hot rodder for a month or two and then see how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,037 ·
I recall roughly 25 years ago that a 'hot-rodder' took his highly modified Gullwing to Bonneville. Its 3-litre engine was a real fire-breather that even included nitrous oxide.

To cut a long story short, his car managed 157mph, which is 2mph faster than a standard Gullwing fitted with the high-ratio final drive unit...
 
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