Photo attribution, Holly Martin.
The Challenger 2 streamliner was designed in 1968 by Mickey Thompson in collaboration with Kar Kraft, and was hand built by Mickey Thompson Advanced Engineering. The seven-year restoration process was completed by Danny Thompson Motorsports with support from an elite group of racers and sponsor partners.
The streamliner is powered by two 500 cubic-inch Brad Anderson Engineering (BAE) aluminum Hemi V8 engines, with 2500 horsepower per engine, in an all-wheel drive configuration with four sets of billet aluminum BAE racing heads. Twin three-speed gear boxes connect the engines and counterbalance output, a marked improvement over the original split gas pedal and Mickey’s “intuition mechanism.” Each engine drives one set of wheels, and the engines are mounted backward within the chassis. Also included are two Top Fuel triple-disk clutches, two B&J three-speed transmissions, two Hadley box-engine connectors and two specially constructed rear ends.
The front of the streamliner houses two 30-gallon aluminum fuel tanks that hold 60 gallons of nitromethane, just enough for one full speed pass. A single run consumes about 50 gallons of nitromethane. As a result, the car's weight drops by about 500 pounds during the course of a run.
Thompson produced hand-cut engine plates and upgraded the cockpit with a race pack setup along with a new steering system. Air tanks, steering wheel mounted air shifters and a fire extinguisher system were added. The vehicle is stopped with dual redesigned high-speed parachutes with two four-foot blossoms and four carbon-disk brakes.
On the ground are specially engineered bias ply Mickey Thompson Bonneville LSR tires size 24.5x7.50-16, weighing 13.0 pounds with a tread width of 5.2 inches, a diameter of 24.2 inches and a section width of 7.5 inches. Made in the United States, these tires are prototype nylon constructed tires with banded steel and just 1/32 of an inch of tread rubber. The wheels are forged 2024-T351 aluminum.
The streamliner chassis was constructed with 4130 steel tubing. The vehicle skin is made up of 68 hand-formed 3003 aluminum panels. They are connected to the sub-frame via Dzus buttons. The old paint was stripped to bare metal prior to custom paint application.
The Challenger 2 measures 32 feet in length, with a height of 27 inches at the tip and 37 inches at the canopy, and is 34 inches wide. It weighs 5,200 pounds when fueled.
For more information about the Challenger 2, visit http://thompsonlsr.com/about/.
For more information about this historic journey, watch Danny Thompson’s Mission video and the recent Running for the Record video.
Trusted by racers around the world, Mickey Thompson tires are engineered for maximum traction with superior construction and compounding for nearly every racing application. For details, visit http://www.mickeythompsontires.com.