August 9, 1964: Goodyear Tire Test Trials

  • Published
  • Unknown

High-speed auto racer Mickey Thompson lost control of his 2,000 horsepower vehicle and survived a 170 mile per hour spin during tire trials on the south lakebed runway. His car, powered by four Packard engines, hit a bump at 178 mile per hour and went airborne. All four special Goodyear tires shredded, but did not blow.

Marion Lee "Mickey" Thompson was an American auto racing builder and promoter.  A hot rodder since his youth, Thompson increasingly pursued land speed records in his late 20s and early 30s.  He achieved international fame in 1960, when he became the first American to break the 400 miles per hour barrier, driving his Challenger 1 to a one-way top speed of 406.60 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats and surpassing John Cobb's one-way world record mark of 402 mph.  Thompson then turned to racing, winning many track and dragster championships. In the 1960s, he also entered cars at the Indianapolis 500. Later, he formed off-road racing sanctioning bodies SCORE International and Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group   In 1988, Thompson and his wife Trudy were mysteriously gunned down at their home in Bradbury, California. The crime remained unsolved until 2007, when a former business partner was convicted of having orchestrated the murders.  

News Search