If you ever got to drive your dad’s old banger, you might manage a top speed of 30 mph before parts began dropping off and smoke started pouring from the engine.Racing driver Danny Thompson, on the other hand, just took his old man’s car to a blistering 450 mph. And lived to tell the tale.The incredible run, which took place on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on Sunday, August 12, makes the Challenger 2 the world’s fastest piston-driven vehicle.Danny’s weekend speed dash started with a run that hit a hair-raising 446.605 mph. Averaged with an even faster outing the following day that saw the Challenger 2 reach 450.909 mph, the streamliner hurtled into the record books with a speed of 448.757 mph.We passed tech inspection. We’re officially the world’s fastest piston powered vehicle! Our combined record sits at 448.757mph.— Danny Thompson (@thompsonlsr) August 12, 2018Built in 1968 by Danny’s father, racing legend Mickey Thompson, the since modified Challenger 2 draws its power from a pair of nitro-fueled 2500-hp Hemi engines.Twin three-speed gearboxes link the two engines together and counterbalance output, a setup described by the team as “a marked improvement over the original split-gas-pedal-and-Mickey’s-intuition mechanism.”The front of the Challenger 2 holds two 30-gallon aluminum fuel tanks that contain just enough nitromethane for one full speed pass, with the total curb weight at almost 5,200 pounds.Describing the record-breaking drives, Thompson said, “It got a little squirrelly. I was almost lock-to-lock at around 430mph, which was quite an experience.” Indeed, the cockpit video (above) shows Thompson steering the machine a whole lot more than you might have expected him to, but the expert control enabled him to beat the old record by 9 mph.“In 1968, my dad, the mad scientists at Kar Kraft, and an elite group of Southern California gearheads created a vehicle that they believed had the potential to become the world’s fastest hot rod,” Thompson said on his website. “It took five decades, a lot of elbow grease, and a few modifications, but I feel like I’ve finally been able to fulfill their dream, as well as my own.”Having already achieved a record-breaking run of 406 mph in the Challenger 1 in 1960, Mickey Thompson had plans to drive the Challenger 2 himself, but his life was cut short in 1988 when he was murdered by gunmen hired by a former business associate.But now son Danny has done what he’d always wanted to do, honoring his father by taking his creation onto the flats and piloting it to a new land speed record.A version of this article originally ran on our brother site, Digital Trends. There’s Never a Bad Time to Visit Whistler, the Four-Season Outdoor Playground The Maserati Quattroporte: Luxury You Can Sort of Almost Imagine Affording You Can Sleep in Hunter S. Thompson’s Colorado Cabin 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now Watch This Bugatti Chiron Shatter a World Speed Record at More Than 300 MPH Editors’ Recommendations
EVANSTON, IL – SEPTEMBER 29: A general view of Ryan Field as the Northwestern Wildcats take on the Indiana Hoosiers on September 29, 2012 in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern defeated Indiana 44-29. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)A Big Ten football program has suffered a major personnel loss heading into 2019.Northwestern is one of the Big Ten programs on the rise, as the Wildcats are coming off a Big Ten Championship Game appearance.Pat Fitzgerald’s program has a major personnel move to make heading into the 2019 season, though.Northwestern has lost its coveted director of player personnel, Chris Bowers, to Eastern Illinois.“Northwestern director of player personnel @Coach_Bowers is joining Adam Cushing at #EasternIlinois as the team’s new defensive coordinator. He returns to the field after serving as DC for Division II Concord University in 2010,” ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reports.#Northwestern director of player personnel @Coach_Bowers is joining Adam Cushing at #EasternIlinois as the team’s new defensive coordinator. He returns to the field after serving as DC for Division II Concord University in 2010.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 24, 2018College football insider Bruce Feldman says this is a major loss for Northwestern.“That’s a big loss for Northwestern. Chris Bowers did a terrific job helping stock the Wildcats roster with really good under the radar talent,” he tweeted.That’s a big loss for Northwestern. Chris Bowers did a terrific job helping stock the Wildcats roster with really good under the radar talent. https://t.co/aJrpJ6uwY6— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 24, 2018Northwestern is set to play No. 17 Utah in the Holiday Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. E.T.