Challenger II

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Challenger II

Unread post by jalopy » July 22nd, 2015, 2:55 pm

Looks like the "Challenger II" of Danny Thompson (son of Mickey Thompson) has gone over 400 mph.

Image ... ph-barrier

Would be good to see a 500 mph "Challenger".

Bonneville salt lake is a wash out again this year.


Shann Low
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Re: Challenger II

Unread post by Shann Low » July 22nd, 2015, 5:00 pm

Hard to believe - anyone would willingly drive that old rod thru hyper saline salt water at L Bonneville flats. :rolleyes:

I guess if your Mickey Thompson's lad, you can afford to do so, and have some one else sort the rust issues. :lol:

Mickey was the first American to break the 400 mph 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.

I remember once reading a book about the guy...
On March 16, 1988, Thompson and his wife Trudy were killed by two hooded gunmen outside their home in Bradbury, California in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.[2]

On the morning of the murder a pair of unknown assailants waited outside the Thompson home for the couple to leave for the day. Mickey opened the garage door for his wife to pull out in her vehicle, and as he headed for his own car the gunmen attacked. He was shot and wounded, then dragged out into the driveway while one of the attackers went after Trudy as she backed out. Killing her, the gunman then came back up the driveway where the other gunman was watching over Mickey and shot him fatally in the head.[2] The attackers then made their escape on the bicycles they had ridden to the Thompson residence.

An intense police investigation failed to uncover either the identity of the mystery gunmen, or a motive for the crime. It remained a dead-end until 2001, when former Thompson business partner Michael Frank Goodwin was charged in Orange County, California with the murders.[2] Before a trial could be completed that case was overturned on jurisdictional grounds by the California District Court of Appeal. On June 8, 2004, Goodwin was formally charged with the murders in Pasadena in Los Angeles County. In October 2006, a Pasadena Superior Court judge ordered Goodwin to stand trial.[2]

On January 4, 2007, a jury found the accused guilty of two counts of murder in the death of Thompson and his wife. Goodwin was sentenced to two consecutive life-without-parole terms. A subsequent motion for a new trial was denied.[2]

The murder investigation was the subject of an episode of NBC's Unsolved Mysteries and TruTV's Murder by the Book. It was also the subject of the April 28, 2007 episode of the CBS television program 48 Hours Mystery. The 2004 CSI episode "Early Rollout" was based on this murder case. TV coverage, and its fictionalisation through CSI, were cited by the defense team in the murder trial as having created a "folklore" around the case, prreventing a fair trial.[14]

Thompson, his wife and his pets are interred in the Rose Hills Memorial Park, in Whittier, California.
What became apparent to me - reading the book, was that in achieving everything he did, he seemed to basically fall out with all his business partners along the way, and eventually it cost him (and his wife) their lives... to 2 hired hit men.

I can't begin to imagine... what that must have done to his kids having to grow up without parents... maybe he was too "driven" to "achieve at any cost" including upsetting everyone essentially who "helped him along life's pathway to success" bye supporting sponsoring him etc.

That said his tire business is internationally successful to this day.

Someone I know, spent some time with Danny a few years back at Bonneville and hung out at Chip Foose factory etc, rode Harley's down route 66 & Danny seems to have made 'a good fist out of the bad hand he was dealt in life a such an early age'.

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