by Christopher Wilson on April 19, 2019
Of all the crazy cool, held-together-with-gobs-of-spit-and-prayer contraptions I’ve had the pleasure of photographing during Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, the belly tankers are my favorite. I think if Dr. Frankenstein were into car racing, these are the speed monsters he would have created. In their first life these belly tankers — or lakesters as they’re often called — were fuel tanks on World War II fighter planes.
After the war, however, with hundreds of these fighters mothballed, resourceful hot-rodders — noting the aerodynamic potential of these fighters’ fuel tanks — cut them in half and welded two lower-portions together, creating these utterly unique open-wheeled land torpedoes. The P-38 Lightening’s fuel tanks were a particular favorite, being perfectly sized for an engine and drivetrain.
The ingenuity and madness it took to make these beautiful Frankensteins makes me smile.
Here are some more images featured in Road & Track, in an article titled “Go,” about racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I’ve photographed there many times, and never get tired of it. The landscape is simple and graphic. The light is always wonderful due to the natural bounce coming from the whiteness of the salt. And the race cars? Well, what can I say? I’m completely mesmerized by them.
©2019 Christopher Wilson. All rights reserved.
After 15 years in the advertising world as a writer and art director, Christopher jumped off a cliff to start Christopher Wilson Photography. As an advertising creative, Christopher created a vast portfolio of powerful campaigns for some of the most recognized luxury brands there are, including Audi, Infiniti, Jaguar, Nikon and Ritz-Carlton to mention only a few. Now Christopher is bringing all that experience and passion to his photography - and it shows. Christopher leapt from agency creative to global photographer, landing projects with the most sought-after brands on the planet, and in just about every country there is on the planet.