The Bonneville Speedweek is a can’t-miss event on the calendar and anybody that has any remote interest in speed - that’s all of us - have been whetting their appetites in anticipation of what records are going to be broken in Utah. This year, a familiar vehicle to Bonneville has returned with some pretty lofty goals: become the fastest wheel-driven car in history.

We saw them break 366 mph without a sweat last year at the same event, and now Spectre Performance and its SpeedLiner are back for more. Since its record-breaking run at Bonneville last year, the SpeedLiner has gone on and upped the ante even more, having clocked a top speed of 415 mph at the Top Speed Shootout sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile last year.

So what’s the goal for Spectre Performance this year? Simple: break 430 mph.

If and when the Spectre Performance SpeedLiner does break its goal, we’ll have a video of their record-breaking performance when it becomes available. In the time, you can find out more about the Spectre Performance SpeedLiner after the jump.

  • 2011 Spectre Performance SpeedLiner
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    air-shifted five-speed transmission
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    over 2,000
  • Top Speed:
    366 mph

History and Design

2011 Spectre Performance SpeedLiner Exterior
- image 412712

The Spectre Performance SpeedLiner began its life - believe it or not - as a fuel tank for a Canadian VooDoo bomber and has since evolved into the SpeedLiner at Performance Fabrication in San Carlos, California.

In the years since, the SpeedLiner has been built specifically to compete in the Unlimited Blown Gas Streamliner (AA/BGS) class, where it secured numerous records, thanks in large part to its aerodynamic features.

The vehicle measures 38 feet long and is only 29" wide, taking the visual look of a huge dart traveling along the Bonneville Salt Flats at speeds in excess of 400 mph.

To build a car that is as aerodynamically streamlined as the SpeedLiner, Spectre Performance used body panels that were hand-crafted out of aluminum with hammers and English wheels at the Northern California shop. Aerodynamicist, Ken Rappaport, was also consulted on the project and designed a tapered tail section that helps it slip through the air at high speed.

Other elements of the SpeedLiner are also larger than life compared to what we’re accustomed to. For starters, the fuel tank carries 16 gallons, and that’s just for one run. Meanwhile, the intercooler tank holds 32 gallons while the engine coolant tank holds 36 gallons. Then there are the carbon-fiber brake rotors, which are 12 inches in diameter and serve as back-ups for the two 25-square-foot parachutes at the back.


2011 Spectre Performance SpeedLiner
- image 412714

The Spectre Performance team always brings five engines with them, one for each class the SpeedLiner competes in. All these engines come from 1960’s-era Cadillac blocks, heads and cranks with the usual race-ready components, Garrett turbochargers, and an air-shifted five-speed transmission. They have also been slightly modified with racing internals and intercooled turbochargers, with two of the engines capable of producing a staggering output of 2,000 horsepower.

Previous Bonneville Run

Last year, Spectre Performance went to Bonneville to give the SpeedLiner a shakedown unlike any other. With a goal of breaking the 400-mph barrier in a four-wheeled, gas-powered vehicle, Bonneville instead settled for a speed of 366 mph while also breaking a number of speed records in the process.

Since then, the team has achieved the landmark speed of 400 mph when it hit 415 mph at the Top Speed Shootout sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile last year.

What’s Happening This Year?

2011 Spectre Performance SpeedLiner Exterior
- image 412713

As one of the premier events in the motorsports calendar, the Bonneville Speedweek offers would-be teams and individuals the simplest form of racing: go from point A to point B at the highest possible speed. For this year’s event, Spectre Performance has but one goal: break 430 mph.

If the SpeedLiner manages to break this barrier, the vehicle would stake claim to the title of being the fastest wheel-driven car in history.

High stakes, indeed.

2011 Spectre Performance SpeedLiner
- image 412715
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Show Comments


  (776) posted on 02.1.2012

I really can’t imagine that there is a vehicle that looks like this one. The concept is amazing or should I say all things about this are so amazing. It looks like a dart traveling along the Bonneville Salt Flats.

  (427) posted on 12.6.2011

Is it, a jet or a limousine? The platform of this Spectre is so confusing! However, I must say that I’m really impressed with its 2,000 horsepower that has a 366 mph maximum speed!

  (630) posted on 09.9.2011

The blasting of the SpeedLiner is quite impressive! Although, it looks so strange, I have to say that I’m impressed with the speed performance of the car. Bonneville really is exciting this year! 

  (599) posted on 09.9.2011

Bonneville is a great place to test a vehicle! With the platform of the car, I think its just easy to make it blast in the track! I wonder if this car contains the rocket speed? 

  (526) posted on 08.24.2011

Well, let’s just hope for its success.. And hope that the same thing that happen to the Bluebird Electric Team won’t happen Spectre Performance SpeedLiner. I’ll wait for its record breaking video.

  (328) posted on 08.18.2011

Compare to the electric powered Bluebird Team vehicle, the deliver power output of this car is quite incredible. The 2,000 hp is equivalent to the two Bugatti Veyron. I wonder on how it feels to drive on this perfectly speedy car!

  (347) posted on 08.18.2011

Oh! I just remember the Bluebird Team that attempts to make a world record. It seems that there’s a lot of jet-engine powered vehicle that wants to get in the prestigious Guinness World Book of Record.

  (595) posted on 08.18.2011

I wonder why it will be done in Utah. I will not be a able to watch this. By the way, I’m sure that they can break their own record, since they can now deliver 2000 HP. The five engines they provided can still deliver a very powerful output.

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