Racing is full of unfinished business. For Mickey Thompson, the famed driver and innovator, it was breaking the piston driven world land speed record. He came achingly close in 1960 with the Challenger I, but broke down on the return run. He struck back in 1968 with the Challenger II, but was foiled by a rainstorm which turned the track at the Bonneville Salt Flats into a lake. After his retirement from racing in 1988, he partnered with his son Danny Thompson to make another attempt. Their collaboration was tragically cut short when Mickey and his wife were murdered.
On the 50th anniversary of his father’s original 406mph run, Danny removed the Challenger II from storage and brought it to his Huntington Beach shop. Untouched for more than 40 years, he began the extensive process of restoring, retrofitting, and updating the vehicle. Danny wants to lay his father’s business to rest. For him, that means using the Challenger II, a vehicle that hasn’t run since 1968, to break a world land speed record.