As soon as I drove the stretch of road leading up to the Bonneville Salt Flats, I knew I wanted to be racing there one day. I’ve  attended five of the past six years, and each time the yearning in my gut tells me I’ll be behind the wheel of a car I’ve built one day reaching for a land speed record. With the amount of expertise (and money) that it takes to build a land speed racing car, I know that goal is something I need to work and learn towards.

But…I’m a firm believer in reaching towards your goals small steps at a time and jumping at opportunities that are presented. And I have a surprise…

I’ll be driving a 1955 Studebaker at this year’s 2014 Speedweek! Let me tell you the story….


No, it’s not Studie…she’s just not cut out for that job. I’ll be taking a pass in Jerry Hansen’s 1955 Studebaker Commander. Jerry and his Stude debuted on the salt at last year’s Speedweek, but I never got to meet him. My first morning out on the salt, at sunrise (as any good photographer is up at the crack of dawn), I saw Jerry’s Stude sitting in the pits all alone. With my past Salt Seeking Studebaker stories I’ve gotten to know the Studebakers out there quite well, and I know I hadn’t seen this black and gold number before – especially since it’s a ’55 like mine and the others are the slightly different ’53 front style. However, being that it was the crack of dawn the car was out there all alone, no crew to introduce myself to and say hi. Leaving the salt just a day and a half later – it was too short a time for me to make all the rounds I needed to and I never got to go back when the crew was with the car.


Much to my surprise, I received an email about a week later from Jerry. He included pictures of his car and their Speedweek accomplishments and said he was hoping he would have run into me during the week so I could sign the hood. And just like that, he offered me a driver’s seat in 2014 if I would be there. !!! I had to read through the email 4 or 5 times before I was sure what he was offering…and then still didn’t believe it!

Since then, Jerry’s been keeping me updated on changes and progress of the car via email. I feel so privileged, not just to be offered a driver’s seat, but to be welcomed into Jerry’s team and his story. The stories at Bonneville, and within the car world in general, are so amazing – and it’s the generosity of people opening their lives up a bit that has always been a huge part of my attraction to cars.


I’m looking forward to sharing more about it and can’t wait to bring you all along with me on my first journey down the salt at this coming Speedweek 2014. Be sure to subscribe to GreaseGirl so you don’t miss a thing!

3 Responses

  1. Doug Dwyer

    Hi Kristen,

    I too have had a long fascination with Bonneville and the dry lakes. I have participated in just about every form of motor sports except. In August I plan to take my two grown sons, and my younger brother to Bonneville. If I can contaminate them with Salt Fever, we will then devise on a plan, build a car and test it in 2015 with the intent of running it at Bonneville in 2016. So, If I don’t see you before then, see you in August……..

    • Kristin Cline

      Awesome plan Doug! I’ll definitely see ya then…and will be interested in hearing how your plans progress!


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