It’s being reported that during a private meet at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah today presided over by the FIA, the ‘Speed Demon’ streamliner of George Poteet and Ron Main screamed to a speed of 457 MPH, with an exit speed of a whopping 462 MPH. For reasons yet unreported, Poteet and Main were unable to perform the required return run down the salt to officially set a new world record; however, that speed marks the fastest ever recorded by a wheel-driven, piston-powered vehicle.
The Speed Demon has seen a natural progression of engine combinations, horsepower, and therefore, speed, during Poteet and Main’s march to their goal of exceeding 500 MPH. Among them have been a turbocharged 2.2L GM Ecotec and a turbocharged Dodge-four banger midget engine, along with Chevrolet V8′s and a Ford Flathead that cruised by the 300 MPH mark.
Today, the Speed Demon is propelled by a turbocharged, 347 cubic inch small block Chevrolet built by noted turbo guru and drag racing engine builder Kenny Duttweiler, who also constructed the GM and Mopar buzzin’-half-dozens that Poteet and Main originally utilized. The 347-inch mill, burning methanol, produces an impressive 1,500-plus horsepower, creating enough grunt to push the land-locked bullet to speeds quicker than many of us can fathom.