Big Red in the Modern Age of Racing
It was in 2011 that racing Big Red was taken to an unprecedented level and a massive documentary filming project was begun with the intention of creating the most comprehensive and historically accurate telling of Big Red’s ever expanding legend. To showcase the cars diverse prowess the Big Red Team campaigned the car in a wide variety of events. The Texas Mile in March of 2011 brought Big Red heartbreakingly close to the personal goal of 220mph in a standing mile. This was followed by the harrowing canyon run at Spectre Performance’s Virginia City 341 Hill climb where Big Red placed 5th overall with an very respectable weekend best time of 3:29.99 and easily earned membership in the coveted “3:41″ Club. Then it was time to once again take on the event that made Big Red famous. For only the second time in 25 years RJ enlisted Joe Pettitt to again ride shotgun and relive the legendary ride that his Hot Rod Magazine article told the story of so well in 1989.
As if this weren’t enough for one year, RJ entered Big Red in Vintage Auto Racing Association “Big Bore Bash” at Willow Springs Intl Raceway for no holds barred door to door title bout with two dozen rival Camaros, Mustangs, Cobras and Corvettes. The following year in 2012 saw Big Red competing at multiple Mojave “Flying Mile” Events as well as the expanded format 1.5 Mile â€œMojave Magnumâ€ where he set the record that still stands at 234.4mph! Later that year Big Red once again dominated the field at V.A.R.A’s Big Bore Bash.
After having repeated so many events so many times over the years, Big Red and Crew contemplated new challenges, seeking something radically different that was unlike anything the car had ever done before. The decision was made to take on the fabled world of Land Speed Racing. 2013 brought a great many changes to Big Red as she found her way to one of the great dry lakes of Southern California-El Mirage. Running for SCTA Records in a class that allowed Big Red’s traditional unmodified body style but required the use of forced induction the beast now sported an 1800 horsepower supercharged motor for the very first time ever. Â Countless other changes had to be made for both regulatory reasons as well as the pursuit of maximum speed. But with the exception of the snorkel type hood cowl, Big Red remains as true to the original as the rulebook will allow. Big Red’s LSR dreams ultimately bring her to the world famousÂ salt flats of Bonneville International Speedway. In August of 2013 Team Big Red descends on “Hot Rod Holy Ground” for an attempt at the class record of 246.767mph. Over the course of the 9-day event Big Red chewed up the salt and reached speeds in excess of 227mph. The team made many changes to the car as they evolve the strategy to reach the record. In the end, poor traction and a catastrophic engine failure doused their hopes and put Big Red back in the trailer. But with a vast amount of experience and data collected and a newfound love for the sport, the Team has resolved to return again in 2014 and as long as it takes to see it through.