1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, Fuel Curve

Record Racer – A 1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster

Every time we take the driver’s seat of one of these old cars like this 1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, we think about what it has gone through, what stories it could tell. Very seldom do they leave actual records and certifiable documents behind, not to mention something substantial like, let’s say, a Bonneville speed record? That’s exactly what you’re looking at here.

This little unassuming 1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, known as the Vasicek-Daugherty-Slate-Law car, has done just that. In fact, it still holds a record dating back to 1991.

Let’s rewind a bit because there is more to this story. Joe Law acquired this red roadster back in 1980 with the mindset to make a cool little street car out of it. He drove it some 22,000 miles around the country, including a trip to Bonneville, where he also decided to marry his girlfriend during SCTA Speed Week, right on the starting line!

1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, Fuel CurveIt wasn’t long after that, Law gave in to his Bonneville affection and turned the ‘29 into a full blown, no pun intended, race car. Law’s race to break a record wasn’t without a struggle. The little ‘29 saw several different engines combos, but the money configuration was an injected, twin turbo, 370c.i. big block Chevy resulting in a 244.230 record, which still stands today. Imagine that kind of speed on only 106” wheel base. Scary!

Then it changed hands and went on a journey far away from the salt.


The car now belongs to Bill Rhodes who bought it a few years ago. By the time Rhodes acquired it all of the race history had been erased from the car’s persona when it was returned to the street sometime in the mid-90s. Lord only knows what it went through changing hands. The roll cage had been removed along with the twin turbo BBC. The rear fenders were long gone to make room for some rather wide rear tires along with all the Bonneville lettering.

Bill decided to keep it a street car but felt it needed to regain some of its racing history. He put the current record Bonneville class designation and car number back on the side along with the Rabbit.1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, Fuel Curve

1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, Fuel Curve1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, Fuel Curve

1929 Ford Bonneville Roadster, Fuel CurveSome rear fenders were added to keep good on the street roadster rules while adding some skinny steel wheels and Moon Discs to further finish off the Bonneville vibe. Next was to freshen up the interior along with a convertible top to make the car more enjoyable as a driver.

Aside from various other small repairs it’s pretty much how Bill found it. We think he did a pretty good job making it his own while still respecting what the car is and what history comes with it. The best part is the fact that it’s usable again while still being able to flaunt its former racing glory.

We wonder if Bill will get the itch to let it rip at Bonneville again. We’d sure like to see that!

Born and raised in the racing-rich confines of Charlotte, North Carolina, Robert McCarter is a lifelong car nut. His life revolves around it. Best of all, he is self-taught in all of his disciplines. Creative photography came first. Automotive concept design came soon after. He also possesses old world hot rod craftsman abilities reflected in his hi-level upholstery work. Evenings and weekends are solely dedicated to driving, tuning and tweaking his homebuilt ’32 Ford roadster or his pristine ’66 Nova. His deuce roadster has traversed the country on numerous coast-to-coast hair-blowing boogies. He now adds story-teller to his repertoire with his editorial work reflected her on our pages.

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