Christopher Wilson Photography
Christopher Wilson Photography
 Of all the crazy cool, held-together-with-gobs-of-spit-and-prayer contraptions I’ve had the pleasure of photographing during Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, the belly tankers are my favorite. I think if Dr. Frankenstein were into car racing, these are the speed monsters he would have created. In their first life these belly tankers - or lakesters as they’re often called - were fuel tanks on World War II fighter planes.  After the war, however, with hundreds of these fighters mothballed, resourceful hot-rodders - noting the aerodynamic potential of these fighters’ fuel tanks - cut them in half and welded two lower-portions together, creating these utterly unique open-wheeled land torpedoes. The P-38 Lightening’s fuel tanks were a particular favorite, being perfectly sized for an engine and drivetrain.   The ingenuity and madness it took to make these beautiful Frankensteins makes me smile. Fantastic stuff.

Belly Tankers

What if Dr. Frankenstein created race cars?

 Of all the crazy cool, held-together-with-gobs-of-spit-and-prayer contraptions I’ve had the pleasure of photographing during Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, the belly tankers are my favorite. I think if Dr. Frankenstein were into car racing, these are the speed monsters he would have created. In their first life these belly tankers - or lakesters as they’re often called - were fuel tanks on World War II fighter planes.  After the war, however, with hundreds of these fighters mothballed, resourceful hot-rodders - noting the aerodynamic potential of these fighters’ fuel tanks - cut them in half and welded two lower-portions together, creating these utterly unique open-wheeled land torpedoes. The P-38 Lightening’s fuel tanks were a particular favorite, being perfectly sized for an engine and drivetrain.   The ingenuity and madness it took to make these beautiful Frankensteins makes me smile. Fantastic stuff.

Of all the crazy cool, held-together-with-gobs-of-spit-and-prayer contraptions I’ve had the pleasure of photographing during Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, the belly tankers are my favorite. I think if Dr. Frankenstein were into car racing, these are the speed monsters he would have created. In their first life these belly tankers - or lakesters as they’re often called - were fuel tanks on World War II fighter planes.

After the war, however, with hundreds of these fighters mothballed, resourceful hot-rodders - noting the aerodynamic potential of these fighters’ fuel tanks - cut them in half and welded two lower-portions together, creating these utterly unique open-wheeled land torpedoes. The P-38 Lightening’s fuel tanks were a particular favorite, being perfectly sized for an engine and drivetrain.

The ingenuity and madness it took to make these beautiful Frankensteins makes me smile. Fantastic stuff.

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 Part of an extensive library of imagery documenting Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flat, and featured in Road & Track Magazine.

Part of an extensive library of imagery documenting Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flat, and featured in Road & Track Magazine.