The #43 Landspeed Lakester/Streamliner was originally built and raced by Ken Walkey, and later owned and raced by Roy Creel. Below are words from each man describing their experiences with the car.
This excerpt is from an interview with Walkey, titled “A Visit with Ken Walkey”, by Richard Parks. In that interview, Walkey talks about this Lakester/Streamliner.
“I first ran at the Bonneville Salt Flats with my first tank in 1972. Bob Higbee told me that I had to get a taller roll bar or a shorter driver for the next year. I had used the kids swing set for the frame in that first tank, so I went home, disassembled the tank, stretched it out four feet with a new frame and came back in 1973 to take the class record, 185 mph something, and the F.I.A. world record. It took me 13 years to get the F.I.A. certification with the help of Wally Parks and company.
“At Speed Week in 1973 the salt was wet. In those days the salt was so thick, they used a road grader to smooth it out and push the salt to either side of the course, like a snow bank on each side a foot or so high. I had just shifted into 2nd gear with my foot buried into it, when my new stretched-out lakester got sideways on the wet salt, so my instinct was to stay in it and just "dirt track it." Before I knew it I was flipping in midair, something came into the cockpit, smashed my right arm, and bent the steering down into my lap. I landed right-side up with the front end out of the vehicle. One of the front wheel and tire assemblies, we later determined, tried to crawl into the cockpit with me. Mike Cook came up and asked if I was Ok. I said yes, that my right arm was broken, and I would take the arm, if he could get me out from under the roll cage, which he did. Also in those days, we had an airplane standing by for just such an emergency. Without that twenty minute flight to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, I would not have this wonderful right arm I was born with.”
We will be learning more about this car during Walkey’s ownership later this month when we interview him about it over the phone, and will provide updates.
Roy Creel was the second and last owner of this car. Creel donated the car to the Museum in July 2017. With the car, he included a brief description of his experiences with it. That description follows:
"Ken Walkey started building the car as a Lakester in 1972. He ran it first in '73 and set Bonneville and FIA records in Aug. of '73 at 185+ with a 6 cyl. Datsun engine. He said they tried the wheel pants in '74 only and it didn't seem to work right.
I bought the car from Ken in 1984 and adapted it for a version of the vintage 4 cylinder engine that had been running in my '29 roadster. The vintage 4 cylinder class requires a pre-1935 4 cylinder engine, which is a very fragile foundation to build horsepower upon.
We first ran the car at Bonneville in 1985 a 178 mph on gasoline. It took 4 more years and several blown engines to sort it out, until I drove the car to 216 mph in 1989 on fuel. This was the first ever vintage 4 cylinder to set a record over 200 mph and gain entry into the 200 mph club. In 1990 we ran 186 on gasoline in only 2 miles of the 3 mile course and I felt that exceeding 200 on gas might be possible someday. (if the engine would last)
We set a 202 record at el mirage (on fuel) in 1990. This was the first vintage 4 cylinder to enter the El mirage 200 club.
Over the years under my ownership the car has set 12 various records at El Mirage and Bonneville, 7 of which are still standing today."
-Roy Creel July 2017