The MacKichan-Schulz Streamliner is a completely hand-built machine designed by co-owners John MacKichan and Tim Schulz (also Driver).
They designed and built it in about nine months, but redesigned portions of it over the 22 years it was raced.
One design change, for example, was the stabilizer fin at the back of the car. It came about after the car rolled in 1991, having a blown tire after running over debris on the course.
The Streamliner is a 3,000 lb car that is 26 feet long. It is roughly 30” tall (not including the stabilizer) and about 28” wide at the widest.
The car has three parachutes; a stabilizing chute, a high-speed chute and a slow-speed chute.
The front wheels are solid billet aluminum with independent front suspension.
It has a Muncie 4-speed transmission, with dog-faced gears that positively lock into place due to the high rear axle ratio.
At this event, we had a 302 small block Chevy in the fuel class running nitrous oxide, so Tim added a modified body panel with a “scoop” for more air intake.
Other engines that run in this car include a 350 Turbo Motor, 302 Turbo Motor, and 259 Nitrous – all slightly modified, to say the least.
Tim, the driver, laid on his back with his head propped up looked towards his feet.
There is a small opening in the windshield that he looks through to see the track.
Tim is a member of the 200-mph club and the 300-mph club, which means he has broken records above those speeds.
What happens at a Bonneville land speed racing event, and how records are broken:
The Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) is the sanctioning body of the September meet. At this event, they were running two actual racing courses. One course was for 130 mph club cars only – these are your average or not-so-average everyday cars that compete against the clock for maximum speed.
The second course was split between what are called the “Short Course” cars and the “Long Course” cars. Since these two types of cars shared a course, each line would take turns sending a car down the course.
A Short Course car has a 3-mile course and timing occurs between the 2 and the 3-mile mark, at which point the car exits the course.
A Long Course car (which was this one) has a 5-mile course and timing occurs between the 2-, 3-, 4- and the 5-mile marks, the point at which the car starts slowing down. Tim would usually has the car under power until about the 5 ½-mile mark, when he would kill the engine and pull the parachutes. At 300 MPH he was travelling 1 mile in 12 seconds. The chase trucks would sit at the 6 or 6 ½ mile mark and wait for Tim to buzz by, then they could usually pick him up between the 7 and the 8-mile mark. Having literally pushed Tim into motion at the starting line (due to the high rear axle ratio), the Push Truck usually
picks up the timing slip and meets the crew at the end of the course by the time the car has been loaded on the trailer and ready to drive back to the pits.
To break a record, a car has to make two qualifying passes down the track.
Once a car has qualified for a record (makes one pass over the old-record speed), it goes to Impound, which is a secure area.
In Impound, you can only make minor changes to your car, like cleaning it up, checking the spark plugs, fixing problems, re-packing the parachutes, etc.
The next morning, you make your second run. The two runs are averaged together to become the unofficial new record.
Then the car goes through a final tech-inspection to make sure you were abiding by the rules in your class, even measuring the cubic inches.