The Beast of Bonneville
BRANDON LEGGETT''S WILD 335 MPH STUDEBAKER IS AN ABSOLUTE NITRO FUELED BEAST
Among the most respected names in land speed racing at Bonneville and El Mirage Dry Lakes, the legendary Leggett legacy ranks at or near the very top. Les Leggett's supercharged, fuel burning Chrysler Hemis have been cutting a path through the record books for decades and the Leggett star continues to rise as son Brandon has teamed with his father to field an old school, brute force monster aptly called the "Beast". No slippery modern Camaros and Firebirds here as the Leggett's have adhered to more traditional LSR standards with the original land speed racers aerodynamic choice, a '53 Studebaker with one of Lester's "Doomsday" Nitro burning Hemis driving through a four-speed Lenco transmission and a 9-inch Ford rearend with 2.50:1 gearing; a combination brutal enough to run 335 mph in the middle mile at Bonneville. There's nothing like a blown fuel Hemi on Nitro and that makes this Studebaker the fastest one in the world by far thanks to Leggett's mastery of the craft and a powerplant capable of running well over 350 mph at Bonneville.
Running in the Blown Fuel Altered class, that staggering performance was accomplished with a C-class engine of just 360 cubic inches. Its based on a -10 series KB cylinder block with a 3.9-inch stroke Velasco crank, MPG aluminum rods and Brad Anderson Stage V aluminum cylinder heads force fed By a Littlefield 10-71 supercharger with Enderle mechanical injection and an eye-watering load of Nitromethane. Pretty impressive for a sixty seven year old car that has been a universally acknowledged favorite since the 1950's and it's still showing them boys how its done after all that time. The "Beast" brings Thor's hammer to the party and beats the air into submission with Brandon's fearless driving and Leggett's horsepower magic.
The 'ol master at work, Les Leggett knows every trick in the book for making horsepower from Nitro-fueled Hemis and that makes for one cool grandpa if you're a young'un watching the magic in metal. Seen here, Les is annealing the copper head gaskets to ensure maximum sealing ability under high cylinder pressures.
MGP Top Fuel type aluminum rods swing Arias coated pistons with heavy duty thick wall wrist pins. the pistons are retained by aluminum pin buttons and the ring package is a heavy duty fuel type setup, typically steel with 1/16 - 1/16 - 3/16 rings.
Robust bottom end is double cross-bolted with billet steel maincaps
Ignition is handled by an MSD Pro Mag magneto with 8.5mm MSD Super Conductor wires.
The transmission is a 4-speed Lenco.
What's cool is the Bardahl sponsorship, a legacy name in motorsports. And now they sponsor one of the fastest stock bodied race cars on the planet.
Tuft study to determine best configuration for the rear wing and side plates for speeds over 300 mph.