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1963 Bonneville Land Speed Record Holder


This ’60s land speed record holder doesn’t look quite like it did in this old picture, but if you would like to own a true record holder, the real deal listed here on eBay in Brea, California with reserve not met at $75K. This is the Johnson-Shipley Blown Lakester Special, which in 1963  was labeled as #48-B, using a blown 300 CI Hemi with a custom aluminum body clocked a two-way land speed record of 255.501 mph and a one-way top speed of 259.92 which beat Tom Beatty’s 1962 record. Please review the images below for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Below are some historical images of the car, driver, crew and the present state of the project.

As per the owner:  listed chronologically, here is the known history of the Johnson-Shipley Blown Lakester Special:

  • 1960-1961: Built by Car Craft, owned and raced by Roy Fjastad as #121B, with early “lie-flat” body and an un-blown Hemi
  • 1961-1962: Owned and raced by Johnson and Shipley as #299, still with early body and a blown 300 CI Hemi
  • 1963: Johnson and Shipley owned and raced as #48-B, using a blown 300 CI Hemi with new, custom aluminum body.  Clocks a two-way land speed record of 255.501 mph and a one-way top speed of 259.92 mph. Beating Tom Beatty’s 1962 record.
  • 1964: Johnson and Shipley owned and raced as #45-B, using a blown Hemi. Clocks a one-way top speed of 263.350 mph (The rest of the meeting was cancelled due to high winds, yielding no return run)
  • Late 1960s – Early 1970s: Owner was told that the car was displayed in Justice Brother’s museum.
  • 1970s: New owner runs the chassis and body as #45X/L in the flathead class at El Mirage
  • 1991: Car acquired by Montana-based collector
  • 1998: Restored as #48-B as a rolling display and shown at Bonneville National Speed Trials
  • 2008: Sold to a collector in Japan
  • 2012: Sold to a collector in California who re-imported the car and began a comprehensive restoration with the intent to return the lakester to the salt

The lengthy rehabilitation has been overseen by a well-known Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) judge and land-speed specialist, Steve Davies. Steve Davies carried out a high level of research into specific details of this important Lakester. During this process the original driver (Don Johnson) and mechanic (Jeff Shipley) were recently reunited with the car during the full year spent researching the history of this Lakester.

During the restoration of the body, a custom chassis table was built to ensure that the set up was per its original specifications. A period-correct blown Hemi was located and is included with the project along with:

  • Original, hand-built aluminum air intake
  • Original, hand-built aluminum fuel tank
  • Various original chassis and suspension components
  • Original firewall
  • Two original Bonneville trophies, Bonneville programs and vintage magazines
  • SCTA tag
  • Two binders with extensive documentation and photos

Also included in the purchase are several missing items that were sourced through Steve Davies over the past three years:

  • Period-correct wheels
  • Period-correct suspension components
  • Pair of NOS Firestone rear tires
  • Original, crescent-handed Stewart Warner gauges

There is much more information available on the project, so please visit the listing. This is a big, big project that those with the resources and interest can take part of. We hope to see this Lakester on the flats again someday! How about you?



  1. Avatar photo jim s

    this belongs either back racing or in a museum. but right now it is a stalled project that is going to be very costly to complete. great find.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

    This kind of thing is what gets me excited about the hobby!

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Nxpress62

    If I had a trust fund, I would now have one more thing to blow it on..

    Like 0

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