The Selvedge Yard blog celebrates AB JENKINS, MORMON METEORS & BONNEVILLE racing.
By the late-1920s and early-1930s, the formerly elusive 100-mph mark was old news. Magnificent short-wheelbase ‘32 Duesenburg SJ Speedsters with supercharged 320-horsepower, DOHC engines could top 120 mph. Factory racer and devout Mormon Ab Jenkins set a number of records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, averaging over 150 mph in a streamlined and supercharged Model J Dusey. In 1935 Jenkins returned to the Salt and averaged 135.58 mph for 24 hours, setting a record that stood for many years.
Jenkins’ custom-bodied Bonneville record-setter was modified after the record runs and became the legendary Mormon Meteor. The ’35 Mormon Meteor, originally built for Ab Jenkins who set International Land Speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats is owned today by Cincinnati, OH collector, Harry Yeaggy and considered priceless. In 2007, the Mormon Meteor participated in the Pebble Beach Tour and took Best of Show honors at the prestigious Concours.
“This is the story about two men, father and son, their racing cars, their lives and the Salt Flats where they ran their most famous trials. Ab Jenkins was the son of Welsh immigrants, first a carpenter by trade and then a prominent building contractor who grew up with the automobile and found a new career in driving cars fast but safely.”
“Ab was sponsored by the Studebaker Automobile Company, Auburn, Cord and Dusenberg, Goodrich and Firestone tires, the Mobil Oil Company, General Petroleum, the DX Oil Company, Pennzoil, Kendall Oil and several accessory and insurance companies over his 33-year career. He spent nine years demonstrating Studebaker’s superiority over the highways from coast to coast and on timed climbs up scores of notable hills, as well as racing competitively on the board tracks on the 1920s.”
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