It’s a rite of passage for every car enthusiast to experience the sheer thrill of going full throttle in the land that time forgot, also known as the Bonneville salt flats. However, since most of us have things called jobs and responsibilities, we’ll have to live vicariously through the antics of one quirky automotive journalist and his used Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
The Bonneville salt flats remains at the top of the short list of places to go for any budding car nut, mainly because it’s one of the few places in the world where you can legally recreate Mad Max: Fury Road, scene for scene, with your commuter Honda Civic. With a capable sports car, it gets even more exciting because the name of the game is all out speed.
Now, maxing out a car on salt is 180 degrees removed from the experience on paved asphalt, as salt can be slushy, rough, and unpredictable.
That’s why it’s nearly impossible to get near the manufacturer’s top speed in this environment, but getting up to a ludicrous-enough speed is still entirely possible and twice as terrifying.
That’s where former Jalopnik writer and Lanky Kong stand-in Doug DeMuro comes in, as he lays out the very real issues with driving on a desolate salt lake bed, the worst of which is that you can easily get lost and die, which would probably ruin your weekend.
To add insult to potential injury, you could easily bork your car’s underbelly because of the insanely corrosive qualities of the white stuff on the ground, so a thorough wash is mandatory directly afterwards.
...And then there’s the drive.
Dancing around craggy salt flats looked incredibly stressful, and although the Aston’s 4.3 liter V8 engine screamed along at its high-RPM power band, it never managed to top 150 miles per hour, nearly 30 mph less than its manufacturer stated top speed.
For the internet dudebros that don’t get out of bed for anything less than a 200 mph trap speed, it might not have been anything to write home about, but coming from someone who has traveled at similar speeds on a paved surface, It’s a goddamn feat.