Nolan White

Born:  February 26, 1931 Died:  October 20, 2002


Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile

12 August 2002

Bonneville Salt Flats, USA

Nolan White


Parts Peddler
2x Chevy's




Not recognized by FIA. Was the wheel-driven land speed record at that time.

He was one of the few people to pilot a wheel-driven piston engined vehicle in an official sanctioned run in excess of 400 MPH. He was from San Diego, California. He was #1 SCTA Points Champion in 1961, '63 and '64.

He had just passed through the measured mile at 422 MPH driving his famous Autopower streamliner on the first of two required runs on Thursday when the harness securing his parachutes broke as it was released at the end of his run.  He was going about 350 MPH and headed for the Interstate highway.  He tried to steer the vehicle away from the highway, but hit a soft spot and rolled the car.  The engines from his streamliner were ripped from the vehicle and found more than 100 feet from where it came to rest. Emergency crews had to cut White from the tangled frame of the car. He was rushed to an emergency center in Wendover and then airlifted to the University Hospital in Salt Lake City where he died Sunday.

White was holder of the land speed record for piston-driven cars at 413.156 MPH. 

White, a veteran of more than 40 years of speedway racing on Bonneville, had sought to break Al Teague's FIA A/I/11 International record of 409.986 mph, set in 1991.
He achieved that goal in July, when he averaged 413.156 mph on the required two runs during the annual Bonneville Speed Week trials. He had a tire blow and he also lost his braking parachutes on that run, but managed to stop the car in some slushy salt.
He was back at the salt flats last week, hoping to better his own record, and was talking about making a 450 mph run.

Nolan White