The Valley Fever Streamliner and Crew at the Grand National Roadster Show exhibit in Pomona, CA.
Brad Bosworth has a need for speed. A career welder and a life-long racing enthusiast, he paid a visit to Bonneville SpeedWeek at the Bonneville Salt Flats Race Track in Utah in 2009. By the end of the seven-day racing meet, he’d caught the itch to build a car of his own.
Three-and-a-half years later, including more evenings and weekends than Bosworth would care to count, the Valley Fever land-speed streamliner emerged from the three-car garage at his home in Fresno, California. The Valley Fever is a 30-foot-long stretch of steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Underneath the chassis is a turbo-charged motorcycle engine – a Suzuki 1.4-liter, 650-horsepower Hyabusa engine, to be specific. The entire vehicle weighs in at about 2300 pounds, and its top speed (so far) is 267 miles per hour.
“It was a really big project,” says Bosworth, a certified welding inspector and an operations manager at Fresno-based Technicon Engineering Services, Inc. “I might as well have tried to build an airplane. I had no idea what I was biting off and getting into. It looked pretty simple at the time, but when I got into the fitting and fabrication and the welding of it all, it became very complex very quickly.”
He christened the car “Valley Fever” as a tribute to a top fuel dragster of the same name that he worked on as part of the crew at Eddie’s Speed Shop in Fresno in the 1970s. “It’s kind of a historical thing for some of the local people who are involved with our car,” he says, “because they were all involved with the Valley Fever top-fuel dragster nearly forty years ago.”
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