Racing at 190 mph, Todd Low made history during the World of Speed event at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Sept. 17.
Low, an automotive instructor on campus, sped off with his fifth land speed record in his‘69 El Camino. The world record is for the Classic Blown Gas Coupe Size AA. The El Camino, painted black with a wolverine on the side, boasts a 572-cubic inch engine displacement with turbo boosters.
“Most everything is custom built,” Low said.
Those in attendance at the World of Speed included over 600 high school students from around the state. The Students were invited and fed by the automotive department. The students watched over 300 international participants competing in various classes, all under heavy regulations and safety precautions.
“They require 60 safety items that we have to pass,” Low said.
Twenty pounds of fire extinguisher equipment and a full fire suit are just a few of the items participants are required to carry.
Since school started, Low and his team of six students worked every day until midnight to get ready for the competition.
“The students all contribute to the El Camino,” Todd said. “We work as a team.”
When asked how much the students participate in working on the car, student and Team Crew Chief Tony Anguiano said, “Todd tells me what needs to be done and I delegate it to everyone.”
One of those delegated students, Rina Robinson, is a sophomore and vice president of UVU’s automotive club. Robinson works mostly logging data and fuel performance on the El Camino.
The El Camino was a “rusty old car sitting in a field,” Low said, before he purchased it and fixed it up to race in 2006.
The El Camino burned a hole in one of the pistons, which will require a new $10,000 engine replacement. Although the team has some grants and sponsors, most of the money comes out of Low’s pocket, and the team is currently looking for more sponsors.