first morning on the salt/set. that's my father, elmo, standing at the left rear of the transporter in the red jacket. despite how early it looks (and it was) this was the latest start that we got during the entire shooting schedule.
the redhead. for the movie, the art department covered up the lattin & gillette number (69) and replaced it with the original number (147) used in its first incarnation in the 1960s.
nothing like sunrise on the salt!
the tower in the foreground is a recreation of the old bonneville nationals timing tower, which would have been stationed at mile 2.25. the tower in the background is a replica of the observation tower used in the days before i ever set foot on the salt.
no aspect of the 1962 pits was left out of the recreation of the set. these porta-potties are only shells, without the necessities of seats and storage tanks. the real toilets used by the extras and car wranglers were hidden behind tarps that were placed behind one of the simulated pits.
a fairly accurate recreation of the timing tower, despite being located on the set's starting line instead of at the 2.25. unlike the one i unloaded a couple of times back in the early 1970s, which had a steal frame, this one was just wood and not nearly as heavy as the real deal.
much smaller than the bell auto parts tent that i remember, but it was such a treat to see this recreation.
drinking the water, prepared for consumption by multy and vera aldrich, from those little envelope-type cups was always very refreshing. multy told me it was water from the western motel with just a little bit of lemon. i was never able to get it to taste as good. one year, around 1969, i took a turn on the crank of vera's ice cream maker and enjoyed some of the best ice cream i've ever eaten.
re-creation of the scta/bonneville nationals registration booth.
the silver island mountains behind the registration booth.
as with everything else on the set, this is a great recreation of the 1962 bonneville nationals logo, one of the few years (maybe the only year) it was red instead of blue.
i love this view of the redhead! note the license plate on the trailer; another recreation for the movie.
in the days of the model-t, this was damn fast!
the lobello lakester and an offy sprint car from jim lattin's museum with bill lattin's deuce 2-door sedan.
also from lattin's museum, this is the black widow rear engine modified roadster.
muroc is a dry lake (now known as roger's dry lake) that is a part of edwards air force base. this is the dry lake that was the original primary landing site for the space shuttles, before they built the runway at canaveral.
frtiz kott (white cap) and bill lattin (plaid shirt) backs karl orr's beautiful model-t track roadster out of the car hauler. several days into the shoot, this was the car i was "blocked" with for my first big scene of the movie, to paraphrase spalding gray.
the orr track roadster. my father, elmo, in the red jacket, foreground.
the unloading continues. many of the cars the producers used from lattin's museum were not appropriate for the period. but, with so few authentic looking cars from that era still around, they used cars like this old sprinter for background.
the amazingly beautiful karl orr track t.
how'd the redhead get on this bni logo anyway?
my earliest memories of bonneville are sitting in the shade of the timing stand this structure replicates with my uncle ted and aunt emily, who operated gillette ambulance service in tooele county, utah.
props on the set
thermos city. the props people didn't have much of a clue. when the shooting began, we would see things like 8 oil cans, some seen here, in one pit. i guess they envisioned the pits to be a communal place where you brought your car to one place for a lube, another to weld something and one to get coffee.
back when bob mcgrath was driving the redhead 147 was the number hammon, whipp & mcgrath used. the "b" indicates the engine category it was in. in those days there was no gas streamliner category; it was all fuel!
my brother, mark, packing the chute. as seen in the movie, the producers wanted a shot with "the laundry" coming out. to give it a better look when it blossomed, we dumped a box of cornstarch into the chute, which is easy to see in the scene.
the stark beauty of the bonneville salt flats
the not-so-straight "black line" laid down by the film crew. floating mountain/floating island (depending on who you talk to) in the background.
the orr track t
fritz kott parks another of lattin's model t's next to the orr model t track roadster
a pair of model t beauties
mickey thompson's challenger, in front of jim travis's yellow push truck and the pumpkin seed just behind the challenger. that's travis's yellow street roadster on the right.
2 m/t 'liners: the pumpkin seed (l) and the challenger (r)
(from left to right) the pumpkin seed, the redhead the challenger and the flying caduceus
thanks to the filming of this movie, this is a scene nobody thought would ever take place
the pumpkin seed and redhead (which are not very big) look huge next to the four-engine challenger. of course, the three on the left look tiny when compared to dr. nathan ostich's jet powered flying caduceus.
sunrise on the salt flats
there is something special about the sun coming up when one is on the world famous bonneville salt flats!
floating mountain/floating island
finally getting ready to film
my father's old deuce street roadster (flathead powered, of course). that's him with his legs crossed at the front of the car; me in the pith helmet just below the number.
not unlike reality: shade is a premium on the bonneville salt flats.
"picture is up!"
lights, cameras and action abounds on the set of the world's fastest indian.
this is the scene where they give burt the pouch of money. i'm in that mess; somewhere.
even on the trailer the redhead looks bitchen!
director roger donaldson (the tall man in the green jacket) directs anthony hopkins (dark shirt with his back to the camera). elmo (in the red cap) looks on.
tony (anthony hopkins) personally told us that this was the most fun he has ever had while filming a movie.
one of the few scenes shot in wendover
william lucking (in the cowboy hat to the right of tony) portrayed motorcycle racing legend rollie free who was immortalized in pictures by riding his vincent black lightning at 150 mph wearing nothing but a helmet and swimsuit to cut the drag. i wonder if lucking realized the size of balls he was supposed to be packing?
anyone who was not on the salt prior to 1970 (?) might think the movie got it wrong with the blue shirts. they did not. they didn't go to white shirts unitl maybe 1972. these are accurate recreations of the shirts worn by the scta/bni officials back in those days. i wish i could have scored one of them from wardrobe.
sir anthony hopkins
a wendover landmark. if you look closely you can see "et mags" painted on the rocks above the western ridge motel.
army air corps squadrons used to paint their numbers on this rock on the east end of wendover. when the racers started coming they continued the tradition. the autolite logo can be seen on the left with the eelco footprint just to its right. fred larsen's name is on the right.
on top of graffiti hill. the large building in the background is the hanger in which the enola gay was maintained during training for its infamous flight into history.
east wendover, utah, with west wendover, nevada beginning at the top of the hill in the background. the movie continues at the second hotel from the bottom.
another great recreation for the movie. elmo's street roadster sits in front of the sign marking the fastest place on earth.
in reality: the original sign was much bigger than this and it was erected next to highway 40. except for size and location, it is a very accurate recreation!
notice that we have now removed the pvc roll bar from the roadster. many of the cars used in the movie were not actual race cars, or were museum pieces that were raced in the days before it was figured out that roll bars might actually be useful. so, the art department made roll bars out of flexible pvc pipe and used putty to hold them in place.
yet another amazing sunrise on the salt flats!
the race car wranglers were required to be on the salt before the rest of the crew. so, we saw a lot of sunrises. we were the first on and the last off, making for really long days and very short nights.
motorcycle sculptor, crocker collector and (as we found out on the day this picture was taken) a distant cousin of mine, jeff decker.
my first big scene in the movie. i'm sitting in karl orr's beautiful model-t track roadster which is owned by jim lattin.
the crew prepares to shoot the redhead for a simulated high speed run down the salt. notice that the number 147 has now been removed and the lattin & gillette 69 are now clearly seen. this was a last minute shoot.
the footage taken here was used to make it appear that the camera was actually following the car as it blasted down the course. the car never moved during shooting. they digitized the moving salt and black line in post production to make it look like the car was actually on course. for the dvd this scene was also used for the menu screen.
screen capture of the results from the previous shoot.
i really love the redhead's butt!
me in the red jacket on the left and bill lattin in plaid on the right.
the challenger being brought up for its simulated run down the course. the same technique used on the redhead's digital run was used for the mickey t. car.
one of the bell-ringing friends we made while filming the movie. steve schrader was a part of the crew and one of the first people we met after arriving in wendover.
me, elmo, scott chester (production supervisor) and fritz kott
this was like a ghost from the past. the first time i ever saw burt munro's motocycle (the real one) it was sitting on a carriage/trailer much like this one and being towed by an old chevy the same color as this one.
notice the other two-toned chevy behind the bike. they had three of them out there and all of them had the same rust-spot over the rear window. the attention to detail on this movie was amazing!
screen capture from "the world's fastest indian". l-r: jim lattin (black cap); unknown wfi "extra" player; fritz kott; my brother, mark gillette
screen capture (courtesy of kacky) from "the world's fastest indian". my first big scene in the movie. that's me at the top in all white next to the timesptamp.
screen capture from "the world's fastest indian". me at the top of the screen in all white bent over the karl orr 1927 model-t track roadster; anthony hopkins, center, in the indian sweater.
screen capture from "the world's fastest indian". me in all white under the chainfall in background; anthony hopkins, center.
tony hopkins (as burt munro from "the world's fastest indian") with the scta sign
sir anthony hopkins and the redhead streamliner; two legends share the screen in roger donaldson's "the world's fastest indian"!