Land speed racer Sam Wheeler Killed While Racing At Utah’s Salt Flats

samwheeler1Sam Wheeler, was testing his streamliner racing motorcycle at Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats when his bike fish-tailed, went airborne and crashed at 200 mph falling on the cage section where he was seated. Wheeler was alive when emergency crews extracted him from the car but died from traumatic injuries at the hospital about four hours later. He was 72.

He was an engineer from Arcadia, California who spent decades building and improving the performance of his racing motorcycles, and who became a legend of the sport. His next challenge was to set a new land speed record surpassing 400 mph. He was a regular reader of this website and many among you noticed his sharp and full of wisdom comments. Sam Wheeler is survived by a wife and two children.

13 Responses to “Land speed racer Sam Wheeler Killed While Racing At Utah’s Salt Flats”


  1. 1 Daytona Donnie Jul 28th, 2016 at 8:29 am

    At 72 and still out there pushing the limits , doing something that he obviously loved ,Prayers to the family as they celebrate his Life

  2. 2 MAGNET MAN Jul 28th, 2016 at 8:48 am

    What a guy, no regrets, here. He did what he loved and is a an American Patriot.

    Our condolences to his Family.

  3. 3 DJ Jul 28th, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I hate it every time we lose an icon or legend.. They are not being replaced and we are stuck in a world of justin biebers and people that think using the wrong bathroom makes you a hero.. Very sad

  4. 4 burnout Jul 28th, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Sad news. He lived life to the fullest. peace

  5. 5 John H Jul 28th, 2016 at 10:01 am

    God speed, Sam.

  6. 6 Guy Jul 28th, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Total respect to the man for living life to the full. My prayers and sympathy to the family. Old style proper fella.

  7. 7 Dave Blevins Jul 28th, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Sad news indeed.

  8. 8 nicker Jul 28th, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Very unfortunate…. Condolences to all.

    -nicker-

  9. 9 BadMonkeyMW Jul 29th, 2016 at 7:17 am

    He went out WFO doing something few people ever even dare to try. I can think of worse ways to go. RIP Sam Wheeler.

  10. 10 Dale Jul 30th, 2016 at 8:30 am

    God speed

  11. 11 Tyler Malinky Aug 1st, 2016 at 11:06 am

    At least he died pursing his passion, my heartfelt condolences to his family.

  12. 12 Stony Crane Aug 2nd, 2016 at 1:22 am

    I met Sam at Bonneville and he was a great guy and great spirit doing what he loved. Everyone is missed, but those doing what they loved are understood. Godspeed Sam, we won’t soon forget you!

  13. 13 Alan Sputhe Aug 2nd, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    He was indeed a great man. A gentleman and a sportsman. We pitted next to each other several times at Bonneville. His crew usually consisted of just one man. Men like Rob Muzzy and Mr. Turbo. His streamliner, the E-Z Hook was the smallest and slipperiest of the current fast three. Even though its engine is less than half as big as the other two streamliners it has actually run faster. I remember one year when salt and weather conditions were good. The record went back and forth all week between the Bub Seven streamliner and the Ack Attack. At the end of the week the E-Z Hook made a pass. From our vantage point, it looked like it would be fast. The engine was totally wound out in high gear then the front tire exploded. Sam got right to work repairing the damage. A new front tire could not be found. So Bub got the record. Sam showed us that he was also a brave man.

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Cyril Huze

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