Rodding Around
By Brian Brennan
Land speed racers at the starting line
Land speed racers at the starting line. A new water well and weather and hydrologic equipment have been installed as part of the Restore Bonneville program to help increase the volume of salt pumped onto the Bonneville Salt Flats.
red gear icon New Water Well and Measuring Equipment to Increase Volume of Salt

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) welcomes the installation of a new water well and weather and hydrologic equipment used for measuring salt growth conditions as part of its broader Restore Bonneville program. Federal and state funds were released last year to install the monitoring equipment and help increase the volume of salt pumped onto the Bonneville Salt Flats this year to a total of up to 500,000 tons.

As part of the Restore Bonneville program, SEMA and the racing community joined forces with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Utah Geological Survey (UGS), and Intrepid Potash Inc. in the collaborative restoration effort. Originally in the ’60s, the racing venue was over 13 miles in length, but the course is now 8 miles or less. According to a study by the BLM, the Salt Flats have also shrunk in size from 96,000 to about 30,000 acres.

The BLM and DNR signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2020 to jointly pursue restoration efforts. The program, which SEMA calls Restore Bonneville, will be managed by DNR, in conjunction with the BLM, and operated by Intrepid Potash. The endeavor is strongly supported by SEMA and the Save the Salt Coalition, a collection of companies, organizations, individuals, and land speed racing teams.

In working with Intrepid Potash, the volume of salt laid down on Bonneville will be increased by updating and improving the efficiency of the current pumping infrastructure and water conservation efforts, which includes rebuilding water wells, covering ditches, and installing new pipes and pumps.

The summer 2021 installation of the new water well and equipment to measure water evaporation rates and collect scientific data represented a tangible start to the ambitious restoration effort. The program will seek to identify the best ways to take advantage of the salt laydown and study the effects on the salt crust and underlying brine aquifer. For example, the program will consider ways to contain the salt within the large pumping area. If current research proves beneficial, efforts may be extended into the future upon funding availability.

red gear icon SO-CAL Speed Shop Sets Up Shop

Truly one of the iconic names in the world of hot rodding is the SO-CAL Speed Shop brand. It’s been around since 1946, and many a hot rodder will remember the early days when founder Alex Xydias brought the name and the speed shop to life. From here it was Pete Chapouris III who breathed new life into the legendary brand and now under the guidance of Pete Chapouris IV rodders will be able to pass through the doors of this proud brand.

As of January 1, 2022, the SO-CAL Speed Shop headquarters has moved to a new location in Upland (1785 West Foothill Blvd., Upland, CA 91786)–not too far from the Pomona address many of today’s rodders remember. The reason for the move is best summed up by Peter IV, “This move allows us to have a more comfortable warehouse surroundings as well as a walk-in retail store on historic Route 66.” It’s business as usual and the phone number remains the same: (909) 469-6171 or visit

So-Cal Speed Shop front counter and business sign
So-Cal Speed Shop - looking at the floor set-up and merchandise
Modern Rodding
VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 18 • 2022