As you May have heard, VW set a very specific record with the brand new Jetta at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Kindly, VW offered to fly us out for the record attempt and while we were there we talked to some of the VW owners who were around for the racing—normally that’s the part where we arbitrarily say that these are the coolest cars EVER but forget it, everything and everyone at Bonneville is the coolest.

Most of these conversations happened while teams were in line, waiting for their turn to run.

Who? Bob Joslin, his son is Craig Joslin, and his son Brett “You Guessed It” Joslin.

Bob:It’s a built VW motor. It’s 1968 cc. Probably making around 150 hp. We’re hoping to get above 130 mph. We were out here two years ago with a different motor and we ran 142 mph.

VWV: Is the Karmann Ghia good on the Salt Flats?

Bob:They’re real good body style for running out here. Pretty streamlined, down low to the ground. The secret is to get it down on the ground, get as little wind resistance as possible.

We’ve been out here for four years with this. About five years ago, my son and I came out here to watch and when we got back my son said ‘dad, let’s build a car.’

We’re mostly into street rods, normally. I live in Alabama and my son lives in Georgia. My son, he races Road Atlanta, with the BMW Club of America.

VWV: Why VWs, then?

Bob: This is just fun. It kind of gets into your blood. We had it towed out, our friends towed our car and we flew in yesterday. We made the trip once before and that was enough. It’s just the thrill of being out where you can put the pedal on the ground and go as fast as you can.
VWV:What’s it like driving on salt?

Bob:Well, it’s different than driving on the asphalt. The salt is—you know, you move around on the salt. It’s like driving on a sandy beach. The car gets light, especially a car this size with that much horsepower. It feels like… It’s just a fun experience.

Main thing is just be gentle getting up to speed, keep the steering wheel straight and let it float. Let it do what it wants to do.

VWV:Who drives?

Bob:I drive, my son drives, and this year my grandson is 16 so he’s driving, too. You have to be 16, you have to have a license to drive.
VWV: Have you come every year since you first came five years ago?

Bob:We were too busy doing other stuff last year. I ’m the mayor of Arab, Alabama , 20 miles south of Huntsville. I retired from the corp of engineers, that’s what I did.

I’ve been messing around with I was 12 years old. Porsches, VWs, now we’ve got street rods. I’ve got a ’36 Ford 4R convertible and it’s got a 350 chevy, power steering, power brakes. Just fun. And my son has several collector type models. 65 models and 66 models. Collector models.

VWV: Thanks, good luck.

Bob: Thanks.
If you enjoyed this story, stay tuned for more, including a lengthy discussion of a land speed racer with a V10 TDI engine.