Land speed pioneer
Vesco was a Bonneville pioneer, attending the first 1949 Speed Week together with wife Betty and sons Don (inducted in 2004) and Rick, into whom he downloaded a wealth of go-fast knowledge and knowhow. The boys listened and today the family owns the World’s Fastest Wheel-Driven Automobile with a 458 mph FIA record and one-way speed of 503 mph. What began as a passionate “hop up” investigation of the Model B Ford four and Riley four-port head in the 1930s culminated with an SCTA National Points Championship in 1953. Vesco next ushered in the new generation of streamliners building a 16-foot car with a slender, 24-inch tread width. So bold, “Little Giant #444” was initially classified experimental, but by the end of Speed Week it reached 169 mph and won the Best Engineered Car of the Year award. Still part of the family stable, in 2021, #444 set the fastest two-way speed for an electric vehicle with a 353 mph average. Vesco was inducted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.