Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt is about an America that has all but disappeared, when lucrative business deals were cemented by a handshake and state-of-the- art automobiles were designed on the backs of envelopes. It tells the true story of an unsung hero and self-made man, David Abbott Jenkins, who, with almost super- human stamina and boyish charm, set out to single-handedly break every existing land speed record on his beloved Bonneville Salt Flats. More than a century later, many of “Ab’s” records re- main unbroken and the legacy lives on in his custom car. The story comes full circle when Ab’s son Marv, restores the 12-cylinder, 4800-pound “Mormon Meteor” to its glory days for a ceremonial lap on the salt.
The film features pristine archival footage of Ab, Marv, and their races, as well as recently shot HD interviews with a stellar list of car and racing aficionados (including Jay Leno and Col. Andy Green, the current land speed holder). The car resides in Salt Lake City’s Price Museum of Speed (www.pricemuseumofspeed.org) and will be visiting select cities as part of its Film Festival tour.
Boys of Bonneville is that rare animal: an exhilarating film about an unknown American hero that leaves its audience cheering to the rafters and grabbing for their cell phones demanding to know “who is this guy and where can I see this car?”
A rare, profound experience would be sadly missed if one were to judge this DVD by its cover. For this is more than a mere documentary. This is one of those films that sneaks up on you, and then blesses you with one of those experiences and afterglow moments wherein you sit in awe and wonder, having been moved in a way you completely did not anticipate. I have never been a fan of auto racing of any kind, but this film has changed my heart, because it has blessed my heart.