This is the 1952 Buick Riviera, more commonly known as Bombshell Betty. It is a heavily modified speed demon that has held 6 top speed world records over the last few years.
The car has not only garnered a cult like following on the internet, but its vintage looks, alone, are “smexy” enough to bedazzle old school roadsters in a heartbeat.
Bombshell Betty borrows a lot of parts from other cars, mostly former vintage racers that went down in the history as unknowns.
However, when Jeff Brock, a racer from Santa Fe, New Mexico, got his hands on the 1952 Riviera, he was h*** bent on entirely transforming it.
Right now, DuPont Registry is selling this beauty for a little over $195,000.
In some aspects, it may not be street legal, and the car’s interiors may not churn out the most comfortable seating experience, but if you are looking for speed, look no further.
The car was run last time at the Bonneville Salt Flats back in 2013. The remarkable beauty pulled in 165.735 MPH speed before slowing down to a halt.
Let’s talk about how the entire project incepted in the first place.
Bombshell Betty was first discovered in an old abandoned sawmill just outside of Phoenix Arizona. Sweet, right?
Just the perfect place to look for a future celebrity of a car.
Brock wanted to create a dream car; he chopped off the top portion. From a general perspective, a busty old 52’ Buick Riviera was something he could work with.
Not that the car offered a great playground in terms of visual appeal etc., Brock was comfortable with the idea of going for this particular model when he realized that it offers all the extra room for some heavy duty modifications.
As far as modifications are concerned, I already stated that Bombshell Betty borrows most of the parts from other popular vehicles.
For instance, the race harmonic balance was donated by an Oldsmobile, same goes for the rear end that was once part of a Ford Thunderbird (notice the significant similarity?).
Moving on, the front end of this car once belonged to a 1968 Chevy Van.
If you were to search online for 68’ Chevy Vans, you will find a striking resemblance between the two vehicles because of the obvious aforementioned reason.
The entire build took two years to finish. Although it is a known fact that Betty secured top position as the 6 time world record holder for highest speed, it was always taken back to the garage for further modifications.
The last time the Buick Riviera made its debut appearance, Brock asked for volunteer support and was dedicating 9 – 12 hours a day to rev this car to its fullest.
Needless to say, Bombshell Betty won the special XO/GCC class list for reaching top speed in record amount of time.
You can see a few videos on the internet where folks from all over the place gathered up at the Bonneville Salt Flats to see the vintage beauty in action.
Bombshell’s Betty’s body was the toughest to modify. Brock and his crew wanted to give it a one-piece look, as if typically seen in case of a bomber.
So, in order to do that, they joined together metallic sheets and performed an amazing paint job that reflected the entire visual appeal at its maximum.
Underneath the audacious raw steel structure, Buick Riviera Bombshell Betty boasts of 5.2 Liter 8 Cylinder Engine, T-10 manual 4 speed transmission and Wilwood inspired brakes and hydraulics system.
The car isn’t street legal; its front end is the biggest tell. Even though, if it were made street legal, your mechanic won’t be able to do much maintenance because of all the customized parts in there. I suppose only Brock and his team members would really know how to properly repair something in Betty’s gigantic body.
Jeff was actually born in Flint Town, situated over a 100 KMs away from Detroit. He shared his passion for car rigging and vintage rides with his childhood friends, and especially his wife.
He was initially dragged into the world of racing through motorcycles.
Cars were just not his thing back then. As a former motorcyclists, he has not only been nominated, but also secured awards in numerous national racing competition.
With this intent, he entered the Bonneville Salt Flats competitions and impressed the audience with a record breaking speed. Jeff still recalls the first time he was headed for the Bonneville debut.
It was a long day, he and his buddy took turns while driving non-stop for the event. They barely arrived in time at 4 AM. Still, they managed to win that top speed comp by a mile. Hi partner Lupe Nino couldn’t be more happier because he was one of the main modders associated with the Bombshell Betty Buick Riviera rig project.
Betty’s last appearance was in 2013 where she reached 167 Mph speed. The car is listed in D category in the XO/GCC class.
All the other modified sedans and coupes don’t even come close to what the former hot rod is capable of.
As far as the Bonneville competition is concerned, you can also take part in it.
It is open to foreigners and American riders, except for the part that you really need to have something to impress the audience with.
The rental office refuses anyone who even slightly mentions anything about driving the car to salt lakes.
You can just wash it later and pretend that you went somewhere else. Unless and until they’ve got tracking system installed in that rental, there’s nothing to worry about. Good luck.