Coming Up for Advanced Distributors: The Bonneville Salt Flats

Many of us in the classic car world know Advanced Distributors for its meticulous distributor work. Need one perfectly restored and calibrated to your exact specs? They can do that.

Company owner–and sole technician–Jeff Schlemmer recently showed us one of his other projects. It’s a 1977 Datsun 620 destined for hallowed ground: Bonneville.

“Isn’t it on everyone’s bucket list?” he asks. “Call it a sickness. Call it what you will. Bonneville is calling each and every one of us to come play in the salt.” Team member T.C. Worley will be the driver.

They’re building the truck for the 2-liter mini pickup production class. “It’s a very challenging build,” Jeff explains, “not only due to inherent traction issues with trucks and particularly crude aerodynamics, but mostly because it’s a less-than-convenient package to wrap it all up in. Mini truck cabs are just that: mini.”

They’re going after the 1 29.694 mph record in the G/PMP class. “It’s been standing since 2008,” he adds.

That goal has motivated Jeff and crew to work on the car for three years inside a 60-year-old former hog barn. “This is a real grassroots build,” Jeff notes. Along with handling all of the paint and bodywork himself, he’s also responsible for some big changes under the hood. “I am building the cylinder head, I designed the cam, I designed all the engine specifics using an original L20B motor that came in a similar-year Datsun 620,” he continues. “Much of the rest of the assembly was shared among the team, including brakes, suspension, steering and safety equipment installation.”

What distributor is the truck running? “Easy answer,” Jeff says, “the stock single-point distributor that came in the engine–with points. It produces a better spark than anything else I have tested and has my faith, even if we exceed our redline of 9600 rpm where the cam runs out of steam. There are plenty of other weak links. The distributor won’t be one of them.”

Advanced Distributors
(612) 804-5543

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