About

Jack Costella I was born on July 11th 1935 and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. I grew up in the hot rod movement and can remember my mother telling me that when she was pregnant with me she could hear wrenches clanking together in her stomach.

As a child I built model cars, then U-control airplanes. That’s where I won my first contest for top speed with a very small plane. The same style can be seen in all my future race car designs. In high school I started getting into dragsters with my first one being a very fast ’40 Ford coupe with a 3/8 x 3/8 flathead. Then I built a nitro-burning flathead-powered Crosley with a chopped and shortened slingshot coupe with a fiberglass nose. This was my first introduction to fiberglass. My Crosley took four first place trophies with one being for best looking car. Then I built a series of very small dragsters, which all set records. In the '50s and '60s was a period of time where there was rapid innovation and great freedom of expression in drag racing.

At age 20 I went to work in the fiberglass industry, and learned tooling, mold-making, and prototypes. I worked 45 years for several companies’ prototyping boats, cars, and dune buggies. There were various projects in the fiberglass companies that let me exercise my creativity. Before long I went to work for FMC in San Jose, where I still live incidentally. I worked for FMC for 25 years and retired in '97. My job was model maker, prototyping, mold maker, mostly wood work, some metal and fiberglass. I always thought of myself there more as an artist than an engineer. The boss and the engineers come into the shop waving their arms, and we're the fellas that turn ideas and drawings into real parts and structures you can do something with.

My first experience at Bonneville was in 1969. I built three mini bikes when I worked for Bonanza. We came home with 2 records. By the '80s I had the creative urge for racing again, and in '85 I went to Speed Week and looked over the streamliners. In '89 I built Nebulous Theorem I. I used a Honda V4 motorcycle engine de-bored to 1000cc, with front wheel drive, and tandem rear wheels. I made a twin-turbo system for it with home-made fuel injection and intercoolers. But this first attempt was not successful, the handling was poor at low speeds, it darted back and forth. So I scrubbed this one, and went to Nebulous Theorem II. I think looking back probably nothing was wrong but the steering was too quick, and I likely could have cured it. I built Nebulous Theorem II using the same power unit, but conventional rear wheel drive with a quick-change, and slowed down the steering. In '92 I got the H/BGS Bonneville Record with it at 239. The car is still running today.

People wonder if my vehicles are submarines or gliders. There is no driver, wheels or engine visible. It is imagination and innovation that keeps me going. I like participating in an activity that recognizes and awards creativity and innovation. The main obstacle with other racing is that events become handicapped with rules that don’t allow any different thinking. I now build LSR streamliners that allow the most freedom of design and innovation.

My accomplishments have certainly been made possible by my wife Keiko and family. With my many great partners and friends as well over the years.

Pictures

Here are some pictures of Jack Costella.

" Perfection is an excuse to not get anything done."

- Jack Costella

Cars

I build my cars by the five “L’s”-long, low, little, light and languid like Nicole Kidman, and they need to be beautiful too. That is the way I try to build my cars. I try to get my cars to fly on the ground, trying not to touch the ground. I try to optimize the aero package by creating a small picture. I bases my unique designs on what I call Nebulous Theorem; which simply explained means Do your own thing and not what the other guys are doing.

Nebulous Theorem Team

Nebulous Theorem II

Car #: 988

Driver: N/A

Status: Currently not racing

Nebulous Theorem III

Car #: 788

Driver: Rick Yacoucci

Status: Racing

Nebulous Theorem IV

Car #: 5050

Driver: N/A

Status: Currently not racing

Nebulous Theorem VI

Car #: 6060

Driver: Michele Brading

Status: Racing

Nebulous Theorem VII

Car #: 7070

Driver: N/A

Status: Currently not racing

Nebulous Theorem VIII

Car #: 8080

Driver: Tim Cunha

Status: Racing

Nebulous Theorem IX

Car #: 1925

Driver: M. Ormsbee

Status: Racing

Nebulous Theorem XI

Car #: 8282

Driver: J. Hoogerhyde

Status: Racing

" Racing is work, winning is fun."

- Jack Costella

Records

Jack Costella and the Nebulous Theorem team have set the most land speed records in the world to date. With over 105+ records, Jack has achieved being in the 200 MPH Club at El Mirage, Muroc, and Bonneville. With also being in the 300 MPH Club at Bonneville. Jack has also been inducted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame.

Domestic

# Year Car# Name Driver Class Record
1 1969 86 Bonanza minibike J. Conlan PSA-AG-175 92.561
2 1969 88 Bonanza minibike J. Conlan A-A-100 79.774
3 1992 988 Nebulous Theorem II J. Costella H/BGS 239.696
4 1994 788 Costella/Helwig J. Costella XF-FS 220.109
5 1994 788 Costella/Helwig J. Costella XF/GS 215.246
6 1996 788 Costella/Murray J. Costella XF/BFS 235.647
7 1996 788 Costella/Murray J. Costella XF/BGS 235.795
8 1997 788 Costella/Leist J. Costella D/GS 304.151
9 1997 788 Costella/Leist J. Costella D/FS 215.658
10 1998 788 Keiko & Jack Costella J. Costella C/FS 202.383
11 1998 788 Keiko & Jack Costella J. Costella C/GS 217.136
12 1999 788 Costella Special J. Costella C/GS 223.236
13 2000 788 Costella/Fox J. Costella F/FS 223.661
14 2000 788 Costella/Fox J. Costella F/BGS 157.891
15 2000 988 Costella Special J. Costella F/BGS 195.556
16 2001 788 Keiko & Jack Costella J. Costella XF/BGS 248.443
17 2001 788 Costella Special J. Costella XF/BGS 191.673
18 2001 788 Costella Special J. Costella XF/FS 192.158
19 2001 988 Costella/Team True J. True I/FS 248.936
20 2001 988 Costella/True J. True I/GS 229.230
21 2001 988 Costella/True M. True I/GS 229.320
22 2001 988 Costella Special J. Costella G/BGS 189.116
23 2002 788 Costella Special J. Costella B/GS 225.507
24 2002 788 Costella Special J. Costella E/GS 198.194
25 2002 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/FS 289.416
26 2002 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/GS 268.217
27 2002 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/FS 212.590
28 2002 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/GS 210.913
29 2002 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/FS 209.880
30 2002 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/GS 190.472
31 2003 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci I/BFS 313.984
32 2003 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci I/BGS 315.378
33 2003 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/BFS 247.750
34 2003 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/BGS 248.833
35 2003 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci I/BFS 235.516
36 2003 5050 Costella Special A. Sills 50cc S-G 47.353
37 2004 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/BFS 324.014
38 2004 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci H/BGS 331.133
39 2004 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci I/BGS 250.201
40 2004 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci I/BGS 219.264
41 2004 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV A. Sills 100cc S-F 141.213
42 2004 5050 Costella/Dugan A. Sills 100cc S-G 123.240
43 2004 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV A. Sills 100cc S-F 143.472
44 2005 988 Nebulous Theorem IV J. Costella 100cc S-G 105.258
45 2005 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BFS 239.137
46 2005 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BGS 258.688
47 2006 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BFS 348.743
48 2006 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BGS 352.525
49 2006 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci F/BGS 243.183
50 2006 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BGS 262.750
51 2006 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BFS 263.412
52 2006 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BGS 252.000
53 2006 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci G/BGS 262.133
54 2006 5050 Costella/Compton N. Rock 125cc S-F 151.481
55 2006 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV J. Costella 125cc S-G 149.426
56 2006 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV J. Costella 125cc S-G 108.00
57 2006 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV N. Rock 125cc S-F 139.719
58 2006 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV N. Rock 125cc S-F 114.075
59 2006 5050 Nebulous Theorem IV N. Rock 125cc S-G 149.246
60 2007 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci J/BFS 266.561
61 2007 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci J/BGS 269.480
62 2007 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci J/BFS 207.257
63 2007 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci J/BGS 209.720
64 2007 5050 Costella/Rock N. Rock S-F 154.710
65 2007 5050 Costella/Rock N. Rock S-F 153.654

 

# Year Car# Name Driver Class Record
66 2007 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 350cc S-F 210.824
67 2007 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 350cc S-G 192.408
68 2007 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 350cc S 189.622
69 2007 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 350cc S-F 210.824
70 2008 788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci XF/FS 209.471
71 2008 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci B/GS 228.574
72 2008 988 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci F/GS 251.948
73 2008 5050 Costella/Rock N. Rock 250cc S-F 198.904
74 2008 5050 Costella/Rock N. Rock 250cc S-G 189.572
75 2008 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/GL 122.210
76 2008 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 500cc S-F 230.165
77 2008 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 500cc S-G 226.952
78 2008 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 500cc S 235.083
79 2008 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 500cc S-G 219.097
80 2009 788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci XF/FS 280.023
81 2009 788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci XF/GS 253.995
82 2009 788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci XF/FS 236.337
83 2009 1788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci XF/GS 215.246
84 2009 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci B/GS 234.194
85 2009 788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci F/GS 201.895
86 2009 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/FL 175.405
87 2009 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading L/GL 149.904
88 2010 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci XF/BFS 238.937
89 2010 788 Costella/Yacoucci/Papas R. Yacoucci XF/GS 189.123
90 2010 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci XF/BFS 229.148
91 2010 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/GL 181.696
92 2010 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/FL 158.873
93 2010 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/GS 156.606
94 2010 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/GL 143.356
95 2010 6060 Costella/Dennee M. Brading K/FL 145.689
96 2010 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha J/GS 218.100
97 2010 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha J/FS 213.841
98 2010 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha J/GS 149.640
99 2012 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci E/FS 224.395
100 2012 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci E/GS 223.779
101 2012 788 Costella/Yacoucci R. Yacoucci C/FS 258.024
102 2012 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha SCS/G 156.484
103 2012 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha SCS-G 164.745
104 2012 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha SCS-G 212.751
105 2012 8080 Costella/Cunha T. Cunha SCS-F 213.247
106 2013 8080 Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 147.713
107 2013 8080 Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-F 157.269
108 2013 8080 Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 176.547
109 2013 8080 Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-F 197.036
110 2014 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde I/GL 189.649
111 2014 1925 Costella/Rush/Ormsbee M. Ormsbee H/GRMR 166.718
112 2014 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde I/GL 190.532
113 2015 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 173.004
114 2015 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde I/FL 186.086
115 2015 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 176.368
116 2015 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde FS 191.736
117 2015 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde I/GS 191.118
118 2015 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde H/GL 198.629
119 2016 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 184.273
120 2016 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 203.617
121 2016 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-F 191.863
122 2016 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-G 211.515
123 2016 8282 Costella/Hoogerhyde J. Hoogerhyde I/FL 187.369
124 2016 8080B Costella/Cunha/Bassano T. Cunha SCS-F 202.498

International

# Year Car# Name Driver Class Record
1 2001 988 Costella/Team True J. True FIA Int'l 253.787
2 2008 5050 Costella/Swedetech E. Hunter 100cc S AG Int'l 142.864

 

# Year Car# Name Driver Class Record
3 2008 7070 Costella/Gullett C. Gullett 500cc S AG Int'l 234.989
4 2009 5050 Costella/Hunter E. Hunter 80cc Int'l FIM 146.622

" You only have to be smart enough to know that you don't know anything."

- Jack Costella

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