The 1970 Chevelle

The irony appears to have met Don in California. As he grimaces back at the 1970 Chevelle Don realizes he can leave home and flee work, but he can never outrun himself. Edit: Strikethrough

Nice idea about the Chevelle, but I have a different theory about Don's grimace at the car.

This isn't the first time he looks askance at that car, he does it a little earlier in the scene as well. To me he's in shock, maybe thinking he's just dodged a bullet (the car). We didn't see what happened but we do know that at 130 mph the car developed a shimmy and I think Don lost his nerve. Don said he thought it was controllable but I don't think he thought HE could control it. He called it quits during the barrelling, totally unnerved by the experience, and how that damn car could have killed him.

The salt flats scene reflects a similar circumstance from a popular TV show of the 60s called "Run for Your life." The premise is that the hero is dying of cancer and is therefore living every moment to the fullest. (This show is mentioned by someone in another post here.) That show's opening credits every week have a scene of the hero barrelling down the salt flats of Libya, trying to break the land speed record.

The Libya scene was taken from one of the episodes of the series where the hero unofficially breaks the land speed record in a known mechanically defective car, I believe.

So maybe we the audience are meant to catch Don during his road trip attempting to live life to the fullest, doing various things including risky things. And we catch up with him in helmet and goggles. And next we see he's just had a rude awaking, realizing there's no point being reckless as opposed to adventurous, careless as opposed to care-free.

/r/madmen Thread