Wanted: Driver for rocket-powered Bloodhound Land Speed Record car
Ability to attract sponsorship a bonus as vehicle set to emerge from ashes, attempt to blast past 763mph
Drivers keen on taking the world's fastest car for a spin - or rather, for a straight-line dash - are being sought amid emerging plans to revive the UK's Bloodhound Land Speed Record car.
The project has moved in stops and starts over the years and seemed to be pretty much dead as the world emerged from repeated pandemic-induced lockdowns. In January 2021, it looked to be all over, as the latest rescuer of the project, Ian Warhurst, announced that the car was up for sale. However, Stuart Edmondson took up the reins in May 2021, and here we are again - looking for funding. And a driver.
The original driver was Andy Green, who took Thrust SSC to 763mph (1,227kph) in 1997. While Green was initially involved in the Bloodhound project, he has stepped back, which means the driving seat is available to anyone with the skills, cash, and bravery - to strap themselves into what is effectively an EJ200 jet engine on wheels with a rocket booster attached.
Should funding materialize to complete the build?
The team reckons approximately £12 million ($14.7 million) is needed to get the car – currently residing in a museum in Coventry, England – into a state where it could set a new land speed record. Green will still be on hand to mentor the new driver.
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That said, despite the call for sponsorship, and for a driver able to bring funding - and a deep well of courage - the project is still for sale. However, the thought of another opportunity for the vehicle to thunder along its South Africa track is an enticing one.
The team is taking a replica of the car on a tour of six locations in the UK, starting today, to drum up interest. The roadshow will involve a route through central London on Saturday morning before later hitting the M25 highway. You can make your own joke about what sort of land speed record might be set on the orbital motorway dubbed by musician Chris Rea as "The Road To Hell."
The need for funding remains a hallmark of the project, but it would be churlish not to wish the best of luck to those behind the car. Sadly, there is little prospect of Team Vulture getting behind the wheel any time soon. ®