The world record for the highest speed ever reached with a land car is held by Andy Green, who managed to exceed the sound barrier, with an average of 1227.985 km/h (763.035 mph) on a mile, on January 12, 1997. In the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, he led driving Thrust SSC, a car halfway between the jet and the wheeled rocket, able to unlock 106,000 horsepowers!
Thrust SSC is a technology prowess with a aerodynamic tube fuselage, equipped with two afterburning Rolls-Royce turbo-reactors, which originally is a manufacturing model designed for ... airliners! This type of reactor is found, for example, on the fighter aircraft McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Well, this makes easier to understand the strangeness of this vehicle's shape, which one could swear it only lacks wings to fly. Actually, Andy Green, the record holder, is also a former commander, fighter pilot on the Royal Air Force.
With a length of 16.5 meters and 3.7 meters wide, this powerhouse weighs 10.5 tons and engulfed 18 liters of fuel ... per second! That said, given that Thrust SSC can reach 100 km/h in 1.6 seconds and is able to exceed the sound barrier in about 30 seconds, we assume this glutton actually "only" consume... 55 liters per kilometer. 6 times, approximately, what a Concorde is burning in flight!
This hellish car (although it doesn't really look like a car, we must admit) and his driver Andy Green, are now officially the first land vehicle and driver of a land vehicle that managed to exceed the sound barrier, at Mach 1.0106, although this record was already claimed by the SM1 motivator's team, who is said to have reached mach 1 in 1979 (this record however was not approved by Car federations). But even if we take into account the SM1 Motivator, Thrust SSC is now the fastest car ever, since it has reached the highest speed ever recorded for a land car : 736.035 mph.
We guess some coyote could find great use for this device
Of course, with the advent of real airplanes and rockets, this land speed world record could seem a bit pale, since the fastest vehicle ever devised by man had reached about 35 times this ridiculous speed... The Saturn 5 rocket and its dizzying peak nearly 40 000 km/h (precisely, 24,791 mph) during the Apollo 10 mission is the fastest vehicle of all times.