The world of speed records has always fascinated car enthusiasts, and one of the most prominent milestones in this field is the world land speed record. Among the many vehicles that have made their mark on history, one stands out above all others: the Thrust SSC. This incredible car earned the title of “the fastest car in the world” according to the FIA by reaching a dizzying speed of 1,227.985 km/h in October 1997, breaking the thrust ssc top speed record at that time.
The Thrust SSC, short for ‘SuperSonic Car’, is an impressive machine that combines features of an automobile and a fighter jet. Designed and built by a British team led by Richard Noble, this vehicle broke the sound barrier by clocking a speed of Mach 1,002. To achieve this feat, the Thrust SSC was powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey 202 afterburner turbojets, the same engines used in the F-4 Phantom II fighter aircraft, generating an astounding amount of thrust ssc horsepower, boasting an incredible 110,000 hp.
The impressive performance of the Thrust SSC is evident in its technical characteristics. With a power output of 110,000 hp and a weight of 10 tonnes, this vehicle could accelerate from 0 to 160 kilometres per hour in just 4 seconds. To ensure stability and safety at high speeds, the car was equipped with a ground effect system, which used rockets placed in front of the cockpit to keep the nose of the vehicle glued to the track. In addition, safety systems such as cameras, parachutes and electric saws were implemented to rescue the pilot in the event of an accident.
The world land speed record for the Thrust SSC was set at Black Rock, a desert area in Nevada, USA. The pilot responsible for pushing the vehicle to its limits was British pilot Andy Green, an experienced fighter pilot.
Thrust SSC top speed km/h
Before the Thrust SSC, other cars also made their mark on world land speed records. The Thrust II, driven by Richard Noble, reached a top speed of 1,019.47 km/h in 1983, while the Blue Flame, driven by Gary Gabelich, was the first to break 1,000 km/h, reaching a speed of 1,014.496 km/h in 1970. Other famous record holders include the Spirit of America, driven by Craig Breedlove, and the Blue Bird, driven by Malcolm Campbell.
It is important to note that all these records were set at different times and in different places. Prior to 1935, land speed record attempts were mainly made on beaches, but from that date onwards, the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA became the ideal place to set new records. These challenges continued until the 1970s, when the Thrust SSC achieved its feat.
The Thrust SSC’s land speed record represents not only an impressive technical feat, but also a milestone in the pursuit of the human speed limit. This achievement exemplifies the spirit of innovation and achievement that drives the automotive industry and vehicle enthusiasts around the world.
The Thrust SSC, the vehicle that set the land speed record in 1997, is currently on display at the Coventry Transport Museum in Coventry, England. This museum houses a diverse collection of historical and specially interesting vehicles, and the Thrust SSC is one of the highlighted pieces in its collection. It’s on display for visitors to get a close look at this incredible machine that broke the sound barrier on land.
Absolute land speed records:
Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green
reached a top speed of 1,227.985 km/h in 1997.
Thrust II, driven by Richard Noble
reached a top speed of 1019.47 km/h in 1983
Blue Flame, driven by Gary Gabelich
the first to exceed 1000 km/h: 1014.496 km/h in 1970
The Spirit of America, driven by Craig Breedlove
reached a top speed of 966.574 km/h in 1965
Blue Bird, driven by Malcolm Campbell
reached a top speed of 484,620 km/h in 1935
Golden Arrow, driven by Henry Segrave
reached a top speed of 327.34 km/h in 1929
You can see the Thrust SSC in action in this video, followed by another video of a BMW M5 versus another rocket vehicle.