The Hypercar That Was To Be Used For The Top Speed Run Was Involved In An Accident

SSC Tuatara Top Speed Record Run
Image via SSC

The last we heard from Jerod Shelby and the SSC Tuatara, the plan was to re-run the top speed record attempt. The first of which resulted in controversy. However, SSC North America has suffered another setback, and the Tuatara that was to be used in the high-speed record attempt was involved in an accident.

According to The Drive, which published exclusive photos of the maimed machine, the SSC Tuatara was on its way to Florida for another speed run (presumably at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds) in April. Unfortunately, the vehicle carrier that was transporting the Tuatara flipped, due to high winds while passing through the state of Utah.

SSC Tuatara
Image via SSC

The Drive was able to secure a quote from Jerod Shelby himself, who conformed that this production SSC Tuatara is indeed vehicle No. 001 that we’ve seen in every top speed run video up to this point, which owned by Dr. Larry Caplin. Shelby insisted that the hypercar can be repaired, and that damage to the vehicle was mostly cosmetic. Even so, there isn’t a backup hypercar at the ready, and Caplin’s Tuatara will have to be repaired before another run is attempted. A timetable is not immediately clear at this time.

The SSC Tuatara is powered by a 1,750 horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 built by Nelson Racing Engines, and carries a price tag of $1.9 million USD. Only 100 of them will be built, at a pace of 25 units per year, and customers are treated to nearly infinite levels of customization with colors, packages, and other amenities.

We most recently saw the SSC Tuatara in action earlier this year, where it managed to set a new production car top speed record in just 2.3 miles of tarmac at Florida’s Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, reaching 286 mph. Shelby explained in an interview with MC&T that the plan is to hit 300 miles per hour in that same stretch, before going on to test the theoretical top speed limits of the Tuatara, which is estimated to be 345 miles per hour. Finding a location to achieve such speeds has proven to be difficult.

As the late, great JFK once said when announcing America’s intent to put a man on the moon, we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

SSC Tuatara Land Speed Record Production Hypercar Car
Image Via SSC North America.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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