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A Re-Do Following Last Year’s Controversial Attempt Yielded A Similar Outcome

SSC Tuatara Top Speed Record Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds Kennedy Space Center
Image via SSC.

The SSC Tuatara did not break the 300 mph barrier. But it did break a record.

As founder and CEO Jerod Shelby promised, SSC would have another go at the production car top speed record, following a run involving a wide open Nevada highway, a helicopter, and even a plane when the helicopter was no longer fast enough. The first attempt took place last fall, but the record was scratched after several discrepancies surfaced.

Regardless, Shelby and company were bent on proving that they’d built the fastest production car in the world.

Driving the SSC Tuatara this time was not racing driver Oliver Webb, but the supercar’s very first customer: Dr. Larry Caplin, CEO of DOCS Health, and avid supercar aficionado. And, things went well.

SSC Tuatara Jerod Shelby Larry Caplin
Jerod Shelby and Larry Caplin with the SSC Tuatara. Image via SSC.

The new speed record attempt took place at Florida’s Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at the monolithic Kennedy Space Center space shuttle landing facility. The recorded top speeds of the SSC Tuatara are as follows:

Northbound pass: 279.7 mph

Southbound pass: 286.1 mph

This comes to a two-way speed average of 282.9 mph for the SSC Tuatara. Which bests Koegnigsegg’s average speed record of 278 mph. But based on details shared to us, it’s unclear if representatives from the Guinness World Records were on hand to verify the feat. However, SSC noted that multiple speed validation equipment was used. Including: Racelogic (VBox), Life Racing, Garmin and IMRA (International Mile Racing Association) systems.

During last year’s run, the seven miles of open highway allowed for a more gradual easing towards the top speed of the SSC Tuatara, where Oliver Webb held full throttle and boost for only 20-25 seconds of the entirety of the run. However, on the three-mile runway, Caplin had to use a drag race style dig start, holding the Tuatara’s 5.9-liter, twin-turbo V-8 wide open and pushing full boost for 40–50 seconds. As a result of the aggressive run, SSC claims that the Tuatara hit 244 mph within one mile of its standing start.

SSC Tuatara Supercar Hypercar Top Speed Record Florida
SSC Tuatara. Image via SSC.

Robert Mitchell, a YouTube personality that runs Apex Nürburg, was on site to verify the results. Mitchell was one of the folks that blew a whistle on the first record run, leading to SSC to audit what happened, and taking it upon themselves to re-do the attempt. This successful effort seemed to have taken place after a botched attempt, which stemmed from poor mounting of all the telematics equipment.

Nevertheless, Jerod Shelby and company still plan to take the SSC Tuatara to 300 mph, and from the looks of how the latest speed run went, all they’ll need is a longer road.

SSC Tuatara Top Speed Record.
SSC Tuatara Top Speed Record. Image via SSC.


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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