This year Andy Green, Richard Noble and the Bloodhound land speed record team plan to push boundaries again, this time beyond 800mph. If that goes well, they will endeavour to exceed 1000mph next year.
High speeds have long enthralled car enthusiasts. Back in 2001, Autocar produced a supplement on the subject. Highlights included a rundown of the greatest fast cars ever made (from the McLaren F1 to the 1907 Metallurgique-Maybach Tourer, powered by a 10-litre aero engine), the fastest drivers (from Jim Clark to Colin McRae, via Tazio Nuvolari and Bernd Rosemeyer) and a nostalgic drive in a Lamborghini Diablo, rated as good for 207mph and tested to an indicated 201mph.
But the main feature was our man Colin Goodwin getting behind the wheel of the Vampire jet car, which produced 10,000bhp from its Rolls-Royce Orpheus engine. The initial plan was to run the car without the afterburners lit, the car’s owners reckoning that to do so would be too much for our man. But after a series of carefully staggered runs to 205mph, Goodwin put on his best puppy dog eyes and asked the question.