The new owner of the Bloodhound SSC project, Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst, has told Autocar that he intends to stick to the original plan for the 1000mph land speed record car.
He said: “I’m still trying to get my head around what’s there and what the plans truly are. I rang the administrators on Monday to see if I could help and now I own the team. At the moment, I feel like I’m in a holding pattern, working out where things are up to, but the main thing is we’ve saved it from being broken up. I still need to find out what’s left to do.
He added: “There was no way I could let it go to the wall. ‘That can’t happen.’ I said to myself. I’ve been to Bloodhound shows with my kids and they’d taken part in its schools competition.”
It was announced this morning that Warhurst was buying the business and assets of the Bristol-based project, which went into administration in October.
Earlier this month, administrators said efforts to find the £25 million investment needed had failed.
However, project leader Andy Green, who set the current land speed record in Thrust SSC back in 1997 subsequently told Autocar that there was still hope for Bloodhound, with one investor showing significant interest but unable to raise the money ahead of the deadline.
Then, this morning, administrators Andrew Sheridan and Geoff Rowley announced that Warhurst has bought the business and assets for an undisclosed account.
Sheridan said he was “thrilled that we have been able to secure a buyer who is able to give this inspiring project a future”.
Warhurst owned Barnsley-based turbocharger firm Melett from 2002 until selling it to US firm Wabtec late in 2017 and staying on as managing director. He has featured in Management Today’s list of Britain’s top 100 entrepreneurs.
Warhurst told Autocar he likes vintage cars and just bought a Jaguar XK140 at auction. He describes himself as “a good general engineer” adding “but engineers find all kind of solutions for all kind of problems including business problems”.
Sheridan said: “Ian has a strong background in managing highly successful businesses in the automotive engineering sector, and he will be considerable expertise to bear in taking the project forward.”
The official line from Sheridan is that Warhurst intends to outline his plans for Bloodhound early in 2019.