Vampire (car)

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The Vampire was a jet-propelled car that currently holds the outright British land speed record, driven by Colin Fallows to a mean speed of 300.3 mph (483.3 km/h) on July 5, 2000 at Elvington, Yorkshire, England.[1]

Vampire was 30 feet (9.1 m) long and consumed from 7 to 10 UK gallons of fuel per mile. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Orpheus turbojet engine, it could accelerate from standstill to 272 mph (438 km/h) in six seconds, a personal best set at Santa Pod Raceway.

Vampire was originally constructed by Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge, a pioneer British drag racer, as one of a pair of identical match-race jet dragsters in 1981.[2] The sister car "Hellbender" was involved in a crash in 1986 in which Mark Woodley, an experienced dragster driver, was killed.[3]

Vampire crashed in 2006 during shooting of a segment for the television show Top Gear, severely injuring its driver, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. Hammond's peak speed was higher than the official British land speed record, recording a top speed of 314 mph (505 km/h).[4] However, he did not officially break the British record as, according to the rules, two runs in different directions and an independent observer are required. Hammond crashed on his seventh run. Jeremy Clarkson joked that Hammond would have created the record for the fastest crash but would have needed to repeat the crash in the opposite direction.[5]

In December 2007, the damaged vehicle went up for sale as scrap on eBay UK.[6]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ The Times, September 21, 2006. See
  2. ^ Allan Herridge in the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame
  3. ^ The Sunday Times, September 24, 2006. See
  4. ^ BBC Top Gear website (RealPlayer video).
  5. ^ "Top Gear Season 9 Episode 1 at 58:00", January 28, 2007
  6. ^ nibbler146 (2007-12-23). "Vampire jet dragster as seen on BBC Top Gear". United Kingdom: eBay Inc. Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2009-07-18. I am listing this vehicle on behalf of the owner, who doesn’t possess a computer and has therefore asked me to do it for him. Up for auction with NO RESERVE is ‘Vampire’, the jet dragster seen on the BBC Top Gear programme and which holds the Official British Land Speed record at an average, each-way speed of 301mph. ... It is being sold as scrap without any warranty or guarantees whatsoever.