The 350 mph JCB
Most of us have cursed at one time or another when caught behind a slow-moving digger, travelling on the road. Well, there’s one JCB that will easily leave you standing, as the JCB Dieselmax recently achieved a stunning 350mph (563kph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats to break its own land speed record for diesel-powered cars.
Driven by Andy Green, the JCB Dieselmax became the world’s fastest diesel when it clocked up an FIA-sanctioned speed of 328.767mph (526.027kph). Green later improved on that significantly with a new record of 350.092mph (563.418kph) after two passes in opposite directions, within one hour. Even this record was short-lived, as running soon after daybreak, Green recorded 365.779mph (588.664kph) on his first run and 335.695mph (540.248kph) on his return, giving the average of 350.092mph (563.418kph).
As he was feted by his jubilant crew, Green said: “I am so pleased that we have got the car to 350mph which was always our ultimate goal and that was with a slow start to the second run. There is so much more to come as the car is pulling like a train and we still haven’t used sixth gear!
“Today’s record proves the potential we have always believed JCB Dieselmax to possess. This is another great result for a wonderful team and a testament to British engineering.”
“350mph is a fantastic speed for a diesel-powered car. To have built the world’s fastest diesel in such a short timescale is a wonderful achievement for the JCB Dieselmax team,” said Dr Tim Leverton, Project Director. “What is even more impressive is to set three records – 317.021mph, 328.767mph (526.027 kph) and 350.092mph (563.418kph) in only six days.
“Once again we have demonstrated the engineering and team effort that has gone into creating this extraordinary car.”
JCB Dieselmax was JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford’s brainchild, born of his desire to showcase the extreme performance of the JCB444 diesel engine which normally powers the company’s backhoe loaders and Loadall telescopic handlers. The record-breaking vehicle was fitted with Goodyear 23 x 15 racing tyres and apparently, larger tyres were initially considered but rejected in favour of the smaller tyres in order to allow a smaller frontal area for the streamliner.