As remarkable as it sounds, a 1988 Chevrolet S-10 pick-up truck is indeed the fastest road-legal vehicle in the world.
The truck, owned by a Larry Larson, is registered in Missouri and completed the 1,000 miles necessary to compete in the Hot Rod Drag Week event. It was there that Larson set his record-breaking quarter-mile time of 6.16 seconds at 219mph.
To put that into perspective, McLaren claims its P1 hypercar, just about the fastest production car on the planet at the moment, does the quarter-mile in 9.8 seconds. That’s glacial in comparison.
Of course, Larson’s Chevy stretches the definition of road legal to breaking point. Under the skin is a proper tube-frame drag racing chassis and a 10-litre V8 engine with a pair of 98mm turbos. It runs on regular petrol on the street, but for racing it burns alcohol.
A few bits and bobs remain standard, but apart from that it is a bespoke racing machine. Still, it passed Missouri’s (probably very easy) road worthiness test, so who are we to argue?
Unfortunately, Larson’s record means Britain’s Andy Frost looses his. Frost’s 1970’s Vauxhall VX4/90, nickname Red Victor, previously held the record at around the 6.40-second mark. Though it had to pass the UK’s relatively strict MOT test, so I’m going to suggest, perhaps controversially, that Frost’s achievement is probably greater.
Still, we should just be happy that it’s possible for insanely rapid cars to drive on the road at all.