On June 21, 2019, British industrial equipment manufacturer JCB didn't just set a new tractor speed record. They straight-up SMOKED it.
With former motorcycle racer and current TV presenter Guy Martin behind the wheel, the 1,000-horsepower JCB Fastrac 8000 got up to 103.6 MPH during its record-setting run at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England. To give you some context, the previous record was set in March 2018, when Top Gear's Track-Tor reached speeds of 87.27 MPH. Yeah, it wasn't even close.
But, the story doesn't stop there! Several months after JCB's Fastrac One made history, the Fastrac Two, the company's new-and-improved model, went and took the title of world's fastest tractor. On November 17, 2019, the JCB team bested its own record with a ridiculous top speed of 135.191 MPH. How awesome is that?!
A quick look at the specs of the ridiculously tricked-out Fastrac, which was constructed by a team of JCB engineers over the course of several months, will show that this tractor was painstakingly constructed to absolutely demolish the competition. Of course, it didn't hurt that JCB got a little bit of assistance from the Williams Formula One team.
Based on the Staffordshire maker's Fastrac farm tractor, the record-breaking tractor is powered by JCB's 7.2 liter, 6-cylinder DieselMax engine produced at its factory in Derbyshire. Capable of delivering 1,000hp and 2,500Nm of torque, the Fastrac had been put on a diet and had its aerodynamics enhanced with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering.
JCB Chairman Anthony Bamford came up with the idea to make a line of tractors that were both fast and still capable of operating like actual working tractors. Obviously, that wasn't an easy task, so Bamford for more than a little bit pleased with the results.
"When we reached 103.6 mph with the Fastrac in the summer, I was convinced we could go even faster, and the JCB team has risen to the challenge by setting this new record," JCB chairman Lord Anthony Bamford said in a statement. "It's an amazing achievement delivered by a young and enthusiastic engineering team. Everyone involved should be very proud of the part they have played in showing off JCB engineering at its very best."
Bamford ain't lying. It's a fantastic job, no doubt. But, I'd still like to see an American company go toe-to-toe with JCB's Fastrac tractors and attempt to take snatch that high-speed record. Sure, it wouldn't be the most...revolutionary war, but it'd be damn fun to watch.
This post was originally published on June 25, 2019.