Open Menu
Open Menu
 ::

How to exceed the speed limit by 220 MPH and get away with it

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Before embarking on his quest to break the world land-speed record, Rosco McGlashan was an exhibition drag racer who piloted jet dragsters, much like the Arfons brothers. McGlashan also decided – once – to take his act to a public street, as he told the tale on his Facebook page.

I was on my way home from a drag racing meeting on Australia’s east coast. What the director of this film company wanted was an impossibility. He wanted me to race my jet dragster down a public street on a Sunday morning at very high speed. If I remember rightly the expression I used was “As long as my backside points to the ground, it will not happen.” We needed Police, Main Roads, Shire and the Mayors permission to do this. I think by now the statute of limitations has exceeded, so I can tell this story.

Lucky I knew the Mayor and the Police Chief and after a discussion on safety and to my surprise, this all came together in about an hour, with both of those people, doing what is sadly rare in todays society… they were able to make a decision. We lined up our dragster alongside the Grand Hotel in Brockman Street with her pointing southbound, every available cop or person with any authority stood guard on all of the alleys and side streets leading onto Brockman Street. We started Aussie Invader 1 and I wound her up to 108 percent performing several burner pops on the way to max rpm. A suicidal French camera man positioned himself in the middle of the intersection. I lit the burner and blasted past where he was, not wanting to deploy the chutes in case he got caught up in them. Our racer ended up a long way down Brockman Street stopping at a T junction. Everyone including me could not believe what had just happened.

Someone said “You were close to that cameraman”, I didn’t even see the cameraman in the middle of the intersection, then the producer asked us to do it all again. I will never forget the horror on the faces of everyone involved when we started preparing for a second run. This will never happen again in this country, I can assure you.

A cop with a speed gun said we exceeded 420km/h (261 mph) down Brockman Street. I think I would have lost my license for that one, but probably set a record for the highest speed over the limit on a public road in Australia, as I was 360km/h (220 mph) over the speed limit. And for any kids out there, racing is for racetracks, so please do not try and beat that record.

Somehow, he went on, the video footage of that stunt has yet to surface, so he’s wondering if anybody out there has ever seen it or could get it to him. Also, uh, we’d like to see it too.