Construction and Agricultural machines specialists JCB celebrates the ten-year anniversary of clinching a world record.
Ten years ago, the JCB Dieselmax car took to the Bonneville Salt Flats breaking the diesel land speed record. The mammoth task was the brainchild of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, and was a bold PR stunt to showcase the capability of JCB high-tech power units as more than rudimentary digger engines.
Today, the record still stands as 350.092mph and is considered a great feat by the driver of the Dieselmax, Wing Commander Andy Green. ‘It’s great to celebrate 10 years of this team being world champions. I have been back to Bonneville a few times since we set the record and the Americans are still today talking about the 350 mph record and are asking when will the “big yellow car” come out to play again.’
Key personnel in the design process of the Dieselmax included Ron Ayres, the whizz who handled the aerodynamics of the ThrustSSC, still the holder of the world land speed record of 763mph.
Reaching the record breaking speed required engineering solutions focused around the engine. Power increased over five-fold to 750bhp and torque stood at 1106lb ft. Achieving this impressive power figure saw to two engines bored and stroked out to 5.0-litres. Mated to the engine was a sophisticated two-stage turbocharging setup to ensure sufficient airflow throughout the RPM range.
Lord Bamford seemed in a jubilant mood referencing the record: ‘My biggest regret is that nobody else has beaten our record. Let’s hope someone else comes along and we can have another crack at the record.’
He also expressed his gratitude to the team behind the once thought impossible accomplishment. ‘You did an amazing job in achieving the diesel land speed record - it was our own Olympics and we won it’
Words: Lee Stern