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Becoming a record breaker

1 year ago

Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

9 April 2021

When I was a kid growing up in the Seventies I only wanted three things in life, save marrying a Charlie’s Angels cast member which didn’t seem very likely. The problem was none of the other three seemed remotely possible either. I wanted to drive at car at 200mph at a time when no production road car had ever done 200mph. I wanted to race at Le Mans, which you got to do only if you were either exceptionally rich, incredibly talented and usually both. I was neither. And finally, most absurdly of all, I wanted to get my name into what was then called the Guinness Book of Records. Ridiculous, I know.

As luck would have it, in time the first two ambitions would indeed be realised. I hit 200mph by getting this job and waiting until cars had become so much faster that given a long enough runway, it wasn’t particularly difficult. And I raced at Le Mans because the organisers invented the Le Mans Classic, thereby allowing people who were merely lucky sods with reasonable connections to have a punt around the full extraordinary circuit. But these are stories for another time.

The Guinness problem always looked hardest to crack. I didn’t much fancy having a go at the longest caravan journey (68,000 miles over five years according to the 1974 edition), nor did I really want to leave a set of skid marks longer than the 290 metres then recorded or drive a car more than 109 miles in reverse. And as for the Land Speed Record, even then it was 622mph, three times my fondest ambition in that particular area. Clearly it was never going to happen.

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