Top Gear Set A Guinness World Record for the Fastest Tractor on the Planet
Meet the "Track-tor." Now wave goodbye.
In its continued quest to show that you can go fast in just about anything, Top Gear has set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest tractor on the planet with an 87-mph run in a 500-horsepower farm implement dubbed "Track-tor."
Getting stuck behind a tractor on a rural road is never fun, but chances are we wouldn't have that problem if every farmer in America used something like the extremely tall track toy that the BBC show's nutty engineers dreamed up. The donor tractor was given a heart transplant in the form of a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8 engine, plus a host of other modifications like four-wheel disc brakes, adjustable air suspension, and of course, the gigantic wing out back. The whole thing is bathed in many cans of "Lamborghini orange paint."
As the saying goes: If you build it, they will come. Top Gear's mysterious test driver The Stig materialized to pilot the Track-tor for its record attempt at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, a former Royal Air Force base. Even with the modifications, flirting with 90 mph in a vehicle that's absolutely not designed for those speeds is a dangerous game, but the tractor managed to hit 91.919 mph on its first run and 82.623 mph on its return trip. A little arithmetic gives us the new official Guinness World Record for Fastest Tractor (Modified): 87.271 mph.
The official adjudicator wrote that the experience of watching The Stig fly past him in a giant tractor was "surreal." Equally impressed was Top Gear co-host Matt LeBlanc, who continues to surprise by revealing on this week's episode that he owns no less than four tractors and considers himself "a bit of an enthusiast."
"When you get stuck behind one, you can’t go anywhere. So we’re trying to speed up farming. When Lewis Hamilton retires, this is what he’ll be driving," he said in the press release.
The previous record had been set back in 2015 by four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen, who took a Finnish-made Valtra T234 tractor up to 81 mph on a snowy straightaway high above the Arctic Circle. Even though that record has now been broken, the video is still worth watching in full—both for the change of scenery and the way the cool Finn assesses the chance of spinning out on the track's lead-in turn by saying "Let's just drive and see how it goes."