103-MPH JCB Fastrac 8000 Tuned by Williams F1 Is the World’s Fastest Tractor
First Honda breaks 100 mph on a lawnmower, now this crew’s gone 103 mph in a tractor. What’s next?
British industrial equipment manufacturer JCB has broken the top speed record for tractors, hitting 103.6 miles per hour in a modified version of its Fastrac 8000. In case you forgot, the previous record of 87 mph was set by none other than Top Gear's 500-horsepower "Track-tor."
Built in secret over the past several months, this speedy farming machine is powered by a 7.2-liter, six-cylinder diesel engine producing 1,000 horsepower and 1,843 pound-feet of torque. According to Farmer's Weekly, the regular Agco CVT transmission has been replaced by a lorry-spec six-speed ZF manual. It's also been lightened and had its aerodynamics worked on with assistance from Williams Advanced Engineering. Yes, the same crew behind the Formula 1 team of the same name.
Hitting triple-digit speeds on Yorkshire's Elvington Airfield, the modified Fastrac was driven by motorcycle racer and TV presenter Guy Martin.
"It had been a great day with the JCB at Elvington, proper job with some right proper engineers. She felt rock steady on the runway, job's a peach," Martin exclaimed.
And don't think modifying a tractor to hit illegal-on-the-highway speeds was the scheme of some rebellious, skunkworks engineer. The whole thing was apparently JCB chairman Lord Bamford's idea.
"We've long harbored a dream to attempt a speed record with the Fastrac and the whole team has worked tirelessly to achieve this amazing result," said Lord Bamford. "I'm extremely proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time. It is British engineering at its best and it really does highlight the skills and innovation we have in our engineering team. They have done a truly fantastic job."
A documentary on JCB's record-breaking tractor will air in the U.K. on Channel 4 later this year. In the meantime, here's Top Gear's Matt LeBlanc and Chris Harris tooling around in the previous record holder.