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Having a Guinness World Record to one's name is a great achievement to many. For petrolheads and auto enthusiasts though, nothing beats the joy of having a land speed record. A businessman from the United Kingdom has successfully attempted to get one of the weirdest Guinness World Records — the world record for the highest speed set in an auto rickshaw.
Matt Everard, a businessman from the United Kingdom set a record for the fastest highest speed achieved in an auto rickshaw by touching a top speed of 74.306mph (119.583km/h). The record was set in Matt Everard's 1971 Bangkok tuk-tuk that was heavily modified just for the record.
Matt Everard ended up buying the tuk-tuk after a 'boozy night's conversation' according to his statement given to the Press Association. He bought the tuk-tuk from a seller on eBay by paying 3,000 Pounds (Rs 2.74 lakh) for it and in order to justify the purchase to his wife, he decided on using it to set a new record.
The 1971 Bangkok tuk-tuk was originally powered by a 350cc two-stroke engine. This engine definitely wouldn't help him set the record. Hence Matt began modifying the tuk-tuk. The first step was a bigger engine and he decided to use a 1.3-litre fuel-injected motor from an old Daihatsu.
Other modifications included, tuning the engine, equipping it with two radiators. In order to keep the auto-rickshaw stable at higher speeds, he widened the track and equipped it with chunkier tyres.
The suspension was lowered and the tuk-tuk was given new wheels, dashboard and seats. All of the above modifications apparently cost him around 20,000 pounds (Rs 18,25 lakh). In order to get the record, Mat Everard had to beat the previous record of 109.43km/h with a passenger sitting at in the back seat.
Matt Everard's cousin Russell Shearman happily played the passenger and the duo set off for the record-breaking run on the runway at the Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire.
Matt Everard was quoted as saying, "I thought it was going to be more wobbly. At a certain speed there was a slight wheel-wobble, but once you went through that speed it kind of evened out again and it was fine. I wasn't scared." Everard plans to modify the tuk-tuk further and then attempt to break his own record by doing 100mph (160km/h).
Thoughts On World Record For Highest Speed In An Auto-Rickshaw
Auto-rickshaws in India are powered by puny single-cylinder engines with a capacity of around 200cc. Even after being so low on power, some rickshaws can be seen doing speeds of above 60km/h while some crazy auto drivers chase after 70km/h.
With a 1,300cc engine, getting the tuk-tuk up to speed shouldn't have been a big problem at all. The problem is with stability issues. Auto-rickshaws are unstable by nature and it is this very fact that could have slowed Matt Everard down. However, for the next run to 160km/h, we're sure he would come back with a lower and more stable tuk-tuk.