Jesse James, American engineer, stuntman and all around lunatic successfully shattered the land speed record for a hydrogen powered vehicle for his latest show Jesse James Is A Dead Man – a show in which he cheats death every week by taking on a different challenge.
James, who is married to actress Sandra Bullock (who starred in Speed, somewhat fittingly), broke the world land-speed record for a hydrogen powered car yesterday in the Mojave desert. Jesse's new record speed of 199.7mph (321km/h) was documented by the Southern California Timing Association and beat the previous record holder, the BMW H2R, which previously held the land-speed record for an H2 car of 185mph (298km/h).
The vehicle he used was a 1960s relic that has been used for attempts on land-speed records before, most notably by Dees-Milodin Engineering, which named the contraption the Streamliner for fairly obvious reasons.
Now, James rebuilt the vehicle from the ground up, replacing its Chrysler engine with a twin-turbocharged 9.8L V8 engine from Chevrolet. The engine uses hydrogen gas, rather than liquid hydrogen, and considering the old 1960s Chrysler-engined Streamliner was able to hit 237mph at the Bonneville salt flats without hydrogen, yesterday’s record would have been easy going for the old girl.
James, who has done some amazingly dangerous stunts for his show already, told AutoWeek that he was not even scared of doing the run - but if it was us barrelling down a Southern Californian salt flat at world-record speeds with two tanks of hydrogen gas pressurized to 10,00psi sitting behind us we think we'd be just a little bit apprehensive.
The show was filmed yesterday and will air as the season one finale on Sunday, August 9 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on Spike TV.
From Spike TV: