Top Speed Record-Holding SSC Tuatara Wrecked in Car Carrier Crash

In the short clip, Shelby says that “The more we looked and the more we tried to analyze, the more we were concerned there were doubts in the relationship between the video and the GPS.” 

“We have to re-run the record,” he said. “We have to do this again.”

To his credit, a second run at the Kennedy Space Center’s 2.3-mile Shuttle Runway did happen. A world record was broken, but it wasn’t without issues. The car, driven by owner Caplin, had mechanical trouble that prevented it from breaching the 300 mph mark. Since then, the company has been hell-bent on finally getting a clean pass to prove what the Tuatara is truly capable of. That was supposed to happen back on April 17, but needless to say, the car never made it.

According to the source who provided the images and Shelby himself, the car carrier was traveling along the Interstate late at night on April 13 when strong winds blew it over on its side. That same evening, our source tells us that “high profile vehicles were advised not to travel on I-15 from Ogden to Salt Lake.” Ogden is around 23 miles south of where the truck was blown over near Brigham City, but the high winds must’ve extended further north than anticipated.

Our source claims that the only other vehicle onboard the truck at the time of the accident was a motorcycle, parked on the lower deck of the transporter—the Tuatara was strapped in on the top deck. The driver and passenger who were on board at the time both walked away from the accident, although one was later hospitalized, Shelby said.

The truck reportedly ended up at an impound/tow yard after being hauled from the scene of the accident, and our source indicates that the car carrier was so badly damaged—Shelby said it was “destroyed”—that its own internal lift was not functional when it came time to remove the stricken hypercar from the top deck. The cables supporting the vehicle had to be cut and the car lowered carefully with help from a tow truck. 

Shelby—you can see him clearly in the lead image of this story—was on the scene for the duration of the Tuatara’s removal from the carrier. The entire ordeal was filmed with help from a documentary crew who has been recording the company’s journey to break the 300mph barrier for the past three years. The Drive also received a video of the extraction from our source, which is embedded below.

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