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Wolverhampton man revved up to reclaim speed world record - in 1972 car

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

It was a car bought for £60 – and it ended up breaking the speed record for a street-legal drag car.

Andy Frost with his super-charged Vauxhall Victor ahead of his record challenge

Now, after some fine tuning to his pride and joy, Andy Frost from Wolverhampton is aiming to do it all over again and reclaim his world record.

The 57-year-old, who runs Penn Autos in the city, will aim to reach an incredible 252mph in just six seconds to smash the quarter-mile record for a street-legal car

He will get behind the wheel of Red Victor 3, his heavily-modified 1972 Vauxhall Victor, in Bahrain early next year in an attempt to take back the record he held between 2012 and 2014 – quite an achievement for a bloke from Whitmore Reans, as Andy describes himself.

The Vauxhall Victor in action

The record - for a street-legal car from a standing start over a quarter of a mile - was broken by an American driver, who hit 251mph.

Andy came close to re-taking the crown last year, falling an agonisingly 0.18 seconds short of the target.

Father-of-three Andy started drag racing as a hobby more than 30 years ago and turned his attention towards record-breaking feats when he realised just how powerful his car, originally bought for just £60, was.

He hopes he has done enough this time to go even fast and become a record-breaker once again.

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The Red Victor 3 has reached a top speed of 251mph so far

He said: “We have been working to get it back ever since. If there is nobody there to beat the record nobody would want to set it.

“I’m pretty confident but like every record we have got to go and do it. We have got some clever people on our team.

"We can put everything together but the proof will be in the pudding. When we get there and I’m running down the track we will see if the thing is going to work.”

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Red Victor 3 facts:

  • Engine size: 8.8 litre
  • Top speed reached: 251mph
  • 10 different sets of wheels over the three different versions of Red Victor
  • Seven different engines over the three different versions of Red Victor
  • 1,000 miles on RV3. 1000s of miles on the previous versions
  • Every Red Victor since Andy bought the original in 1982 has been street legal

The land-speed bid will take place at the international circuit in the Middle Eastern nation, which also hosts Formula 1 races.

Despite the remarkable speeds reached in such a short space of time, Andy says he does not get particularly nervous about getting in the car, even with the obvious dangers the challenge poses.

He said: “When I fire the car up and get running for the first time then I will think about it. Speed is normal to me.

“You could die for sure. We spend lots of time making sure the systems in the car, the chassis, the fire extinguisher, all that stuff is right.

“The kit is the best you can buy to give me the chance to get out if it rolls or if there is a fire.”

Six seconds

Months of toil have gone in to ensuring the car if as fast as it can be, and it will all come down to just six seconds on the track.

It is technically the same car bought for just £60, even if Andy admits it’s ‘a bit of a Trigger’s broom’ as it had so many changes, referring to the classic moment from Only Fools and Horses.

It will cost around £26,000 to launch the latest record attempt with £10,000 coming from an auction by Gloucester firm and sponsors R-Tech Welding Equipment. More cash has been donated by fans online.

Andy said: “Because I’m just a normal working bloke, I live in Whitmore Reans, I don’t have any sort of wealth to my name.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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