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For sale – Jet-powered land speed car, slightly used

By Cameron Kirby, 24 Jul 2018 News

For sale – Jet-powered land speed car, slightly used

Reckon a Bugatti Chiron is tame? Perhaps a jet-powered wheeled missile with a top speed of 1026km/h will be more to your liking.

FORGET Koenigseggs and Paganis – there’s an even faster breed of car available to purchase in Australia.

Aussie Invader III, the car that madman Rosco McGlashan once piloted to over 1000km/h, is currently for sale at Unique Cars. It’s not the first time the car has been offered for sale, with McGlashan attempting to offload the jet-powered beast in 2012 for $350,000 to help fund his current Aussie Invader 5R project.

Does the name ring a bell? It should. McGlashan is one of the titans of the land speed record community, being a prominent figure despite never having officially claimed the title.

The Aussie Invader III may be surplus to his needs, but it’s certainly not for a lack of thrust. Powered by the jet engine from a Mirage fighter jet, it can do the 0-1000km/h sprint in roughly 22 seconds.

The current seller of Aussie Invader III hasn’t listed a price for the sale, but it’s likely any potential buyers will have to come ready to pay a figure deep into six figures.

If you are wondering what it might be like to drive a vehicle with four wheels at 1000km/h, well McGlashan has some advice.

“You cannot appreciate how fast you are going,” he told Wheels earlier this year.

Read next: Archive: Rosco McGlashan's world land speed record attempt 1995

“All you can look at is these barrels which are whizzing past you at a great rate of knots. They are all numbered, and you can count the barrels as they go past. Eight… seven… six… Then the measured mile is coming up, and there are some big black lines painted on the ground to know you are on the measured mile, record your speed, and then you have to try and slow the whole thing down.

“The biggest sensation of it all is driving a car over the curvature of the earth. If you haven’t been on a salt lake, the hardest thing to describe is you are standing on the salt and looking at the horizon over the curvature of the earth. If someone is three kilometres away, you couldn’t see them.

“When you are going that quick it feels like you are looking over a hill. You really know you are moving fast. In Aussie Invader II we pulled 4G, and I lifted my bum out of the seat. I would get out of the car and my neck would be killing me, I thought ‘Geez, I have been drag racing all my life and it’s not the G, I don’t know what is going wrong’.

Read next: Inside Bloodhound SSC's 1600km/h cockpit

“Then when I looked at the onboard vision I was climbing up and pushing my head against the rollcage and just about snapping my neck because I’m trying to look over the curvature of the earth.

“If you had to go that fast on a race track you’d shit yourself with all the trees and what not whizzing past.”

Aussie Invader III came tantalisingly close to claiming the land speed record (LSR) over two decades ago.

When McGlashan and the team arrived at Lake Gairdner in 1996, the record was held by a British chap by the name of Richard Noble at 1018km/h.

On their first run, Aussie Invader III and McGlashan recorded a peak speed of 1026km/h over the measured mile.

Read next: Land Speed Record Heroes

Unfortunately, bad weather prevented a return run being completed before the hour time limit elapsed.

By 1997, the Brits had improved the record, going supersonic at 1227km/h, and moving the LSR outside McGlashan’s reach.

The West Australian is now developing a rocket-powered car in an attempt to finally achieve his lifelong goal of breaking the Land Speed Record.