Team Vesco Turbinator II is first to exceed 500mph with wheel drive

Shane McGlaun - Oct 15, 2018, 8:44 am CDT
Team Vesco Turbinator II is first to exceed 500mph with wheel drive

A race has been going on for years out on the Bonneville Salt Flats where teams from around the world have vied to become the first wheel drive car to exceed 500mph. That feat has been accomplished in a run that came on October 2, 2018, by Team Vesco in a car called Turbinator II.

The driver of the car was Dave Spangler and the vehicle is owned and built by Rick Vesco who started the dream to pursue 500mph with his brother Don Vesco 17 years ago. Don passed away from cancer in 2002. The car in its current form began in 2013 with a new turbine engine, new drive train, new traction control, new brakes, and a new body.

A video of the 503mph run is embedded below for you to watch. It’s hard to fathom what 500mph looks like, but that is faster than many aircraft fly. The video of the run shows how little the driver can see from the cockpit of the car.

With the turbine engine, the car sounds as if it is jet powered, but it is driven by the wheels. The car slows down faster than it accelerates thanks to the twin parachutes out back.

If you watch the smaller video pane in the top left when the chutes deploy, you can see that one of them breaks free offering no help slowing the car down. It looks like a very bumpy ride at those speeds.


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