York & North Yorkshire

Tuk tuk world land speed record holder 'over the moon'

Essex businessman Matt Everard (right) and passenger Russell Shearman celebrate their Guinness World Record after setting the world land speed record in a tuk tuk at Elvington Airfield Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA
Image caption Matt Everard (right) persuaded his cousin Russell Shearman to act as his passenger

A man who has set a new tuk tuk land speed record says he is "over the moon" at the achievement.

Matt Everard, 46, from Billericay, Essex, set a speed of 74.306mph (119.583kmh) at Elvington Airfield near York.

He had been set a target of 68.35mph (110kmh) by Guinness World Records.

Mr Everard bought the three-wheeled 1971 Bangkok taxi on eBay from a seller in Bolton in 2017, as a "fun vehicle to ride around town".

The record for fastest autorickshaw/tuk tuk (prototype) is a new one for Guinness World Records.

It required Mr Everard to have a passenger in the back, so his cousin Russell Shearman, 49, volunteered for the job.

Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA
Image caption Guinness said the overall speed was taken by averaging out the speeds over two separate laps

"I'm over the moon, I feel brilliant," Mr Everard said of his world record.

He said the "build-up" to the attempt had been the "exciting" bit and would like to have another attempt to try to hit 100mph.

"We'd like to have done it slightly faster today, but we've got the record and that's all that matters.

"I thought it was going to be more wobbly.

"At a certain speed there was a slight wheel-wobble, but once you went through that speed it kind of evened out again and it was fine. I wasn't scared."

He said the purchase followed a "boozy night" after having a few tuk tuk rides in Thailand.

"I just loved the fun of it, it made me smile.

"When we got back, I was watching a tuk tuk on eBay and I'd had a beer or two.

"My wife went to bed, and I thought 'well, why not? Let's have a tuk tuk'."

He said confessing the purchase to his wife had not been the "easiest conversation".

He spent more than £20,000 improving the vehicle and to justify the expense he had the idea of trying for a world record in the vehicle.

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