Jesse James, famous for his West Coast Choppers business and actress wife Sandra Bullock, is being challenged over recent reports that he successfully broke the world landspeed record for a hydrogen-powered vehicle.
The 40-year-old has been preparing for the attempt for over a year now — and on June 16th blazed across El Mirage Dry Lake Bed at 199.7 mph, breaking the previous record held by BMW of 186.52 mph. The stunt was taped as part of the season finale for his television show Jesse James is a Dead Man.
Not so fast, says landspeed historian Louise Ann Noeth. According to a press release issues through her company, Landspeed Productions, the “claim is without merit since the activities were conducted without benefit of any motorsports sanctioning authority. The vehicle was neither inspected, nor certified and all the timing personnel were on the James TV payroll.”
Ms. Noeth said that all world landspeed records require “two runs over a one-mile course within one hour. James was 5,148 feet short — being timed one-way for a total of 132 feet; he made only three or four passes over an eight to ten-hour period.”
Wired Magazine seems to have confirmed the allegations saying that the president of the Southern California Timing Association sent them a note saying that “Mr James did not set any record. What he did accomplish was to exceed an existing record speed previously set by BMW.” Ok, so he went really fast. Still, a pretty decent feat nonetheless — just seems that the wording of that accomplishment needs to be changed.
For more info on James’ hydrogen-powered monster, jump here.
Photo credit: Hildie Katibah for Spike TV