Matt Everard driving his tuk-tuk during the attempt for the fastest autorickshaw/tuk-tuk

A Thai tuk-tuk has sped its way into the record books after achieving a record-breaking speed of 119.584 km/h (74.306 mph).

Matt Everard and Russell Shearman (both UK), set the record for the fastest autorickshaw/tuk-tuk (prototype) at Elvington airfield in North Yorkshire, UK on Monday 13 May.

But how did the record-breaking feat come about?

We're all guilty of making an impulse online buy now and again but Matt, from Billericay in Essex, took this one step further.

He was browsing eBay one evening and ended up purchasing a Thai tuk-tuk.


Matt then embarked on the mission of not just owning any old tuk-tuk, but the world’s fastest tuk-tuk and started making the necessary modifications which added up to £20,000.

Built in 1971, the three-wheeled vehicle had its original two-stroke 350cc motor removed and replaced with a 1300cc fuel-injection engine.

"We removed the boot or the tail gate of it, to let the air go through, so it didn’t act as an airbrake," Matt explained.


In order to achieve the record, the tuk-tuk needed a passenger – which is where his cousin Russell came in.

"He was tucked in behind us, looking at aerodynamics and stuff like that," Matt said.

They also had Adjudicator Pravin Patel on hand, who explained the guidelines and the requirements of the attempt in full. 


Travelling in a three wheeled contraption going at 119 km/h may seem frightening to some, but for adrenaline junkie Russell it was a walk in the park.

"I skydive most weekends, so it [the tuk-tuk] was quite slow!" Russell joked.

"It was really good. There was a bit of a wobble going on when we built up speed but it felt quite safe so it wasn’t too bad at all."


Ahead of the record attempt Matt had just one practice run – without a passenger.

"I've only driven it once by myself and I got it up to about 80 mph, so obviously we weren’t sure because of the extra weight, because of Russell."

Fastest tuk-tuk onboard

Though there was no current record holder for this title, Matt needed to beat a minimum time of 110 km/h (68.4 mph).

Despite not knowing how a passenger would affect its speed, Matt wasn't nervous ahead of the attempt.


"I was excited, not nervous. We knew it had it in it, it was just a case of how fast it was going to go, which way the wind was going to go and those kinds of things."

Following the record-breaking run, Matt and Russell are keen to increase the speed even more.

"It's been a really good experience… we want to come back and try it all over again. We've got plans for maybe a nitrus kit which will bring the power up. We’d really like to go for it and see what we can do."

For now however, Matt and Russell want to kick back and enjoy their new record.

"We’re just really excited, really happy. We want to go and open a bottle of champagne!"

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