Do you have a spare quarter of a million British pounds stuck between the cushions of your couch? Don’t give those bills out to your godchildren this Christmas just yet. The Bloodhound SSC just popped up for sale at a very, very attractive price.
Yes, that’s right. The actual Bloodhound SSC jet-and-rocket car is really up for sale for a very cool £250,000 (P16,650,000). It may not have heated leather seats, air suspension and a feature-packed entertainment system like a similarly priced Bentley Flying Spur, but it does have a big-ass Rolex stopwatch on the dashboard and a jet engine normally used by Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft to swat nuclear bombers off British airspace.
Spray raw jet fuel right into the Eurojet EJ200 turbofan engine’s tailpipe and watch the exhaust plume glow red-hot to the tune of 90kN (kilonewtons) of thrust. Joining this monster hairdryer are three aerospace-grade rocket motors that provide an additional 120kN. This overly excessive indulgence in power is necessary to get the SSC past the sound barrier and onto a theoretical top speed of 1,000mph (1,610km/h), being the first land-based vehicle in the world to break that frontier.
In its current state, the Bloodhound SSC is almost complete, having undergone shakedown tests at the Newquay Airport in Cornwall last year. But why is Britain’s top dog being put up for a very pricey adoption? It’s simple.
Money. You see, the company that owns the SSC is a private entity running on donations and sponsorships. Judging by the number of sponsorship decals scattered along the car’s fuselage and tail fin, a lot of big companies thought it was really cool to have their name screaming past TV screens at 1,000mph. But that was in 2007, the year the project started. Social media wasn’t as widespread as it is today. Remember Friendster and MySpace?
The past two years, in particular, were trying times for the beleaguered organization and its very expensive pet project. Company marketing divisions have turned to free-to-use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their businesses. The need to have a sponsorship decal stuck to a land-bound rocket ship wasn’t a financially viable option anymore. In October of this year, Bloodhound Programme Ltd. went into administration as it could no longer sustain the ridiculously large expenses that the project required. And the administrators decided to pass it on to any brave soul with the monetary means to keep the team’s land-speed-record dream alive.
In its current state, the Bloodhound SSC is almost complete, having undergone shakedown tests at the Newquay Airport in Cornwall last year
Just like with any opulent luxury car with a princely price tag, the cost of ownership here doesn’t stop at the purchase fee. There are also servicing expenses that can exceed the vehicle’s cost of acquisition. According to Bloodhound SSC jockey and current land-speed record holder Andy Green, it’s going to take a “few million” to get the car up to its hypothetical maximum speed. It’s obvious what those “few million” missing pieces are, as the crack team of engineers who are qualified to work on the project have families to feed.
So, there you have it. The Bloodhound SSC…for sale. All that performance for the same price as a brand-new Ferrari 488 or Lamborghini Huracan. Quite a bargain, actually, even in spite of the fact it has only one seat and no automatic climate control. At least it has a single-use parachute for braking.