By Chuck Squatriglia
The car — the actual car — that unseated the Bugatti Veyron to become the fastest production car on the planet is for sale on eBay, and the winning bidder not only gets an insanely powerful sports car but a nifty commemorative watch and key fob.
Shelby SuperCars is making room in the garage and selling Ultimate Aero chassis No TT-02, the car Chuck Bigelow drove through the traps at an average of 256.18 mph on Sept. 13, 2007. That eclipsed the Veyron by 3.63 mph to become just the 26th car in history to hold the Guinness world production speed record.
Shelby calls TT-02 "a piece of automotive history" and says "it is sure to remain valuable and sought-after by future generations." Bidding stood at $155,000 when this was posted, but the reserve hadn't been met.
Given that the Ultimate Aero costs something north of $600,000, the reserve on this record-setting ride is probably in the seven-figure ballpark. That kind of money gets you more than a 1,183-horsepower car, though. Place the winning bid and you also get a framed Guinness World Records certificate for your wall, a commemorative watch and key fob and the wheels and tires used during the record run for your ... whatever. We'd probably make them into a coffee table.
TT-02 has 1,345 miles on the odometer. Power comes from a 387-cubic-inch V-8 with twin turbochargers putting out 14 PSI of boost. Interior appointments include a 10-speaker stereo system, a DVD player and, of course, a navi system to help you find a few places to open 'er up.
Before making its record-setting run, Shelby SuperCars tested the car in the wind tunnel at the NASA Langley Research Center — that's where the photo above was snapped — and determined the car would be aerodynamically stable up to 273 mph. That's purely academic though, as it seems highly unlikely anyone would actually hit that speed.
Twenty-six cars have held the record. Ferrari leads the way with six titles, followed by Mercedes-Benz with five.