Tuesday 23 April 2019 3:12 AM UTC
LONDON April 23: An Essex man who bought a Thai tuk tuk during a “boozy night on eBay” has souped the three-wheeled vehicle up to try to beat the current tuk tuk world land speed record of 68mph.
Freight firm boss Matt Everard, 46, will be joined by his cousin, 49-year-old Russell Shearman, who will be his passenger for the Guinness World Record attempt at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire.
Married father-of-two Mr Everard, from Billericay, bought the 1971 Bangkok Taxi from an eBay seller in Bolton in 2017.
He described the purchase as the result of a “boozy night on eBay, and maybe a mid-life crisis”, adding: “Imagine explaining to your straight-talking Essex wife that, after she went up to bed one night, you ended up buying a Thai tuk tuk from a bloke on the internet.”
He said he has since sunk £20,000 into improvements during a five-month rebuild, which included replacing the original two-stroke 350cc engine with a modern 1300cc fuel-injected Daihatsu van engine.
He said he hopes the tuk tuk is capable of reaching 90mph.
Mr Everard describes himself as a petrolhead who at one point owned eight cars, two boats, a jet ski and a quad bike.
He said his love for speed was inspired by his father, who owned various sports cars throughout his life, including a Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche.
The tuk tuk is “great fun to drive” but potentially unstable, Mr Everard said.
Guinness World Records defines a tuk tuk, or autorickshaw, as a three-wheeled motorised vehicle, derived from the cycle rickshaw, which is capable of carrying at least two passengers on a bench behind the driver.
The record attempt is set to take place on May 13, subject to weather conditions. His cousin will join him as a passenger for the record attempt on 13 May.
According to the pair’s charity fundraising site, Mr Shearman spends “his spare time jumping out of planes with a parachute or wingsuit, reaching speeds of over 200mph”.
The attempt will be subject to weather conditions. The pair are raising money for Havens Hospices in Essex.
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