Richard Hammond Gets Back Into the Vampire Dragster, 300-MPH Car That Nearly Killed Him

Vampire Dragster Jet Car Richard Hammond 7 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/DRIVETRIBE
Vampire Dragster Jet CarVampire Dragster Jet CarVampire Dragster Jet CarVampire Dragster Jet Car Richard HammondVampire Dragster Jet Car Richard HammondVampire Dragster Jet Car Richard Hammond
If you visit a shrink, they’ll advise it’s good to face your fears. But sometimes, your worst fears are better left in the hell hole they belong. Richard Hammond has experienced a couple of crashes in his career, but the worst was while filming for Top Gear at the former RAF Elvington airfield in a jet-powered car, the Vampire Dragster. For Hammond, this is a crash that nearly killed him.
On a recent YouTube upload on DRIVETRIBE, Hammond gets back into a Vampire jet car - a vehicle that nearly took the presenter's life. At this point, it’s important to note that getting back into the 300 mph+ deathtrap doesn’t necessarily mean driving it.

In 2006, Hammond made headlines shooting for the famous car TV show Top Gear. Reviewing the footage during Series 9, episode 1, the TV hosts replay Hammond driving a jet car called “Vampire” that runs with the guts of a Rolls Royce Orpheus turbojet engine. Not many people have the slightest idea what this is, but for context, it’s a turbojet used in light fighters and trainers.

It can go from 0 to 272 mph (438 kph) in a whopping six seconds and currently holds the British land speed record at 300.3 mph (483 kph). It attained those numbers driven by Colin Fallows at the same track Hammond crashed it.

According to reports from the wreckage, the Vampire crashed at a speed of 288.4 mph (464 kph) after a front tire let off. The jet car tumbled, rolling several times before coming to a standstill. Hammond was lucky enough to get out of the crash. He applied everything learned during crash training sessions, including launching the chute to cut off the turbojet and controlling the vehicle before it begins to tumble.

Hammond made a full recovery and has not stopped making awesome car content. But can he ever get behind the wheel of the Vampire Dragster? Probably never. While it’s good to face our fears, it’s not wise to spread our luck thin.

Hammond doesn't drive the Vampire. Instead, he hands it's over to Mike. Will he take it round the track considering its sinister reputation?

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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
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Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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