The world's fastest pick-up truck, Hot Streak II, was built way back in the 1990s and can do 350 mph (563 kph) with ease. It remains in the lead even with all the pick-up trucks out there, as long as you are not testing them on the street. That's because, with two jet engines on its back, Hot Streak II isn't street legal, Motor 1 reported.
At Interesting Engineering, we are quite keen on some of the fastest ways to reach from point A to B. This does not have to be automotive, it can also be an elevator, organisms on the planet or the humblest of man-made things, like a dustbin.
The jet engines are supposed to take us faster to our destinations, but sometimes, people find unique ways of using them. By which we mean not using them for flying at all. Last year, we reported a fire truck that breathes fire and you must know about Hot Streak II, the fastest pickup truck.
Built in the 1990s, the fastest even today
When it was built in the early 1990s, Hot Streak II wasn't known by its current name. Rather, it was called Super Shockwave, a name given to it by none other than the king of jet-powered cars, Les Shockley.
When automotive makers like Ford, GMC, and Chevrolet were tinkering with turbocharged engines and four-wheel drive options, Shockley went straight to one of the most powerful engines known to man, the jet.
Of course, Shockley could get his hands on a jet that had been put out of service, and that's how he landed up with a pair of Westinghouse J34s. Aviation geeks will recognize these as turbojet engines that served the U.S. military for decades after they were introduced in the 1940s.
Shockley got his pair from a T-2 Buckeye trainer used by the U.S. Navy and chose to modify them with some afterburners. A little other modification that Shockley made was to dump the metal body of the 1957 Chevy and instead opt for a fiberglass replica. Put together, you got the Super Shockwave, a car that looked like the 1957 classic but with 25,000 horsepower. With those performance characteristics, it is difficult to be street legal.
How Hot Streak II came about
Shockley sold the Super Shockwave to Hayden Proffitt II, the grandson of another Proffitt who bought Shockley's first jet-powered dragster, Shockwave, the first of its name. Grandfather Profitt had renamed Shockwave, Hot Streak, so when Hayden got his hands on Super Shockwave, he decided to rename it Hot Streak II to continue his grandfather's legacy.
That's not the only reason why Hayden bought it. After leaving high school, Hayden joined the U.S. Air Force, where he worked as a mechanic for the F-15 fighter and B-2 bomber aircraft. So, the jet-powered pickup is his way of reconnecting with his time in the Air Force and knows very well how to care for these aging engines.
Hayden told Motor 1 that he has only clocked a 340 mph (547 kph) on Hot Streak II, but that does not manage to take the world's fastest tag away from this pickup. The owner-driver of Hot Streak II hits negative 10Gs every time he releases the parachutes to slow Hot Streak II down.