JCB’s Williams-boosted tractor does 135 mph now

While Honda is obsessed with building ultra-quick lawn mowers, there is an equally fantastic tractor speed record race that was started by Top Gear in 2018. Driven by the Stig, the BBC’s “Track-tor” reached a top speed of 87.2 mph, only to be retired almost immediately to the open area behind the Coventry Transport Museum. The orange monster has been literally rotting since.

The Track-tor lost its relevance once British heavy equipment giant JCB joined this game, with a speedy tractor based on its 4000-series Fastrac. Packing JCB’s own 7.2-ilter straight-six diesel, this stripped machine did 103 mph in its debut, driven by 14-time Isle of Man TT racer Guy Martin.

JCB turbo tractor and driver

Now, having been massaged further by the experts at Williams Advanced Engineering, the same team achieved 135.19 mph at Elvington Airfield, sending all 1000 horsepower and 1844 lb-ft of torque through a ZF six-speed manual transmission and a locked rear differential.  Farmers Weekly adds that the diesel has been upgraded with new valve seats and connecting rods, as well extra cooling for both the pistons and the oil sump.

Williams Advanced Engineering also ran over 65 computational fluid dynamics tests, focusing on the front bumper, underfloor, cab and rear fairings. By removing the mirrors and reducing the overhangs, the record runner’s total drag has been cut by 25 percent over the standard JCB Fastrac tractor, which must have helped “thrill seeker” Guy Martin in his quest. On top of setting a new Guinness World Record, the result must have also pleased Anthony Bamford, Chairman of JCB, who happens to be the only person on earth with two Ferrari 250 GTOs in his garage…

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