The interior of Britain’s 1,000mph World Land Speed Record challenger is designed like nothing on earth

As the build of STP-sponsored BLOODHOUND SSC, Britain’s 1,000mph World Land Speed Record challenger, gets underway in Bristol, details of driver Andy Green’s high speed ‘office’ in which he will hope to steer his way to a new record, highlights a huge contrast with anything that’s gone before, including the spartan cockpit of the 60’s record holder, ‘Green Monster’.

More akin to the cockpit of an intergalactic spaceship, the dramatic instrument display in BLOODHOUND SSC looks nothing like a conventional car dashboard.  What’s more, fighter pilot Andy’s ‘at the wheel’ experience is in ever starker contrast to the World Land Speed Record car of American Art Arfons, who, at 576mph, became the fastest man on earth, 45 years ago.

Also backed by the famous fuel additive brand, STP,  Arfons created his self-built record breaker, ‘Green Monster’, for just $10,000.  Its massively-powerful US fighter jet engine cost the enterprising Arfons little more than $600 from a junkyard.  Yet, with sheer ingenuity and more than a little improvisation, his modest budget was sufficient to fulfil his record-breaking ambition.

Improvisation extended into Arfons’ cramped cockpit, where copious amounts of insulating tape bulked up the steering wheel as he wrestled the car down the infamous salt flats of Bonneville, USA and into the record books. 

The speedometer’s telltale needle is testimony to the record speed he achieved, but doesn’t reveal the struggle that Arfons endured to keep the car in a straight line.

“It’s no wonder they were called the ‘Swinging Sixties’,” quipped a spokesperson for STP. “It would have been challenging for Art to achieve 576mph with such primitive controls.”

Andy Green added: “I envy him the simplicity of 1960s technology, but not the risks he had to run in those days.  I’ll stick with the high-tech, high-workload, information-rich BLOODHOUND SSC solution.”

In contrast to Arfon’s cockpit, BLOODHOUND SSC’s feast of instrumentation was explained by a spokesperson for the project’s engineering team:

 “It’s based on Andy’s experience of flying fighter jets and on Thrust SSC, in which he claimed the current World Land Speed Record”, he said.

“At 1,000mph, Andy will travel the length of a football pitch in the blink of an eye.  At such an enormous speed he needs to be able to interpret instrumentation and access controls instantly.  Consequently, the displays are configured to provide the simplest performance readout.”