Rocket Ranger holds the world land speed record for pickup trucks
Into The World Speed Record Books
Ford Motor Company Posted:
Utah, October 19, 2001 On the Bonneville Salt
Flats, a place recognized by many as the world's home of high speed,
a Ford Ranger driven by Mark Bill roared off toward the distant white
and further into the record books. Never before had a pickup been driven
so fast in the flying mile: a speed of 205.208 m.p.h.
is no stranger to the best-selling small pickup in America. He is the
assistant chief engineer of the Ranger and has deep automotive background,
having worked in both vehicle engineering and advanced powertrain planning
during his 25-year Ford career. He knows the value of pushing his product.
"The experience gained through the high demands of racing pays off
in everything we do," says Bill. "You can't make a mistake out
here on the salt. We bring that approach back to the office, where our
teams works hard to ensure Ranger is highly capably across a broad range
of disciplines, from world's fastest on the salt to the winningest off-road.
not the first time the Ford Rocket Ranger flew past the elusive 200 mph
barrier. It achieved that mark at the Bonneville Salt Flats on August
14, 2001, with veteran driver Chuck Hemmingson at the wheel.
was modified for the rigors of 200 mph by SPAL Advanced Technologies,
of Des Moines, Iowa, with help from Ford Motor Company. In two timed passes
in August, the Rocket Ranger set an official class speed record of 202.434
m.p.h., shattering the previous speed record of 187.708 m.p.h.
was more speed to be found.
19th, at the 2001 Southern California Timing Association/Bonneville Nationals,
Inc. World Finals, and now with engineer Mark Bill at the wheel, Team
Rocket Ranger pushed even harder. And the efforts paid off. Bill reached
speeds of nearly 206 m.p.h. and set a new two-pass record for the flying
mile of 205.208 m.p.h.
of the Rocket Ranger is nearly identical to that of a stock, 2002 Ford
Ranger. Indeed, to compete in the SCTA/BNI-sanctioned Modified Mid/Mini
Pickup class, a vehicle must be unaltered in height, length and width;
the body panels must be mounted in their original relationship to each
other and the pickup bed must be fully stock and original. In the case
of the Rocket Ranger, even the bed's tonneau cover is stock and available
Company is our supplier for the tonneau, and we now know it holds up at
more than 200 mph," adds Bill. "No other tonneau can make that
not the the factory ABS system...
speeds beyond 200 mph, Rocket Ranger's interior was stripped bare and
a full roll cage and form-fitting racing seat installed. The original
engine was replaced in favor of a state-of-the-art, Winston Cup-style
racing engine, courtesy of Roush Industries. The 372-cubic-inch V8 engine,
with its aluminum heads, four-barrel carburetor, roller cams and high
ratio rocker arms, is good for nearly 800 bhp.
Bill's record run, the Ranger was modified even further from its August
set up, slightly lowered in the front and with a new front air dam to
better manage the airflow. The rear axle gear was also shortened, from
3.33 to 3.50, allowing the engine to turn slightly faster.
record run in the Rocket Ranger comes nearly on the day marking the 100th
anniversary of Ford Motor Company's involvement in racing. On October
10, 1901, company-founder Henry Ford, a struggling auto entrepreneur at
the time, drove his car, Sweepstakes, to victory over Alexander
Winton Americas premier racer at the time in a 10-mile
race at the Detroit Driving Club in Grosse Point, Michigan. Ford's upset
victory over Winton brought the seed money that eventually helped create
Ford Motor Company, now the second-largest automobile company in the world.
Technologies, founded in Correggio, Italy in 1959, has been designing,
producing and marketing high performance axial fans, centrifugal blowers
for more than 30 years. Iowa Export Import is SPALs distributor
with complete engineering and warehousing operations serving all of North
Company is the world's second largest automaker, selling vehicles in 200
markets and with approximately 345,000 employees on six continents. Its
automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln,
Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford
Credit, Hertz and Quality Care.
very proud Rocket Ranger Crew after the record run