world : 'I've had death threats for souping up an old car'

world : 'I've had death threats for souping up an old car'
world : 'I've had death threats for souping up an old car'

Thursday 13 June 2024 08:45 AM

Nafeza 2 world - A man who rescued an old banger said he had death threats for turning it into a speed record breaker.

Joel McNally and his father, from Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire, found the run-down 1935 Riley Kestrel in Holland five years ago.

They spent months rebuilding the "Flying Kestrel" and almost destroyed it during their first record attempt.

Mr McNally said the threats came from people who wanted the car to be remain in its original state.

The story of the Flying Kestrel began with a tip-off about the shell of a 84-year-old vehicle standing alone and unloved in Holland.

Mr McNally and his father flew over and bought the car.

Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio, he said: "It was that heat-of-the-moment decision but it was very much with our hearts.

"We put the car together and it was meticulously made over the course of six to eight months."

The project almost came to an abrupt end on its first record attempt.

"We crashed the vehicle at 150mph and rolled it five times," said Mr McNally.

"The driver was OK [and] we rebuilt the car, put it in a wind tunnel and now we're boasting 992 brake horsepower."

It went on to "break seven land speed records, external using only half of its power."

But not everyone has admired their work.

Mr McNally said: "I've received death threats over the car from enthusiasts - it's hard to believe, but people are that passionate about keeping the car original.

"At the end of the day, it's our car, we can do what we want and if anyone wants to buy it from me, I wouldn't sell it for less than £2m."

The next goal is to get the octogenarian Riley to break the 200mph barrier, and an attempt takes place on 17 June in Yorkshire.

The father and son team have worked to get the vehicle ready for its greatest test yet.

"We had a couple of heating issues with the engine, which we've now sorted out, we've introduced nitrous oxide so there's even more power than before," Mr McNally said.

"The car theoretically can do 230mph so [the 200mph run] is down to the British weather which, this year, is not playing ball."

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