Essex man attempts tuk tuk speed record

23 April 2019, 08:15 | Updated: 23 April 2019, 08:40

Matt Everard in his tuk tuk

A man from Essex who bought a Thai tuk tuk during a "boozy night on eBay" has souped the three-wheeled vehicle up to try to beat the current tuk tuk world land speed record of 68mph.

Freight firm boss Matt Everard, 46, will be joined by his cousin, 49-year-old Russell Shearman, who will be his passenger for the Guinness World Record attempt at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire.

Married father-of-two Mr Everard, from Billericay, bought the 1971 Bangkok Taxi from an eBay seller in Bolton in 2017.

He described the purchase as the result of a "boozy night on eBay, and maybe a mid-life crisis", adding: "Imagine explaining to your straight-talking Essex wife that, after she went up to bed one night, you ended up buying a Thai tuk tuk from a bloke on the internet."

He said he has since sunk £20,000 into improvements during a five-month rebuild, which included replacing the original two-stroke 350cc engine with a modern 1300cc fuel-injected Daihatsu van engine.

He said he hopes the tuk tuk is capable of reaching 90mph.

Mr Everard describes himself as a petrolhead who at one point owned eight cars, two boats, a jet ski and a quad bike.

He said his love for speed was inspired by his father, who owned various sports cars throughout his life, including a Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche.

The tuk tuk is "great fun to drive" but potentially unstable, Mr Everard said.

Guinness World Records defines a tuk tuk, or autorickshaw, as a three-wheeled motorised vehicle, derived from the cycle rickshaw, which is capable of carrying at least two passengers on a bench behind the driver.

The record attempt is set to take place on May 13, subject to weather conditions.