Land speed records are a hell of a thing. Imagine traveling down the Bonneville Salt Flats at nearly 500 MPH in a custom-built rocket-shaped car, or even just over half that in something a little more mundane-looking. The thrill you might feel traveling that fast is something most of us would only dream of doing… unless, of course, you buy or build something capable of setting records.
One such example is this 1977 GMC motorhome. Yes, motorhome. But this isn’t just any RV you want to use while taking your family on vacation. Instead, it’s a 700-horsepower record-breaking beast capable of a whopping 122 mph — brisk for a Class A motorhome.
This speed demon started life as a 1977 GMC Kingsley Camper. Its owner, Britt Palmer, decided he wanted to break the 2006 land speed record set by another GMC motorhome and raise awareness of a neurological disease called Charcot Marie dental disease while doing so. The number to beat was 102.7 mph. Then, as The Autopian points out, GMC was sent to the custom manufacturer behind many of your favorite cars from Fast and furious franchise, Dennis McCarthy, to prepare for the Salt Islands.
McCarthy and his team from Vehicle Effects completely destroyed the RV. Every cabinet, appliance and piece of faux wood trim was removed from the interior and replaced with aluminum sheeting. A 20-gallon fuel cell was added, along with fire suppression, and a 360-degree video camera mirror system.
A modernized racing cockpit was built for Palmer complete with a RacePak IQ3 Dash and a Kirkey racing seat. And considering the camper was built to gallop at high speeds, a full front-to-back chromoly roll cage was installed to protect occupants in the event of a crash.
The beast is powered by a 700-horsepower Chevrolet Ram Jet 502 engine mated to a TH425 automatic transmission. The engine gets a power bump from a 125 wet shot of nitrous and is geared to top speed thanks to a 3.07 final gear ratio.
Palmer and McCarthy also opted for some modernizations outside the interior and power plant to tie things together. All six wheels received modern disc brakes, and the aging factory suspension was replaced with a Ridetech Air Ride System. The exterior also received some aerodynamic treatments to help it cut through the air, but there are only so many ways you can shape a cinder block to cut through the air more easily.
All in all, the modifications were enough to break the previous land speed record for a Class A motorhome. The ’77 GMC was able to get up to 122 mph, beating the previous record of 102.7 mph, but couldn’t beat some of the smaller, more modern RVs like the current record holder at 141 mph.
That being said, you may be destined to break the record next. Palmer has put the RV up for sale for $95,000 on Facebook Marketplace and has suggested that the new owner can use the RV for whatever they feel best suits their needs. Maybe a food truck, a party bus or a race support crew vehicle? Or just maybe, build it up to go a little bit faster and break the overall LSR for the fastest RV in the world.
The choice is yours, all that’s missing is this motorhome.
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