Man rides a shopping cart at 44 mph (71 km/h)

shopping cart racer

Some people really like to work on their sports cars; others are really into souped-up motorcycles. But for U.K. resident Matt McKeown, it’s all about powerful, high-octane shopping carts.

The 52-year-old McKeown recently broke his own record last Saturday when he rode his jet engine-powered shopping cart at an astounding 44 mph on the Santa Pod Raceway in the East English county of Bedfordshire.

McKeown achieved such speed by modifying a shopping cart and attaching a jet engine to it… the same engine that powers a Chinook helicopter. McKeown is the owner of Plymouth Karting, a profession that probably came in handy when he wanted to modify the shopping cart to go so fast. He used big go-kart wheels to hold up the jet engine affixed to his shopping cart, and the rest is history.

Initially, he had intended to modify the cart to reach 60 mph and had just gone to the racetrack to see how it would handle. Unfortunately he didn’t get the speeds he was intending but 44 mph on a shopping cart is no laughing matter.

That being said, McKeown says he wasn’t really intending on breaking any record. Breaking the record was just lucky happenstance it seems, although at present his accomplishment is unofficial. “I’ll need to get in touch with Guinness to see how we make it official,” McKeown told BBC.

So… who wants to take it for a spin?

[via BBC News]

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  • Machar

    @Michael & @Seamus – there’s no such (official) region as “East England”, nor would anyone in the UK call it an “East English” county. Some might call it part of the East Midlands region but others would see it as simply Southeast England. It’s borderline. Don’t want to nitpick, but when in doubt it’s best to just call it “England”. Or maybe give a Google Maps reference… :p

    Santa Pod was, for a long time, the only drag racing strip in the UK (I think there may be at least one other now), so it’s well known to anyone with an international interest in that sport.

    Meantime, I’ll be contacting Matt to see about getting a trolley from him. I hate food shopping and the less time spent on it the better. Yay!

  • [@Seamus McSeamus] First what I thought.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    In all honesty, I think the term “shopping cart” applies in name only. It’s just a shopping cart attached to a framework for the jet engine. The dude could have strapped a port-a-potty to it and set the land speed record for port-a-potties.

    Also, I think that should be “East English county of Bedfordshire”… those extra r’s will get you! :)

  • Ashraf

    [@Jon] I think the goal here was to go as fast as possible without disintegrating the freaking shopping cart.

  • Jon

    Powered by a jet engine and reaching only 44 mph? I would expect much faster.