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Meet the fastest hearse in the west

Jet powered hearseExtreme engineer reveals plan to drive at more than 200mph in a jet-powered hease.

Matt McKeown, 56, already holds the title for the world’s fastest shopping trolley after he attached a jet engine and hit 70mph.

Now the extreme engineer is taking speed to a new level in his 1992 Ford Granada hearse which he bought online for £1,200.

Fastest hearse in the westMatt owns a pair of 1950s jet engines and has spent the past 18 months shoehorning one of them into the back of a black hearse.

The jet turbine has around 1,750 lb of thrust and Matt is hoping to drive at more than 200mph later this summer.

He has now unveiled the one-off motor, dubbed ‘Dead Quick’, ahead of its official debut at the Prescott Bike Festival in Gloucestershire on April 9 where petrolheads will be raising money for the charity Blood Bikes.

“My hobby is extreme engineering where I take something which is inherently mundane like the shopping trolley or the hearse and stick a jet engine in it,” explained Matt, who runs Plymouth Karting in Devon.

“I get the idea in my head and I have to act straight away so I went online and bought the Granada hearse for around £1,200.

“The turbine is a Rolls-Royce viper turbine, sourced from a 1950s Provost jet used by the RAF. “We’ve been working on it on-and-off for around 18 months now, we must have put 300 hours into it.”

Despite having a jet turbine in the back, Matt’s hearse – which has cost him about £10,000 so far – is road legal and uses a 2.9-litre Ford engine.

Matt added: “I have created several odd vehicles now but I view them more as art than motorsport. This certainly raises some eyebrows when it has been driven on the road.”

The current top speed for a hearse, according to Guinness World Records, is 115.6mph, set in 2010 by Shane Hammond.

The Australian hit the speed in his hearse, ‘Undead’, on the TDRA Dragway in Tasmania, Australia, on 20 February 2010.

Fastest hearse in the west

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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