The SSC Tuatara hypercar made headlines in late 2020 for attempting to set a top-speed record for production cars and… subsequently being questioned by just about the entire internet. While the machine did end up setting a new record in an official re-run, but it’s still working on bolstering its reputation. That seems to have gone entirely wrong in April of this year after a car carrier crash flipped and wrecked the car.
This scoop comes from The Drive, which also includes photos from the crash. The site reports that the SSC Tuatara’s car carrier was caught up by high winds on an interstate highway just north of Salt Lake City, Utah. The carrier, with the $1.9 million dollar car attached, flipped, leaving the machine in rough shape. The car was reportedly heading to Florida to prepare for a 300-mph speed run.
Here’s a little more from The Drive:
We spoke to SSC North America’s owner and operator Jerod Shelby, who told us that this particular Tuatara, car no. 001 owned by Larry Caplin, can be repaired. He also insisted the damage to the vehicle was mostly cosmetic, and that they are already well into the process of fixing it. Even if that’s the case, though, there is not another car ready to beat the record in its place, he told us. #001 will have to be repaired before another run is attempted.
The truck reportedly ended up at an impound/tow yard after being hauled from the scene of the accident, and our source indicates that the car carrier was so badly damaged—Shelby said it was “destroyed”—that its own internal lift was not functional when it came time to remove the stricken hypercar from the top deck. The cables supporting the vehicle had to be cut and the car lowered carefully with help from a tow truck.
Jerod Shelby noted that the high winds had resulted in an advisory for high-profile vehicles to keep off the highway in certain parts of Utah but that the area in which the hypercar was being driven at the time was not within that warning zone. The winds had extended farther north than expected. He also noted that the driver and passenger onboard both walked away from the accident but that one was later hospitalized.
The controversial hypercar is powered by a 5.9-liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that makes 1,750 horsepower on E85, and right now, it’s the only one in the world. Even merely cosmetic damage will take time and money to fix. For right now, we can expect the SSC Tuatara to put its 300-mph run on the backburner.