Car company that claimed speed record will do it over

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The vehicle, which was tested on a seven-mile stretch of a Nevada highway on October 10, reached 331.15 miles per hour — the highest speed ever achieved on a public road, according to the company. The claimed official top speed of a combined average of 316.11 mph was the result of two runs in opposite directions, to account for wind and road variations.

A number of automotive journalists and bloggers analyzed video that purported to show the 331 mph run and noticed discrepancies in the speeds shown in the video and the times in which the car crossed known landmarks along the highway. The company later admitted that there had been problems with synchronization and timing in the video which had been produced by an outside production company.

SSC North America is not backing down from claims that its car, the SSC Tuatara, actually hit the speeds claimed. But it is planning to repeat the attempt so there are no questions whatsoever surrounding the record, said founder Jerod Shelby.

“No matter what we do in the coming days to salvage this particular record there’s always going to be a stain on it,” he said in a video statement released late Friday.

Shelby is not related to Carroll Shelby, the famed founder of Shelby American, the company that makes Shelby Cobra sports cars and Shelby Mustangs.

The SSC Tuatara is powered by a 1,750-horsepower turbocharged V-8 engine. It’s named after a lizard from New Zealand, which takes its name from a Māori word for “peaks on the back.” The company plans to produce a total of 100 Tuataras, with a starting price of $1.9 million each.

SSC previously had a world speed record with another car, the Ultimate Aero, which got to 256.14 mph in 2007, according to the company.

In order to respond to additional questions raised about timing equipment during that first run — speeds were recorded using GPS — equipment made by multiple companies will be used and representatives of those firms will be on site to monitor the installation and use of the equipment, Shelby said in his video statement.

During the first attempt, only one company’s equipment was used and that firm reportedly later said its representatives were not on site to personally oversee its installation and use.

SSC has not said when the next record attempt might take place.

Michelle Toh contributed to this report.

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