Man who bought tuk tuk after 'boozy night' aiming for speed record

22 April 2019, 11:38 | Updated: 22 April 2019, 12:33

A "fanatical petrol-head" and his "adrenaline junkie" cousin are setting out to break the land speed record for a tuk tuk after buying one during a boozy night on eBay.

Matt Everard, 46, bought a 1971 Bangkok taxi on the auction site in 2017 and has spent £20,000 making improvements during a five-month rebuild.

Now he's teaming up with his cousin Russell Shearman, 49, to attempt to break the current tuk tuk land speed record of 68mph (109kmh), at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire.

Father-of-two Mr Everard said: "Imagine explaining to your straight-talking Essex wife that, after she went up to bed one night, you ended up buying a Thai tuk tuk from a bloke on the internet."

After the rebuild, Mr Everard, who runs a freight firm company, hopes the tuk tuk will reach speeds of 90mph (145kmh).

The work included replacing the original two-stroke 350cc engine with a 1300cc fuel-injected Daihatsu van engine.

He is a self-confessed "petrol-head" who at one point owned eight cars, two boats, a jet ski and a quad bike.

He said his father inspired his own love of speed, and owned cars including a Jaguar, Ferrari and a Porsche.

Mr Everard currently drives the tuk tuk around his hometown of Billericay in Essex and says it is "great fun to drive" if a little unstable.

His cousin will join him as a passenger for the record attempt on 13 May.

According to the pair's charity fundraising site, Mr Shearman spends "his spare time jumping out of planes with a parachute or wingsuit, reaching speeds of over 200mph".

The attempt will be subject to weather conditions. The pair are raising money for Havens Hospices in Essex.