by Graham Lockwood - BLOODHOUND SSC Product Sponsor

Now being a truck driver means you spend quite a lot of time on your own, which isn’t a bad thing.

Talking to the windscreen isn’t the first sign of madness. Sometimes it’s the only decent conversation we get. However, when you start arguing with the windscreen, then it’s time to start worrying, and when you start losing the said arguments, then it’s time to call the nice people in lab coats with soft soothing voices.
Now, the other week on my way back from the Big Bang Event in London, I found myself discussing with the windscreen, which is the most expensive car ever, built. (Notice I used the phrase discussing and not arguing.)

Go on have a guess….

Nope, it’s not the Bugatti Veyron
16.4 litre Super Sport
Although it does cost more to build
than the
£1,000,000.00 price tag.
(Even if it does sound like a VW Golf)

Go on, have another guess…

Argggg…you fell into the trap.

Nope, it’s not Richard Noble’s & Andy Green’s
Thrust SSC
(which very definitely doesn't’ sound like a VW Golf).

Although the total costs are not known,
or at least
Richard won’t admitted to them.

No ideas, I’ll give you a clue.
It was built in the United States of America and is powered by batteries and not a big V8 brute……
(Nope it’s not Ernie’s fast milk cart!)
It was built in 1969, was used in the early 1970’s and hasn’t been seen for many years since it was last in use..
(not in it’s original shape so it could be Herbie!…… But it’s not.)
There were 4 cars built although only 3 were ever used. (Not exactly mass-produced then.)
Total cost of the cars was $38,000,000.00 each… in 1970,
Nearly every kid had a picture of the car on his bedroom wall along with that tennis player scratching her bottom......
(You know the one I mean!)

Give in?

It is of course the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was used on the Apollo 15, 16 and Apollo 17 missions to the moon. Boeing originally built the vehicles in 1969 and was first launched in 1971 on Apollo 15 completing a total of 27.8km. They have a number of similarities with Bloodhound SSC, allow me to expand….

  • It’s loosely a car in the basic term.

  • The Lunar Roving Vehicle’s chassis was made from aluminium alloy tubing.

  • The vehicle had 4 wheels, which were also made from aluminium alloy.

  • Body panels were made from both aluminium and titanium.

  • The vehicle had a massive design & support team.
Apart from that, the Lunar Roving vehicle has very little in common with a Land Speed Record Car. However, at the time of the Apollo missions, many students were inspired by moon landings to become engineers, and the universities were full with people studying Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics.

Nearly all School kids I knew wanted to be Astronauts, or Designers of Space Rockets, Space Stations, or Moon Bases. Star Trek was the biggest thing on TV, those that didn’t want to be Captain James T. Kirk and get shot into space, were designing fast cars with crayons, or building all sorts of machines including space ships with Meccano.
Once the Apollo Missions were cancelled in 1973, the Universities experienced a drop in the numbers of students studying Science etc… and since then there hasn’t really been a project to inspire the youth of today. Most of the youth of today want to be on X-Factor, or be Britain’s Got Talent contestants, play for that southern football team Manchester United, or be Britain’s Next Top Model, and that’s just the boys!!
That was until BLOODHOUND SSC.

Now BLOODHOUND SSC’s objectives are very clear and are not what you would think:
  • To create a national surge in the popularity of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
  • To create an iconic project requiring extreme research and technology whilst simultaneously providing the means to enable the student population to join in the adventure.
  • To achieve the first 1000 mph record on land.
  • To generate very substantial and enduring media exposure for sponsors.

Thrust SSC used 30 year-old engines and the systems processor was rescued from a derelict military tank.This time the team might be able to produce a really advanced vehicle using latest and yet-to-be-discovered technology, confront the impossible and overcome it using Science Engineering Technology and Mathematics. You never know, some of the yet-to-be-discovered technology may be able to be transferred to the haulage industry. (Now there’s a thought, a 1,000 mile per hour Volvo FH 13 Globetrotter. Just think, the show car would never be late again!)


To participate in an engineering adventure that will inspire, prepare and motivate the next generation, who will be building and living in the Low-Carbon World.
So we are off on an incredible engineering adventure. The trailer is coupled up, the lights are on, we’re in gear and the brakes have finally been released. Status Quo are playing on the radio and the windscreen lost this argument. I’m safe for another day.


We already have over 4,500 schools signed up to the education programme. We have infected thousands of people with the Bloodhound bug and inspired them to get involved with the project either by assisting with events, helping with the actual design of the car, designing there own replica models or building rocket/balloon cars. (Not that dissimilar to playing with Meccano.), or even just joining the 1K Club. It’s just amazing when we “Bloodhound Truckers” turn up to schools and colleges with the show car. The interest from the schools kids, boys or girls in amazing. The interest from the teachers is just great because if the teachers weren’t interested they wouldn’t invite us in the first place and we’d be sat on the car park, with no where to go. We’ve already made a difference. I understand that UWE, in Bristol have reported a 70% increase in the applications of Engineering related courses and Swansea are reporting a 50% increase in similar courses. I appreciate that the skeptical ones out there will say, “Where’s the evidence that this increase is down to Bloodhound?” Well let my windscreen tell you, when we take the show car and the Bloodhound Driving Experience to schools, it’s smacks you in the face, (especially if the wind is blowing like it was in Preston the other month) it’s clear Bloodhound SSC is making a difference. Don’t believe me? Go along to an event and I challenge you not to get hooked….

So….Ok, that’s the first two Bloodhound objectives met, it’s now time to build the car, which we are, complete the third objective, which we will. As for the fourth objective, well, G & J Lockwood have gone from strength to strength thanks to Bloodhound. We have already forged some new relationships with other companies involved in the programme which has help us push forward onto the next level. I think we can safely say that the fourth objective has already been achieved.

Thanks Bloodhound SSC, bring it on…..


TELEPHONE 01257 254274
FAX 01257 254186
MOBILE 07760 220398
Website Built and Maintained by Standish Computer Services Limited
Copyright © G & J Lockwood Limited 2009