World's Fastest Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle
Bonneville Salt Flats, UT. -- Oct 25, 2004 -- What was supposed to be a trial "shakedown" run of a race car revealed the world's fastest Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle. The car, a streamliner, owned and driven by Roger Lessman, a developer in Truckee, CA, is powered by a large-block Ford V-8 engine that runs on CNG. Originally built to run on gasoline, Lessman's interest in environmental stewardship sparked the idea to convert the engine to an alternative fuel, CNG.
During the World Finals at Bonneville Salt Flats, UT, Lessman planned to run the car a couple of times just to test the car, mechanically and structurally. "This is a brand new car that had never turned a wheel," explained Lessman. "The officials asked me to take it easy, which was what I planned to do."
And take it easy he did. Piloting the 29 foot-long car, he easily reached a peak speed of 236 miles per hour (mph) over three miles with an official one-mile verified speed of 221 mph. Official speeds are recorded and verified by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA).
The car was designed and built by Riley Technologies of Indianapolis, IN. The engine conversion was performed by Collier Technologies, Inc., in Reno, NV.
Lessman plans to return to Bonneville in 2005 to continue the pursuit of speed.