Rummerfield, Xtreme Freedom Special Bonneville preview

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THE XTREME FREEDOM SPECIAL: THIS THING IS DIFFERENT AZUSA, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2005) -- By any definition, the Xtreme Freedom Special is a different sort of automobile. A roadster, it is powered by a six-cylinder...

THE XTREME FREEDOM SPECIAL: THIS THING IS DIFFERENT

AZUSA, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2005) -- By any definition, the Xtreme Freedom Special is a different sort of automobile.

A roadster, it is powered by a six-cylinder engine and it is has a front-wheel driveline. It seats only the driver and carries no radio or air conditioning.

And it is designed to hit speeds above 250 mph.

The Xtreme Freedom Special, owned by Gil Gillis of Camarillo and driven by Pat Rummerfield of St. Louis, Mo., are at the Bonneville Salt Flats this weekend in a bid to break the existing record for the Southern California Timing Association's F Modified Class. The record is 238.199 mph for fuel cars and 251.299 for gasoline cars.

Jamie Barnett's Xtreme Motorsports in Azusa built the Special. The company builds specialty vehicles for a wide range of applications. The car's sponsors include Azteca, PSI, MMOA, Sawyer Engines and Barnett's company.

The Special is already a record setter. Gillis used it to set records in the G Modified class, using a four-cylinder engine.

For the run at the F Modified record, the Special will use a turbocharged, six-cylinder Toyota engine capable of generating more than 500 horsepower. The car has a 160-inch wheelbase and weighs approximately 2,000 pounds.

Friday, the car underwent technical inspection and Rummerfield was expected to make his first run in the car Saturday.

According to Barnett, the new engine can be tuned for greater horsepower, but the front wheel drive and the added weight of the bigger engine are different enough from what the car has used previously that the team wants to proceed cautiously.

Chuck Sawyer of Sawyer Engines built both the four-cylinder engine Gillis used and six-cylinder engine that is in the car now.

The Special runs on Goodyear's Eagle Land Speed tires. The tires measure 28 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide. They mount on 15-inch wheels.

Rummerfield, who is a member of the Explorers Club, is the Director of Development for the Kennedy Krieger Institute's International Center for Spinal Cord Injury. He is the world's first fully functional quadriplegic. The land speed attempt is part of his effort to increase awareness of the search for ways to overcome spinal cord injuries. More information on the Center is available at www.spinalcordrecovery.org.

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