It’s not everyday you stumble across a SSC Ultimate Aero – the once fastest car on the planet before those pesky dudes at Bugatti made the Veyron Supersport – not unless you happen to work at TAM that is. We were in the DIP area earlier today and swung by for a quick nosy through the doors and found this orange beasty lurking in the corner.
For those of you who don’t know who or what SSC is, here’s a quick rundown. Shelby Super Cars was setup by Jerod Shelby around 10 years ago with the sole intention of creating the ultimate piece of American iron on four wheels. On September 13th 2007, SSC wrote its name in the record books when its Ultimate Aero cracked 414kph on a closed section of public road.
Powering the beast is a twin-turbo V8 that knocks out the best part of 1200bhp – a bit of a handful in a car with zero driver aids, not even power steering! Gears are changed via a nice and agricultural six-speed manual box which requires Popeye-strong arms to shift when cold.
I’ll leave it up to you to make your own mind up about the interior, as the last time I passed judgement on the Ultimate Aero’s cabin I got a rather snotty e-mail from the dudes at SSC. And with a new – even faster and more outrageous – car just around the corner, we’re playing nice guys at the moment…
There are only a handful of Ultimate Aeros in private hands around the world – I know of two in the Middle East. There used to be an official showroom on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, however the business case didn’t quite work out for those involved and it’s just an empty shell now. At least this car – Chassis No. 006 – gets driven on a regular basis, if you pop into Motorcity for some Fish n Chips you might well spot it, like we did a couple of weeks back.
And whilst the Ultimate Aero might not have that untouchable quality about it like a Veyron does, it’s still got a truck load of presence. The orange paintwork certainly helps in that regard, though I’m less convinced about the contrasting matt grey – which despite impressions is actually paint, not vinyl.
I only hope that the next car to come from SSC picks up from where the Ultimate Aero left off. Roll on 2011 so we can find out…