After cars became a normal part of everyday life, it didn’t take long for people to start doing crazy things in them. Stunt drivers, in particular, pushed driving to a whole new level — performing death-defying stunts that went down in history. Now, the golden age of stunt driving has been replaced by CGI and other computer wizardry, but that’s not to say people aren’t still doing extreme stuff behind the wheel.
Here, we’ll look at five of the craziest car stunts ever performed.
269 Ft Beach to Barge Jump
In 2009, stunt driver Travis Pastrana woke up and decided to smash the record for the longest distance anyone has ever jumped in a car. Working with Red Bull, Pastrana used a Subaru STI to jump from the sands of LA’s Long Beach to a barge anchored out at sea — a distance of 269-feet. On landing, Pastrana was travelling so fast he had to get sideways and use the barrier at the end to stop. But his work was done, having smashed the previous jump record by a staggering 98ft.
World Record Breaking Jump
Pastrana’s record didn’t last long, however. In 2011, Tanner Foust smashed the record yet again — propelling his purpose-built truck an incredible 332 feet. Sponsored by Team Hot Wheels, Foust drove down a colossal ramp made to look like the toy brand’s famous plastic orange play set — gaining enough momentum to beat Pastrana’s record by an incredible 63 ft.
Flipping a Mini in the French Alps
It isn’t just the alpine setting that makes French rally driver Guerlain Chicherit’s Mini flip so impressive — it’s the fact that he became the first ever stunt driver to perform a full 360° backflip and land it successively. Driving a modified Mini Countryman, Chicherit had to hit the ramp at a precise angle of 37° to get the right rotation, which he did, flipping the car through 360° in a matter of milliseconds.
Stunt Driving in San Francisco
For those who haven’t heard of Ken Block, he’s one of the world’s most famous stunt drivers, having performed hundreds of stunts across the globe. In 2012, Block somehow managed to clear the streets of San Francisco and use the entire city as a stunt playground. For twenty minutes, Block weaved through obstacles and performed massive jumps off the city’s famously hilly streets — and all from behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta, albeit a heavily modified version.
Casino Royale Car Stunt
As with every Bond film, Casino Royale is chock-a-block with stunts performed by real-life stuntmen. Even the scene in which 007 rolls his Aston Martin is real, making it one of the best car stunts ever featured in a movie. To make the car roll so aggressively, a pneumatic piston was installed to drive a metal bar into the ground — causing the car to flip. Amazingly, despite the utter carnage that follows, there was actually a stuntman inside the car when it rolled. When asked to comment on the experience, the stuntman simply said: “it was a fairly violent ride” — what a hero!
Though we wouldn’t advise throwing your car off a ramp, our products are developed to work in all extremes — from blazing sun to freezing cold. For more information, visit the Prestone website.