Imagine the fastest car in the world. Maybe you’re picturing an F1 machine with a narrow frame covered in harsh angles and thick, meaty tires. Maybe you’re picturing a sleek, cherry red sports car with butterfly doors and an engine that growls like a panther. If we only consider production models put together by teams of world class auto engineers, you might be right, but for many years the fastest street-legal car in the world spent most of its time sitting in a garage in Wolverhampton.
Our story begins in 1981 with Andy “Frosty” Frost, a mechanic and transmission specialist, buying a 1972 Vauxhall Victor from his neighbour for sixty pounds. He was a car enthusiast and began modifying it for fun. He has said in an interview with the BBC that he never set out to break any records—at least to begin with—and that his tinkering began as a simple hobby. Thirty years and over £100,000 of parts and his own man-hours later, Andy was confident that Red Victor 2 was the fastest car in the world.
His confidence wasn’t unfounded. Frosty has been a part of Europe’s drag racing circuit for close to two decades, beginning with his first race in 1988. He says the first thing he did once he got the Red Victor 2 (still called the Red Victor 1 at the time) home afterward was drop a Chevrolet engine into it. As time went on, and the Red Victor accumulated more and more modifications, he got more invested in the scene and learned more about it he became aware of the speed records and just how close he was coming. That was when he decided to really make a go of it.
Over time Frosty swapped out more and better parts to the Victor, including a twin turbo V8 engine (earning it the ‘2’) complete with diamond turbo pistons, and a custom two-speed transmission that has been described as ‘bulletproof’. By the time he was done it could go from nought to sixty in a second. It won the UK Castrol challenge in 2006 and 2007, and set its own speed record of 223mph in 2008 without losing any bodywork (impressive since the original vehicle wasn’t built to withstand speeds much above 100mph) and went on to win the King of Europe competition in 2009, setting their speed record in the process.
The Red Victor 2 put Frosty’s team on the map and became its namesake. Some of its records have since been broken, and in 2011 Frost and his capable team put together the Red Victor 3, which he still drives in drag races. It is currently recognized as the faster car on the quarter mile in the European circuit.
These days the Red Victor 2 mostly stays in the garage, or else it draws a crowd. It may not be racing anymore but Frosty says he is proud that the car that achieved so much was homegrown, so to speak. The legend of the man who built the world’s fastest car out of nothing but time, effort and love (and also car parts) will live on to inspire others.