How many people can you fit into a Mini Cooper?
Believe it or not, that's not the setup for a cheesy joke, but an actual question that a bunch of people asked themselves in May 2014 in Brighton, England, before winning the title of Most People Crammed in a Mini (Classic Model) by the Guinness World Records.
The answer? Twenty-seven.
April is National Car Care Month, and here at NAPA, we're celebrating by attempting our own record: the largest simultaneous car wash. It's happening April 28 (click here for a list of participating stores). So in the meantime, we decided to find out the most daring, brazen and downright bizarre lengths people have gone to show how much they love their cars. To do this, we tapped into a beloved resource: The Guinness Book of World Records, a portion of which is now online.
Here's a sampling for you to enjoy, but please: Don't try these at home. Or in your car.
Longest custom banana car
In 2009, an evidently potassium-deficient Michigan resident named Steve Braithwaite started constructing his "Big Banana Car" out of a 1993 Ford F-150 pickup. He finished in 2011, with a car that's 22 feet, 10.5 inches in length and 10 feet, 2 inches in height. The "banana" was built on the truck chassis using reinforced steel bars, chicken wire and polyurethane foam that was sculpted, covered in fiberglass and painted yellow. The car cost around $25,000 and has driven on the highway from Michigan to Miami, Houston, Providence and everywhere in between.
Tightest car parallel parking
In January 2015, British stunt driver Alastair Moffatt achieved the tightest parallel park at 2.95 inches. He did it while driving a Fiat 500C during the AutoSport International show in Birmingham, England. "Being a Guinness World Record holder for the tightest parallel park is a dream come true,” Moffatt told Guinness when he won. "This record is one of the more prestigious driving records and I'm delighted to be part of the story of this record!"
Most participants in a car race
In September 2014, entrepreneur John "Jay" Lamm set the record for the most participants in a car race at 216 cars at Thunderhills Raceway Park in California. The race was won by the Cerveza Racing Team, which completed 180 laps of the five-mile road course during the 14.5-hour race. The participants of the event raised $5,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a childhood cancer charity.
In 2004, Californians Michael Machado and Pamela Bartholomew decided that traditional limousines just weren't big enough. So they built Midnight Rider, the heaviest limousine in the world, weighing 50,560 pounds. Midnight Rider features three lounges and a separate bar and can accommodate up to 40 passengers, served by a crew of four. Its interior decor is based on the railroad Pullman cars, which were popular in the mid-1800s. Its horn plays the theme of "The Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers.
Largest loop-the-loop in a car
British stunt driver Terry Grant, after two months of intense physical and dietary preparation, climbed into a Jaguary F-PACE and performed the largest loop-the-loop ever achieved in a car: 62 feet, 7.1 inches in diameter. He withstood a G-Force more severe than that experienced by space shuttle pilots. It occurred in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2015.
Longest ramp jump by a truck cab
In 2015, American stunt driver Gregg Godfrey achieved the longest ramp jump by a truck cab, at 166 feet. He performed at the Evel Knievel Days in Butte, Montana, breaking the previous record, which he also held.
Most cars performing donuts simultaneously
The most cars performing donuts simultaneously is 107, achieved by the Latvian Drift Association at the Bikernieki Sports Complex, near Riga, Latvia, in September 2012. A total of 115 cars took part in the attempt, though only 107 participated in accordance with the guidelines.
Greatest speed differential between the throw and catch of a rugby ball
At first glance, this might not look like a car-related record at all – but keep looking. In Bedfordshire, England, in 2015, pro stunt drivers Terry Grant (you'll recall Grant also performed the largest loop-the-loop, above) and Lee Bowers pulled off a daunting rugby interception to earn the record of fastest interception in rugby. In technical terms, that's the greatest speed differential between the throw and catch of a rugby ball.
Grant and Bowers drove as two other brazen stuntmen hung out the window of two Nissan Juke cars driven at 30 mph on two wheels down Santa Pod Raceway, passing a rugby ball between each other. "I thought I had seen just about everything possible in rugby, but working with these stunt men travelling at such speeds and pulling off the pass at real pace is definitely something new for rugby," said former England Rugby Union player Lewis Moody, who coached the drivers.
To find out more information on NAPA's world record car wash attempt, click here.