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Car workers marvel at Thrust power; LAND SPEED RECORD-HOLDER SHOWN OFF AT CITY'S JAGUAR AND PEUGEOT PLANTS.

Byline: CATHERINE TURNELL

WORKERS at Coventry's two major car firms have taken the chance to get up close and personal with the world's fastest car.

Employees at Jaguar's Whitley plant and Peugeot's Stoke HQ seized the opportunity to marvel at the 10-tonne Thrust SSC before it is put on permanent display at Coventry's Museum of British Road Transport.

The record-breaker will also be on view to the public at the Evening Telegraph Coventry Run this Sunday in the city's War Memorial Park.

Colin Ashby, who tests Jaguar prototypes, said: "It's the first time I've seen it - it's very big. It looks like an aeroplane.

"I am impressed by it, it's a hell of a machine when you realise what it can do. It must have taken some building."

Husein Khalifa, who works in Jaguar's computer department, said: "It's awesome, it's huge. I've seen it on TV but looking at the size of it now, it's out of this world."

The car that broke the sound barrier at 763.035mph in October, 1997, also created a stir at Peugeot.

Corporate affairs manager Robert Browett said: "Something like this doesn't happen very often.

"It gives people like the ladies from the offices a chance to look at - and I suppose marvel - that someone was prepared to put their life on the line at 760-odd miles an hour driving it."

Ray Maxwell, a shift manager at Faurecia - part of the Peugeot/Citroen group - said: "It's really nice that they've brought it around here for people to look at.

"You get a bit blase about looking at cars all day long. It's a bit unusual to see something like this and it sparks your imagination again."

CAPTION(S):

IMPRESSED: Ahmar Ghauri (left) and Hassan Babiker at Jaguar's Whitley plant and (below right) Cesar Vieira takes a closer look at Peugeot's Stoke HQ
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2001
Words:308
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