The Grand Tour

Richard Hammond Revisits The Vampire Dragster That Almost Killed Him During Top Gear

A recent video from DriveTribe sees The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond meet the dragster that almost killed him 16 years ago during the days of Top Gear. This comes moments after the DriveTribe website has been confirmed to be shutting down at the end of this month.

Hammond suffered serious head injures after the jet-powered Vampire dragster he was driving in September 2006 veered off Elvington Airfield at 370mph. After flipping multiple times, Richard was put in an air ambulance and put into an induced coma when he arrived at the hospital.

He fortunately made a full recovery with only slight side effects that have apparently worsened his memory. And while he must have a fear of the vehicle, he has been reunited with it for a recent DriveTribe video where he sets out plans for the coming year.

The description of the video reads the following:

“Richard Hammond has been entertaining us on our screens for over 20 years now, but one car nearly changed things forever – the Vampire jet car. In this video, Hammond sets out DriveTribe’s plans for 2022, before attempting to get comfortable again with the 300mph+ land speed car.”

The Richard Hammond’s Workshop presenter stands at a podium during the video, outlining the success of DriveTribe over the last year before he turns to the car sat behind him:

“This year, I shall be doing what I swore I would never do, and get back into the Vampire dragster that so very nearly killed me,” he tells the camera hesitantly.

“Hello again,” he says to the drag car. “You look in better shape than last time I saw you, anyway.”

He climbs into it: “Right, well, here goes.

“What’s odd is I remember the last time I got in this thing, but I don’t remember getting out. So technically I’m still in it.”

He looks over to his DriveTribe co-presenter Mike Fernie: “Yeah, that’s… Tell you what, Mike, you can do this one, mate. Happy 2022.”

The video ends with a “coming soon…” message, teasing us that he might be taking the Vampire Dragster onto the strip once more to do what he wasn’t able to all those years ago. Do you want him to give it a go? Let us know in the comments…

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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  1. Let’s be honest, he should not do that! I’ve suffered a TBI after a cycle accident and I know exactly what it takes to recover fully and now with Richard being well over 40 if it happened again he would not recover! Seeing him stand and say he might redo it brought me to tears because I don’t wish a second run through of a TBI for anybody except an extremely evil human being. From myself personally to Richard “don’t do it to Mindy and don’t do it to yourself” 😔

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