The World’s Fastest Postman Pat Van might be the smallest full-bodied racing vehicle in the world that an adult man can actually climb into, but that doesn’t mean it can’t take a hit like a vehicle many times its size.
The now world-famous racing machine, powered by a 500c four-stroke motor positioned squarely between the legs of the brave pilot, had its first major mishap over the weekend while making some laps at the York Dragway in England, when, according to driver and creator Tom Armitage, the rear axle locked up at the finish line at an estimated 90 to 100 miles per hour, sending the van spinning out of control and crashing over onto its side before sliding off the racing surface into some standing water along the shutdown area.
Fortunately for Armitage, there was no guardrail in that area, allowing the van to simply slide off into the grass without taking a hit into an immovable object. As well, the simple fact that the van is a perfectly square box makes it relatively difficult, if not impossible, to flip completely over.
And as we can see from the photos of the aftermath, the Postman Pat Van proves itself as perhaps the toughest coin-operated kiddie ride any grocery store entrance has ever seen, with little more than some road rash on the top edge of the body and on the corner of the nose that can be buffed out (after a fresh coat of red paint is applied, of course).
With a complete Funny Car-esque roll cage on what’s in essence a kart chassis, this thing is plenty safe for what Armitage team are doing with it, but nonetheless, a brand new Pat Van is currently being built — as reported just a couple weeks ago on Dragzine — to provide an even safer, and hopefully quicker, ride.