Michael “Mad Mike” Hughes has been getting a lot of media coverage in the past few years. After making the longest jump ever (103 feet) in a limousine, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Hughes appeared in the Los Angeles Times and as a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! late-night talk show. Coverage has come back lately as Hughes gets ready to launch Skylimo, a steam-propulsion unit that may launch in the Grand Canyon and is based on the infamous Evel Knievel Snake River jump.
Hughes has been a chauffeur for 12 years and currently drives for A Showcase Limousine Service in Riverside, Calif. He’s been referred to as “the world’s most famous limo driver,” by one of his friends, and promotes this logo on his website and on the cover of a book he’s written. While he enjoys being such a famous chauffeur, he also wants to become an operator in the business. “I’m working on starting up both a limousine and a coachbuilder business,” he said. “I want to continue being in the limo business for years, especially for red carpet award shows in L.A. and Vegas.”
Before starting up his own limo company, he’s focusing his attention on the building of the Skylimo. Design and building of the Skylimo is being led by Bob Truax, who invented and holds the patents on steam-rocket engines and built both of Evel Knievel’s SkyCycles, according to Hughes. It’s expected the rocket will reach a height of 3,500 feet and an air speed of 350 miles per hour. The team’s plan is to launch Mad Mike in the Skylimo to clear the Snake River Canyon, and during a later jump, Grand Canyon West.
Being interviewed on Southern California radio stations has helped increase media attention. Media coverage is also helping Hughes promote his recent book, What Does a Limo Driver Know About NASCAR? Being committed to limo jumping, NASCAR races, and even motorcycle racing, has had serious ramifications, including breaking back bones twice. But this hasn’t been enough to stop taking risks with his life, including the Snake River jump and another dramatic limousine leap. “I’m still Number One in the Guinness book,” he said. “I want to break my record and jump a limousine 150 feet.”
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