SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Michael Hughes fell short in a bid to break his own world-record feat of jumping a limousine 125 feet.
His 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine fell 30 feet short of the pile of tires at the landing point at the Orange Show Fairgrounds here, letting stand his original Guinness World Record jump of 125 feet stand.
Hughes, who had wrapped his body and driver’s seat in bubble wrap prior to the jump, was dazed but uninjured.
The attempt went awry for several reasons, he later told LCT. “I didn’t have enough room to get up the speed to make the jump,” says Hughes. “Limousines are big and heavy. It takes a while to get up to 65 miles per hour.”
He also said that poor preparation of the runway by Orange Show personnel and other technical matters split his concentration. Monitoring the car’s gauges while trying to hit the ramp at just the right time and velocity presents a real danger, he added.
“I had to take my eyes off the dash to see how fast I was going – just to make sure that I was going to hit the ramp. If I didn’t hit the ramp, I was going to hit a pole or a concrete wall.”
Hughes, former 1979 USA Speedway Motorcycle Ice Racing Champion, Former NASCAR crewmember and current NASCAR Winston West driver, has been jumping limousines for more than three years.
Hughes said he was negotiating with sponsors on three projects: another limo jump, breaking the world’s record of 237 feet for a car jump, and a building-top-to-building-top car jump.
“Money is everything,” says Hughes. “I’m not going to run out and do this and kill myself for little or no money. It’s going to have to pay a lot.”
He also said he was wrapping up his low-budget film “Stretch,” about his stint as a renegade chauffeur in Las Vegas.
Hughes said his ultimate goal is to raise enough money to pursue his real passion, which is to leave the limousine leaping business for something safer and saner.
“My hope is that all this will lead to Winston Car racing,” he says.
- Albert Neal