In 1991, the GMC Syclone shocked the automotive realm with a 0-60 mph time of around 4.5 seconds. Unbeknownst to a vast majority of the world back then, another pickup truck emerged that was even faster, and we mean a lot faster. In fact, it's the world's fastest pickup truck, but it's not exactly street legal. That's the downside to bolting not one, but two jet engines on the back.
Say hello to the Hot Streak II. The truck is currently owned and driven by Hayden Proffitt II, who acquired it from the king of jet-powered rigs, Les Shockley. It was Shockley who built this truck back in the early 1990s, just as pickups like the Syclone, Chevrolet Silverado SS 454, and Ford's original F-150 Lightning were getting noticed. Originally called Super Shockwave, Shockley's approach was a tad different from Detroit automakers, choosing to create a fiberglass replica of a classic 1957 Chevy truck powered by a pair of Westinghouse J34 jet engines. Admittedly, tad different might be an understatement here.
Airplane fans will recognize the J34 as a turbojet from the early days of jet aviation, launching in the late 1940s but staying in use with the US military for decades. The specific engines used here were sourced from a Navy T-2 Buckeye trainer, and for some extra kick, Shockley fitted them with afterburners. The result is approximately 25,000 horsepower (18,642 kilowatts) for a vehicle weighing around 4,300 pounds. So yeah, it's fast.
The Need For Speed:
Proffitt's grandfather actually bought Shockely's first jet-powered dragster (the original Shockwave), so there's a well-established history between the speed-loving families. Proffitt also has a special affinity for jet power, having served in the US Air Force where he was a mechanic for the F-15 fighter and B-2 bomber. He jumped at the chance to get Shockley's twin-engined pickup, renaming it Hot Streak II after his grandfather's dragster.
The truck can reach 350 mph, though Proffitt says he's "only" achieved around 340 mph. Mind you, it gets there in just a few seconds, and when the twin 16-foot parachutes are released, he experiences negative 10 gs on initial deceleration.
Sadly, Les Shockley passed away in 2019. But his legacy lives on with the Hot Streak II and the current Shockwave jet-powered semi-truck.