Being on the new Vospers Blog Team certainly has its perks and so we were delighted to enjoy an hour to two chatting with a motoring stunt legend, Terry Grant.
Anyone who has had the occasional fantasy of burning rubber or hand brake turns could be forgiven for being just that little bit jealous of this man. Terry Grant is living his ultimate dream and some would say fulfilling his destiny. Not only is he stunt advisor for some of the world’s leading film directors, he is also Guinness World Records’ most successful stunt driver with a huge nineteen records to his name. If his industry had a Hollywood Walk of Fame, this man would have gained his star on the sidewalk a long time ago.
Grant claims he never wanted to be anything other than a motoring legend. In fact, far from dreaming as most young boys do of being a footballer or train driver, he simply wanted to be ‘the modern day Evel Knievel’. He admits that his dream came true. It should be remarkable that Grant’s first experience behind a wheel was in a Rover at the tender age of six. ‘I had to stand up as I couldn’t even reach the seat’ he explains. Perhaps it’s less surprising though when we hear that both his parents represented England on the worldwide motorsports scene.
Today Grant is quite simply one of the world’s stunt driving elite, performing death defying feats all over the globe and clocking up records like there is no tomorrow. When we speak, Grant has just arrived back in the UK from a daredevil performance in Beirut, though even this he says isn’t his most memorable location for a stunt performance. ‘While I was working with Renault F1 we did a street demonstration in Mexico City. 400,000 people turned out that day to watch and the atmosphere was unlike any other I had experienced before. I also performed a stunt on a man-made island, on a man-made lake at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. That was simply incredible.’
One of Grant’s most notorious record-breaking stunts is the ‘Most Number of Donuts while standing on the Roof of the Car’, a record he broke in 2007 and still regularly performs today for excitable crowds.
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His never ending search for the next great achievement though has seen him become one of only a handful of drivers in the world who can perform a full loop the loop. When asked which of his hundreds of stunts has made him most proud it’s nice to hear that it’s one performed on home turf in Goodwood. He explains ‘ I drove a Nissan Juke on two wheels up their famous hill-climb course. It had never been done before and I had had no prior practice. It was a now or never moment and I just went for it in front of 50,000 spectators and TV cameras. It was the fastest time anyone had driven a car on two wheels over a mile and Guinness World Record number nine.’
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So can this self-confessed record addict stop at number nineteen? Of course not.
‘There are a few stunts I would like to achieve. Both are jumps. The first is the barrel jump from the Bond Movie, The Man with the Golden Gun, and the second is a back flip in a car. Both have been done recently but I think they looked very messy. I would like to refine both tricks in a normal car not a buggy and make them look like super smooth stunts instead of lucky crashes.’ We at the Vospers Blog can’t help hoping we are in the box seat to enjoy these hair-raising manoeuvres.
Considering his life’s work, Grant has had surprisingly few injuries, in no small part due to meticulous planning and preparation. So does he have any regrets? ‘Yes. I wish I had kept my very first street legal car, bought at seventeen. An Escort MK2 1300 which I upgraded to an RS2000 Custom Pack. It would be worth a fortune now. ‘
Still, he can’t complain. He drives a baby Aston to get from A to B these days.
Between breaking world records, Grant can also be found hosting stunt training days at the famous Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire. With motorsports in his blood and a competitive streak the size of the Nile running through him, it’s unlikely any of his trainees will be challenging his status as the ultimate stunt driving record breaker any time soon.
Please visit www.terrygrant.com to find out more about Terry’s stunts and records. You can also follow him on Facebook (Terry Grant International Stunt Driver) and Twitter (@terrygrant_1)