It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, if there’s more than one motorised form of transport in the same vicinity you have all you need for a competition. You name it, if it has a motor to propel it forwards, it can be raced. Take a look at the folk in the USA where anything goes, you can find obscure and arbitrary things like lawnmower racing, scooter racing, truck pulls and so much more. One place that’s actually got a reputation for having legions of speed freaks racing things like long-tail boats with turbocharged Toyota 4A-GE Twincam setups, some even sporting an extra helping of nitrous oxide, is Thailand. It’s a country where anything goes and motorsport is a passion. Chad from CB media is often in foreign places documenting these kinds of things, and the latest awesomeness he’s stumbled across is drag racing vans. These things are usually reserved for comfortable family trips around the country or in many cases, as a taxi helping the public get around the city.
In Thailand, it’s commonplace for owners of these various vans to be registered taxi drivers while being privately owned, and we all know that people who own their own cars like to modify and personalise them and it’s no different for these guys. On the plus side, when a taxi like you see here has had so much money spent on it, you can rest assured that the owner will take proper care of the van. Not only is it expensive to do this in Thailand it’s also a notoriously dodgy place to drive so most drivers will do their best to avoid incidents. Because these vans are also so well taken care of and loved, it’s likely that passengers will be sitting in a very comfortable, upgraded cabin. It’s a fact that if this here SXdrv writer ever hit Thailand, there is no other mode of transport I’d use.
It’s one thing for these private vans to double as taxis, thanks to the way ambulance services in Thailand work, they can and do also double as ambulances. That’s right, in Thailand you can attend a drag strip and watch fully licensed, 100% legal, life-saving ambulances drag racing. I don’t know about you, but if I’m ever in need of transport for a medical emergency I’d happily choose to ride in a turbocharged, nitrous-fed, lowered and upgraded ambulance than a regular one. In an emergency, they say seconds count and so why bother with things that aren’t fast? Exactly. Not only do these vans not have a standard engine and transmission setups, but most have also lowered suspension, big brakes and all manner of struts and stabiliser bars equivalent to what someone would modify when building a fast streetcar. Cabins also feature upgraded seats and some sport racing harnesses too.
These racing vans are quite quick for what they are, they’re far from the fastest things on the road. They can be seen running quarter-mile times as low as the 14-second bracket, which is really pretty damn impressive. A stocker version will cross the traps in the high 20s. So if you ever fall down the stairs in Thailand and you bump your head a little harder than usual, you can hobble outside and hail a fast taxi or you can dial an ambulance and get in the first one that arrives because it’s either the fastest of the one with the fresh nitrous bottle.
Take a look at the YouTube video that shows how mad things are around the world when it comes to all things automotive. It's one thing making a van fast if it's your daily or weekend car, but when it's also doubles as a taxi or even a licensed ambulance that's nutty like squirrel poop: Drag Racing Turbo Ambulances in Thailand! | CB Media
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