There is no great stagnation, refitted tuk-tuk edition

An Essex man has said he is “over the moon” after setting a new tuk-tuk land speed record, having purchased the three-wheeled Thai vehicle during a “boozy night on eBay”.

Over the course of two laps, Matt Everard reached a speed of 74.306mph (119.583km/h) after being set a target of 68.35mph (110km/h) by Guinness World Records.

Everard, 46, a freight firm boss from Billericay, drove the 1971 Bangkok taxi on Monday at the Elvington airfield in North Yorkshire, with his cousin, Russell Shearman, 49, as his backseat passenger.

Everard, a father of two, has spent more than £20,000 improving the vehicle after buying it from a seller in Bolton in 2017, saying he has worked on “every nut, bolt and bearing”.

Here is the full story, via Michelle Dawson.


Given that Essex is the Alabama of England, it would be more illuminating for the 'Essex' hyperlink to display a Google image search for 'Essex slappers,' which displays a representative sample of the many bad decisions made in that region.

So he turned it into a rice rocket. Its not like its self-driving, has wifi, or has an AI built into it. At the very least it should spy on its riders and upload incriminating evidence into the cloud so shareholders can make billions selling advertising with the option to blackmail its users for even more profit. I file this under stagnation.

Only cuk-cuks ride tuk-tuks.

'has spent more than £20,000 improving the vehicle after buying it'

That is utterly absurd - and I know a pair of mechanics that would gladly take €5,000 (though they would likely still feel it was overcharging, even if a couple of thousand would be for parts) to beat that record by at least 2mph.

Sir, in my country we allow a gentleman to preserve the illusion that he is spending money on his hobby rather than prostitutes or, worse, Candy Crush lives.

Fair enough, but the number of people playing Candy Crush back and forth to Frankfurt to work on the ICE a couple of years ago was eye-opening. So you might just have a point about how well dressed middle aged businessmen are playing Candy Crush here.

The focus on cheap is laughable when you consider it's a textbook case of conspicuous consumption. The more expensive the better.

A Rolex is conspicuous consumption as is a Bentley or a reservation at a Michelin star restaurant. Overpaying for a tuk-tuk that goes a little faster is very much not the definition of conspicuous consumption. It is conspicuously dorky, I'll give it that.

It's about spending money on a product or service to raise your status among your peers. The definition of conspicuous consumption does not discriminates between subjectively judged low- or high-brow hobbies.

If the Essex man is welcomed with an applause and a free beer next time he goes to the town bar, the definition applies.

'to raise your status among your peers'

Well, are there actually tuk-tuk races? Don't know, and after the fruitless searching for the motorized bicycles, I am not going to to look.

Or are we using peers more broadly, to include those impressed by spending money in an eccentric fashion to no particular purpose apart from gaining a bit of attention?

"those impressed by spending money in an eccentric fashion to no particular purpose apart from gaining a bit of attention".

Yes, that describes the majority of people in the world.

Probably not, actually - at least when taking into account 'eccentric.' Spending 20,000 pounds to gain a world tuk-tuk landspeed record is unlikely to actually impress that many people, due to the sheer pointlessness. A matter of taste, of course, but probably not a taste shared by most people.

Though spending a couple of billion dollars to reach LEO is certainly the sort of thing that impresses a lot more people, regardless of how pointless one may find that endeavor, so the point is not wrong.

A hi-speed tuk-tuk is not likely to turn into a Veblen good, but stranger things happen.

I may be biased. I payed for the rebuild of Cummins engine for an old dodge ram a few years ago just to have fun on weekends. I'm like the idea of putting the new Mopar Hellephant engine with 1,000 HP into an old muscle car. It's sheer pointless, probably more a liability (death risk) than an asset, no practical use, a waste of's almost art =)

'The focus on cheap is laughable'

Well, these mechanics like to race old 'motorized bicycles' in various events. Don't think that if it caught their fancy, they wouldn't mind winning, simply for the fun of it - especially if they were also paid. Couldn't find any pictures of the couple they own and race, though.

On the dangerous streets it's all about acceleration. If you don't want to be turned into wewalka when a ceremonial elephant is bearing down on you, then the instant torque only electric tuk-tuks can provide is what you want. High top speed don't mean anything if you're already dead.

TH Tuk-tuk got nothing on PH Jeepney... The Tuk-Tuk tricycle is better than the motorcycle taxi they use in the PH provinces, which is a Yamaha or Kawasaki with a sidecar, which can seat four people, spot welded out of rebar, which does not weld very well and constantly has to be re-welded. You can feel every bump.

"The Balls are Going to be Lopsided"
don't worry navy, there is actually an evolutionary
reason that favors lopsided balls
this is just the sorta humor/stuff that makes Amerika strong
in the face of adversity

what the navy needs to be looking out for when the navy
is "in the shower" is not so much an asymmetry
but a discrete lump
or swelling.

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