The world’s fastest backhoe loader is set to make its return to California at the celebration of Cook Equipment’s 50th anniversary open house May 1.
The backhoe, which was recently shown at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, can usually be seen at various motor racing events but JCB have allowed the machine to make a rare appearance away from the racing scene.
The open house will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fullerton facility located on 1451 S. Manhattan Ave. in Fullerton, and will include demonstrations of the JCB GT, the world famous “JCB Dancing Diggers,” free food and give-aways.
The JCB GT— a drag racing backhoe loader fitted with a 1,000 hp (745 kW) engine capable of doing speeds in excess of 100 mph (161 kmh) — was introduced in Las Vegas at the 2005 ConExpo, the world’s largest construction industry exhibition.
The idea for the machine came from Sir Anthony Bamford, JCB chairman and the son of the company’s founder, Joseph Cyril Bamford. Irish comedian Frank Carson spurred the idea in 1985 by regularly delivering a joke about a JCB backhoe loader that whizzed by at 100 mph.
The first JCB GT was created three years later and was debuted to the public at Donington Race Park in England on August 1, 1988. Irish Comedian Frank Carson appeared to the press to launch the JCB GT but not with a bottle of champagne, with a bottle of Guinness.
The JCB GT wowed audiences for many years after its initial launch. It entertained crowds at major racing events the world over, including the British Formula One Grand Prix in July 1990 and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in November 1990.
The original JCB GT set the world speed record for a backhoe. Driver Neil Smith, long-time JCB demonstrator, took the machine to 114 mph during speed tests.
The current JCB GT will be on tour in the U.S. for the next eighteen months where it will be featured at major sporting events.
JCB Inc. is the North American subsidiary of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd., one of the top four construction equipment manufacturers in the world. JCB markets a wide range of construction equipment in North America, including backhoe loaders, wheel loaders/tool carriers, Loadall telescopic handlers, rough-terrain forklifts, Robot Skid Steer Loaders, hydraulic tracked excavators and articulated dump trucks.
In January 2000, the first JCB “Made in the USA” backhoe loader was built at the company’s 500,000-sq.-ft. North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Savannah, Ga.
For the past 50 years, Cook Equipment Company has provided reliable and high quality construction and utility equipment to the Southern California market.
For more information, visit www.CookEquipment.com. CEG