The World’s Fastest Skip

That Time I Built the World’s Fastest Skip

James Norvill


Yes, you did read that title correctly - it may be quite some time ago, but back in 2007, I, James Norvill, built the world’s fastest skip. Well, the world’s fastest waste container, to be precise. It’s even officially recognised by Guinness World Records.

I know you’re keen to ask me three questions…

Firstly, how on earth did I manage to build a skipcar?

Secondly, why did I build a skipcar?

Thirdly, just how fast did this world’s fastest skipcar actually go?

Building the Skipcar

To build the world’s fastest skipcar I first needed a vehicle to use as a base, so I purchased a second-hand high-powered Subaru Impreza WRX Type R at a cost of around £15,000.

I chose this model because it ticked all the boxes. It could hit a top speed of around 150mph, boasted 300 brake horsepower, could achieve 0–60mph in a little over 5 seconds and had the handling of a racy rally car. Furthermore, it weighed around 1.1 tons (most cars weigh on average between 1.5 to 2.5 tons) and was made of lightweight lower gauge steel.

It seemed the obvious choice for a modified skipcar!

I spent about six weeks in total building it, and this included cutting the Subaru in half, removing 1.2 metres from the length, and then piecing it all back together — before placing it inside a standard eight-yard builders skip.

Ventilation holes were cut into the front of the skip for the radiator and lights of a mini were installed to help with the night vision!

The dashboard was the original from the Subaru Impreza, though I was actually sat in the boot (I installed two rally seats) while driving it as the front section and back seats had to be removed so that all vital components would fit inside the skip.

Driving the skipcar

Why I Built the Skipcar

I must admit, there was a marketing influence (and perhaps a few beers down the local) that spurned the idea for the skipcar.

One of my businesses at the time offered waste management services, including domestic skip hire.

I have a passion for all things fast, so combining skips with speed resulted in the creation of the world’s fastest skipcar.

A bit of a publication tool but also a great chance to create something unique and drive it really fast while turning plenty of heads!

I’m sure local people around Newport still refer to me as “the bloke who used to drive a skip” as I was no doubt known for my regular jaunts around the area, including trips to the drive-thru at fast-food joints and fuel top-ups at local petrol stations.

Further cameos included a showing at the opening of the 2008 Six Nations in France and Christmas trips around children’s hospitals in South Wales while being driven by Father Christmas.

How Fast Did the Skipcar Go?

I had the opportunity to test the true official speed of the skip by driving it in front of thousands of spectators on a 400 metre drag racing circuit on November 3rd, 2007, during the Flame and Thunder event at the Northampton-based Santa Pod Raceway.

I didn’t quite manage the 150mph that the original Subaru Impreza was capable of, but I am proud to say that I did achieve a top speed of 93mph making it officially the world’s fastest waste disposal unit. You can watch me set the world record on YouTube.

The skipcar went on to gain plenty of traction in the media, even several years later. The early days of going viral, you could say!

You can read some of the media publications about my super speedy skipcar below:

Daily Mail Online Not bad for a load of old rubbish!

Daily Star A real-life Wacky Racer!

South Wales Argus Skip is record breaker

Auto 4 Super Cars Skip Car



James Norvill

Businessman and Entrepreneur, powerboat pilot and famous for building the world's fastest skip.