The story of a Dodge SRT-4 (don’t call it a Neon) nailed by the Maine State Police for doing 146 MPH has gone viral on the interwebs. It seems this very same car is listed for sale on Craigslist.
UPDATE: Soon after we posted this, the ad was deleted by the author. Fortunately, I took a screenshot before this happened. It’s posted further down.
In case you missed it:
Speeder clocked at 146 on I-95 North near Pittsfield PITTSFIELD, Maine – A speeder is facing several charges after being clocked at 146 miles per hour on the interstate earlier today. On Sept. 28, Lt. Bruce Scott was on patrol when dispatched radioed asking if there were any available units on the interstate north of mile marker 130. Lt. Scott, who was near mile marker 150 in Pittsfield, indicated he was. Dispatch informed him that there was a “blue sports car” travelling at a high rate of speed heading north at Mile Marker 135. Lt. Scott asked about the delay in time, and was indicated that the delay was approximately 3 minutes from the time the call was placed. Normally, a car travelling the speed limit would travel to Lt. Scott’s position in approximately 12 minutes. Two minutes later, Lt. Scott saw a blue Dodge Neon travelling at a high rate of speed in his location. He locked it in on his radar at travelling at 146 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone. Lt. Scott stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Tyler Barrows, 18, of Manchester Maine. Barrows was arrested and summonsed for criminal speed (class E), failure to provide proof of insurance and failure to provide proof of inspection. Lt. Scott, who heads up the Traffic Safety Division for the Maine State Police noted that in his entire career in law enforcement, he had never clocked someone travelling at such a high rate of speed.
By a strange coincidence, a car that looks identical to the one in the Maine State Police photos is also listed for sale on Craigslist.
At first I thought that driver Tyler Barrows had put his car up for sale to pay for the inevitable fines and legal fees to come from traveling more than double the speed limit on I-95. But it doesn’t add up. For one thing, the Craigslist ad was posted 20 days ago, and Barrows was arrested just yesterday. Additionally, if you zoom in on the license plate in the State Police photo and compare it to photos in the ad, you can tell they are different.
Yet it’s quite clear that they are, in fact, the same car, from the custom bodywork right down to the missing “T-4” from the “SRT-4” badging on the trunk lid. Perhaps Barrows just recently bought the car and was seeing what it can do on the open road? The charges for failure to provide proof of insurance or inspection make it seem more likely that the car was recently purchased and registered, but not yet insured or inspected.
I used to live in Augusta, Maine, not far from Pittsfield, and have driven this section of I-95 countless times. There isn’t much there. I can understand the urge to take your new shiny car, open ‘er up, and see what it can do. But the highway is not the place to do it. I once hit a deer on I-295 further south going the speed limit in a company truck. I still didn’t have enough time or space to slow down enough to avoid it when it crossed the road right in front of me. I was unharmed (the truck and deer, not so much) and not cited by Maine’s finest. But hitting a deer at twice that speed could’ve been fatal for the driver as well as the deer.
Might I recommend that Barrows keep going a few hours further north on I-95 to Limestone and check out the Loring Timing Association‘s events at the former Loring Air Force Base? They run land speed competitions on the 2 5/8 mile long runways formerly used by Strategic Air Command’s B-52s during the Cold War. These provide ample opportunity to find your car’s top speed in a safe environment where police are guaranteed not to harass you. As a bonus, north of Old Town the speed limit on I-95 increases to 75mph, which is the highest speed limit east of the Mississippi River.
I personally drove at the first Cumberland Motor Club autocross event held here. As a writer I’m good with words, but words can not describe the size and scale of this place. Instead I’ll show you what it was like in my 1991 Nissan Sentra SE-R.
[brid video=”66505″ player=”4063″ title=”SAC Racing North Course final run”]
This course mainly used the smaller taxiways, with a detour up and around the concrete loading area for nuclear weapons. (I’m not kidding.) It used only a tiny fraction of the space available at Loring. CMC has returned there for epic events each year since.
The bottom line is if you want to drive this fast, take it to the track. It’s much easier than you think. If I’m wrong about the timeline on the Craigslist ad, you might be able to try to beat this SRT-4’s current 146mph record for yourself. Short of the Loring Timing Association itself, who better to certify a car’s speed capabilities than the Maine State Police?