Jessi Combs

(July 27, 1980 – August 27, 2019)


Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
09/10/2013 Alvord Desert Jessi Combs Jessi Combs North American Eagle F-104 Lockheed Starfighter jet   392.954  
07/09/2016 Alvord Desert Jessi Combs Jessi Combs North American Eagle F-104 Lockheed Starfighter jet   477.590  
27/08/2019 Alvord Desert Jessi Combs Jessi Combs North American Eagle F-104 Lockheed Starfighter jet   522.783  

Jessica M. Combs was an American professional racer, television personality, and metal fabricator. She set a women's land speed class record (four wheels) in 2013 and broke her own record in 2016. She was known as "the fastest woman on four wheels.”

She co-hosted the Spike TV show Xtreme 4x4 for more than 90 episodes from 2005 to 2009. Other television shows she appeared on included Overhaulin', Mythbusters, The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die, All Girls Garage,[5] and Science Channel's How to Build... Everything in 2016.

Combs died after crashing a jet-powered high-speed race car in southeastern Oregon while attempting to better her four-wheel land speed record. She was posthumously awarded the female land-speed world record by Guinness in June 2020.

Combs was born in Rockerville, South Dakota, on July 27, 1980, the daughter of Jamie Combs and Nina Darrington. The family moved to Piedmont, South Dakota, when she was two years old. She had three siblings, Kelly Combs, Austin Darrington, Danielle Theis, and two stepsiblings, Rebekah Hall and Arielle Hall. Combs' great-grandmother was Nina DeBow, a jazz pianist who raced Stanley Steamers.

She graduated from Stevens High School in 1998. Combs graduated from WyoTech in 2004, where she attended the Collision & Refinishing Core Program, the Street Rod Fabrication and Custom Fabrication, and High Performance Powertrain programs. Following her graduation, Combs's first professional job came after the WyoTech marketing department hired her and another student to build a car from the ground up in six months to debut at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association's (SEMA) show.

On October 9, 2013, Combs drove the North American Eagle (NaE) Supersonic Speed Challenger at the Alvord desert, claiming the women's 4-wheel land speed record with an official run of 398.954 mph (632 km/h) and a top speed of 440.709 mph (709 km/h). In doing so, she broke the 48-year-old women's land speed record, a 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h) run average set by Lee Breedlove in Spirit of America - Sonic 1 in 1965. On September 7, 2016, Combs set a new top speed of 477.59 mph (768.61 km/h) driving the Other American Eagle.

Combs was also a 2014 Ultra 4 Spec Class National Champion with Falken Tire. In 2016, she took first place in King of the Hammers with the Savvy Off Road team in the EMC Modified Class and a 2017 12th-place finish in the Unlimited Class driving the same Stock Mod car.

Combs died on August 27, 2019 after crashing a jet-powered car while breaking a land speed record as part of the North American Eagle Project on a dry lake bed in the Alvord Desert, Oregon. The crash was caused by a failure of a front wheel, likely caused by hitting an object in the desert, which caused the front wheel assembly to collapse at a speed of 522.783 mph (841.338 km/h). The official cause of death was determined to be "blunt force trauma to the head" occurring prior to the fire that engulfed the race vehicle after the crash."

Combs’ two runs in opposite directions across Oregon’s Alvord Desert on August 27 averaged 522.783 mph (841.338 km/h), which broke the existing women’s land speed record of 512.71 mph (825.13 km/h), set in 1976 by Kitty O’Neil at the same location, and was eventually verified by Guinness in June 2020, months after her death.



Jessi Combs has become the fastest woman alive. The automotive metal fabricator and TV personality ("All Girls Garage," "Mythbusters," "Overhaulin'") recently broke a long-standing women’s land speed record by reaching a “two-way” average speed of approximately 392 miles per hour.

This handily surpassed the previous Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) women’s land speed record of 308 mph set back in 1965 by Lee Breedlove, wife of former world land speed record holder Craig Breedlove. Combs achieved the record-shattering speed while driving the jet-powered North American Eagle (NAE) Supersonic Speed Challenger vehicle on a dry lake bed at the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon.

On her first run, Combs reached 318.2057 mph within a mile. “That felt so rad. I want to do it again,” Combs said, according to a statement released by NAE.

Combs engaged the vehicle’s afterburner, which nearly doubles the thrust of its jet engine, only briefly during the first pass. On her second run, Combs went into full afterburner and recorded a speed of 369.7983 mph, to achieve the record-setting two-way average speed of 344.002 mph.

But then Combs tried again a day later, achieving 440.709 mph during one run and averaging 392.954 mph.

FIA rules require that a driver make two passes across a measured course, once in each direction, with the second pass completed within 60 minutes of the first. The two speeds are then averaged by officials.

The "vehicle" that Combs piloted is actually a 50,000-horsepower F-104 Lockheed Starfighter jet that was converted by an all-volunteer team of American and Canadian engineers and former military personnel. Next year, NAE team owner Ed Shadle will attempt to break the current world land speed record of 763 mph in the same vehicle.