Jessi Combs, racer and TV personality, killed in crash during speed-record try

Jessi Combs, racer and TV personality, killed in crash during speed-record try

The famed car builder and star of such shows as ‘All Girls Garage’ and ‘Overhaulin’, died in her jet-powered streamliner on a dry lake in Oregon

Jessi Combs, the famous racer and TV personality known as the “fastest woman on four wheels,” was killed Tuesday in a crash while attempting to break her own speed record in her jet-powered streamliner.

Combs was driving on a dry lake bed in the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon when the car went out of control at high speed and crashed. She was 39.

A professional race driver, car builder and metal fabricator, Combs was a legend in both motorsports and on automotive television, where she served as a host and technical expert on a number of programs, including All Girls Garage, Overhaulin’, Two Guys Garage and Xtreme 4×4, as well as appearing in a season of Mythbusters.

Coombs was regular on autoomotive TV

Combs was regular on automotive TV | Velocity photo

She earned her title of “fastest woman on four wheels” in 2013 when she set a record of 398 mph in a jet-powered streamliner, the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.  Last year, she reached an unofficial 483.227 mph, although mechanical trouble ended her run before she could make a second pass in the opposite direction to make the record official.

Her death was confirmed in an Instagram post by teammate Terry Madden, and her family issued a statement today.

“It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, where she was pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon,” the family statement says. “The details of the crash have not been released at this time.”

Jessi Combs was an accomplished metal fabricator and welder

Jessi Combs was an accomplished metal fabricator and welder | Velocity photo

Combs was a towering figure in the male-dominated world of auto racing and car building, and was an accomplished metal fabricator and welder, even designing her own line of welding clothing and gear for women.

As well as vying for speed records, Combs was active in a number of racing competitions, such as Ultra4’s King of the Hammers; the Baja 1000, where she had a podium finish; and in the all-women rally race Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.


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  • Henri du Plessis
    August 28, 2019, 1:06 PM

    So sad. I admired this young lady immensely. My kind of gal. If I had a daughter, she’d have been like her.

    • "D" Getzinger@Henri du Plessis
      August 29, 2019, 2:25 PM

      Tell her family, "D" from "D" Classic Cars/Street Rods feels their pain, and prays for God to give them comfort at this critical time! God Bless!

  • More Money
    August 29, 2019, 2:24 PM

    Thoughts and prayer to Ms. Combs loved ones.
    All of us that have daughters hold them a little closer.

  • Thomas Holden
    August 29, 2019, 2:25 PM

    RIP Jessi, you will be missed.

  • Bob Ramos
    August 29, 2019, 2:37 PM

    Jessi was the greatest, I followed her whole TV and racing career which started many years ago.
    She was a very cool lady and extremely talented, she will be missed by many!

    • Bill Girmonti@Bob Ramos
      August 29, 2019, 5:07 PM

      May GOD bless her and take her into HIS arms and bring her to ever lasting life in Heaven.

  • Rick McLean
    August 29, 2019, 4:17 PM

    Very sad my sincerest condolences to the Combs family. Take comfort in the fact she was doing something she felt great pleasure doing and wasn’t killed by a stray bullitt during a drive by. Although I am surprised more people who tie a rocket on there backs aren’t killed.

    • Mike Riley@Rick McLean
      August 30, 2019, 5:50 PM

      RIP Jessi the love for cars is a special kind of love. It gets in your blood. Prayers for your family. You leave a big hole in the hearts of car people.


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