A Brief History
On September 3, 1935, Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah was the scene of an historic automobile event, the first ever car to achieve a documented speed of over 300 mph. Sir Malcolm Campbell, motor journalist and race car driver, piloted a Rolls-Royce V-12 powered Campbell-Railton Blue Bird to a new land speed world record, a record he himself already held since March of 1935 in the same car.
Campbell had set new world land speed records in his Blue Bird five times, and in other cars four more times, making him a nine time world land speed record setter.
The current land speed record is held by Andy Green with his ThrustSSC jet powered car at just over 760 mph, set in 1997. The fastest production car ever sold is the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut from Sweden, boasting 1600 horsepower and a top speed of about 310 mph, costing a cool $2.8 million. The Bugatti Chiron challenges that claim with an equal projected top speed.
Question for students (and subscribers): What is the fastest you have ever driven a car? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Campbell, Malcolm. My Thirty Years of Speed. Daredevil, 2023.
John, Barry. Quest for Speed: The Epic Saga of Record-Breaking on Land. Evro Publishing Limited, 2020.
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