Land speed record [1]

How to approach this?  There are so many shots and histories.  Here’s a sample only of the pre-jet era.

Here is a restored “Stanley Steamer” (left) and wonderful archive photo of Fred Marriott in his “Rocket” Stanley Steamer at Daytona Beach, 1906 (right):

[State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, left photo: Chuk Williams, Stanley Steamers]

Ernest Arthur Douglas Eldridge’s Fiat Mefistofele reached 146.01 mph (234.97 km/h) in 1924. The British driver’s land speed record was the last one set on an open road:


This is the Sunbeam Tiger, in which Segrave set his first land record in 1926, reaching 152.33 mph (245.149 km/h):


However, his record was broken the very next month, by J.G. Parry-Thomas driving this car called Babs, achieving a speed of 171.02 mph (273.6 km/h). In a later record attempt in 1927, Parry-Thomas became the first driver killed while making a land speed record attempt:

Image: Stephen Poole

In March 1929, Segrave set his final land speed record in Golden Arrow, again at Daytona Beach, reaching 231.45 mph (372.46 km/h):

1, 2

The Campbell-Railton Blue Bird was Campbell’s final record attempt car, breaking the 300 mph (482.803 km/h) barrier at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in September 1935:


Tomorrow – the jet era.

3 comments for “Land speed record [1]

  1. JD
    July 30, 2012 at 16:58

    Immediately after the death of Parry Thomas, Babs was buried in Pendine Sands.
    I think it has been disinterred recently but I can’t recall when.

  2. wiggiatlarge
    July 30, 2012 at 17:46

    Nor can I JD but shes running again and featured a few months ago in I think Coast of all things?

  3. July 30, 2012 at 20:53

    Wonderful. Beautiful car.

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