On This Day in 1935, Humans Exceeded 300 mph on Land

Chris Higgins
YouTube // British Movietone
YouTube // British Movietone / YouTube // British Movietone

On September 3, 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell set his seventh land-speed record, exceeding 300 miles per hour in a custom-built race car called Blue Bird. (He drove many cars with that name; this was his last.) Sir Malcolm made the drive at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and achieved the record by designing an extremely aerodynamic car after repeated wind-tunnel tests. The record was verified in part by a specially designed camera pointed at the instruments inside Blue Bird, as it was deemed too risky for him to actually look at the gauges during the attempt. On the front of Blue Bird were crossed Union Jack and United States flags.

Here's Sir Malcolm introducing one of his Blue Birds before one of his many record-setting attempts:

And here's a surprisingly detailed documentary on Sir Malcolm's various speed records. (He set both land and sea speed records, and his son Donald went on to drive future versions of Blue Bird. Donald eventually exceeded 400 mph on land.)

Speedy drivers everywhere salute you, Sir Malcolm!