Land speed records are synonymous with those who achieve the fastest speed on a wheeled vehicle. It could be a motorcycle, a car, even a jet propelled vehicle qualifies. Truth be told, in setting speed records, “cars” are non-existent.
The first recognized land speed record on a wheeled vehicle dates back to 1898 in Acheres, France. The speed was just under forty miles per hour. Many attempts throughout the next 40 years since that first record were made for wheeled vehicles. The last record to stand for wheel driven vehicles was in 1938, on the Bonneville Salt Flats with a speed of 345 MPH, nearly ten times faster than that first one. Here are the top 10 land speed records:
10. White Triplex Spirit of Elkdom – United States (207 mph):
Using three Liberty aero engines from the previous war, Ray Keech, an American, wrestled the record from the British hold of the Land Speed Record. Another run was made later on the same vehicle, but the man driving it, Lee Bible, died during his 2nd attempt.
9. Irving-Napier Golden Arrow – United Kingdom (231 mph):
The record set on March 11, 1929 was made by Henry Seagrave who holds the distinction of establishing both land and water speed records at the same time. A 925 hp, 23.9 litre naturally-aspirated Napier Lion W12 aero engine (ice cooling, no radiator) provided the push for this record setting run at Daytona Beach.