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Top 5 Land Speed Records

Top 5 Land Speed Records | Boss Royal

It’s not all hookers, blow and burritos being a World Guinness record holder. The land speed record is one of the most prestigious money pits any man could ever get suckered into. All you’ll be doing is burning more cash towards breaking your own record or rocking quietly in a corner, waiting for someone else to come and wipe their bag on your framed certificate. So, what drives someone to be the fastest man on land despite all this? Rockets, Jet engines and words like ‘TurboShaft”.

By definition, the Land Speed Record is the highest speed achieved by a wheeled vehicle on land. The record is taken at the vehicle’s top speed over a course of fixed length, averaged over two runs (called “passes”). These runs must be completed within an hour going in opposite directions to cater for natural variables. To be a record holder, the speed must be at least one percent faster than the previous. Enough of the formalities, we’ve collated a list of the 5 most notable record breaking vehicles below.

Sadly Donald Campbell died attempting the water speed record. But what he didn’t suck at was the land speed record back in the 60s. Campbell thrashed the BlueBird CN7 to 403 mph (648 km/h) with the new found tech propulsion, the Turboshaft. Growing bored of breaking his own record on land with the Blue Bird, he turned his attention to water – we all know how that ended.

Date: July 17, 1964

DriverDonald Campbell

VehicleBluebird CN7

Engine: Turboshaft

Top Speed: 403 mph  (648 km/h)

Like most of the other competing vehicles of its time, the engine of the Sprit of America was ex-military from a F-86 Jet. It was built with a narrow streamlined fuselage, three wheel chassis, and the first turbojet engine. Basically, it was a decommissioned jet minus it’s wings.

Date: August 5, 1963

Driver: Craig Breedlove

Vehicle: Spirit of America

Engine: Turbojet

Top Speed:  407 mph (655 km/h)


Over a period of 20 seconds, the Blue Flame generated over 58,000 horsepower. Measuring 37 feet 4.6 inches (11.394 m) and designed from the ground up, the Blue Flame featured the first custom built rocket engines created solely for the land speed record. The record was held for 13 years.

Date: October 23, 1970

Driver: Gary Gabelich

Vehicle: Blue Flame

Engine: Rocket

Top Speed: 622 mph (1001 km/h)

The Thrust SSC (Thrust supersonic car) is today’s record holder. Featuring two Rolls-Royce turbofans poached from a F-4 Phantom II jet fighter pushed the vehicle to a top speed of 763 mpg (1276 km/h)  in 1997. It became the first car to officially break the sound barrier.

Date: October 15, 1997

Driver: Andy Green

Vehicle: ThrustSSC

Engine: Turbofan

Top Speed: 763 mpg (1276 km/h) 

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