Donald Campbell's record-breaking 'Bluebird' CN7 car, 1962.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
On 17th July 1964, Donald Campbell (1921-1967) claimed the world land speed record at Lake Eyre, Australia, driving this gas turbine-powered Bluebird-Proteus car. Averaging a speed of 403.1 mph (648.8 kph), he achieved the only such record to be set outside the United States in recent times. Bluebird cost £1 million to build and was powered by a 4250 bhp Bristol-Siddeley Proteus gas turbine engine. In 1967, Campbell was killed on Coniston Water in Cumbria attempting to become the first to reach 300 mph on water.