Definitions

record holder

Land speed record

The land speed record is the fastest speed achieved by any wheeled vehicle on land, as opposed to one on water or in the air or on rails. It is standardized as the speed over a course of fixed length, averaged over two runs in opposite directions. The current absolute (or unlimited) record holder is ThrustSSC, a twin turbofan jet-powered car which has achieved 763 mph (slightly under 1228 km/h) over one mile (1.6 km), breaking the sound barrier. There are also records for specific classes of vehicle, such as motorcycles (currently held by Chris Carr), and steam-driven vehicles (Fred Marriott, ), but this list only includes the absolute speed records for wheeled vehicles on ground, without rails. Early records predate standardisation and are sometimes controversial.

The ThrustSSC record was achieved by British RAF pilot Andy Green on 15 October 1997. It was set in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA. Thrust Super Sonic Car's two jet engines produced a combined total of 100 thousand pounds-force (440 kN) of thrust force. During its record-breaking run, Thrust SSC accelerated to in just 16 seconds and became the first car to break the sound barrier.

1898 to 1947

Date Location Driver Vehicle Power Speed over
1 km
Speed over
1 mile
Comments
mph km/h mph km/h
December 18, 1898 Achères, Yvelines, France Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat Jeantaud Duc Electric 39.24 63.15
January 17, 1899 Achères, France Camille Jenatzy CGA Dogcart Electric 41.42 66.66
January 17, 1899 Achères, France Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat Jeantaud Duc Electric 43.69 70.31
January 27, 1899 Achères, France Camille Jenatzy CGA Dogcart Electric 49.93 80.35
March 4, 1899 Achères, France Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat Jeantaud Duc Profilée Electric 57.65 92.78
April 29, 1899 Achères, France Camille Jenatzy CITA No 25, La Jamais Contente Electric 65.79 105.88 First record over
April 13, 1902 Nice, France
Promenade des Anglais
Leon Serpollet Gardner-Serpollet Oeuf de Pâques (Easter Egg) Steam 75.06 120.80
November 5, 1902 Ablis, France William K. Vanderbilt Mors Z Paris-Vienne IC 76.08 122.44
November 5, 1902 Dourdan, France Henri Fournier Mors Z Paris-Vienne IC 76.60 123.28
November 17, 1902 Dourdan, France M. Augières Mors Z Paris-Vienne IC 77.13 124.13
July 17, 1903 Ostend, Belgium Arthur Duray Gobron Brillié Paris-Madrid IC 83.46 134.32
November 5, 1903 Dourdan, France Arthur Duray Gobron Brillié Paris-Madrid IC 84.73 136.36
January 12, 1904 Lake St. Clair, USA Henry Ford Ford 999 Racer IC 91.37 147.05 On frozen lake
March 31, 1904 Nice, France Arthur Duray Gobron Brillié Paris-Madrid IC 88.76 142.85
March 31, 1904 Nice, France Louis Rigolly Gobron Brillié Paris-Madrid IC 94.78 152.53
May 25, 1904 Ostend, Belgium Pierre de Caters DMG Mercedes Simplex 90 IC 97.25 156.50
July 21, 1904 Ostend, Belgium Louis Rigolly Gobron Brillié Gordon Bennett Cup IC 103.56 166.66 first over
November 13, 1904 Ostend, Belgium Paul Baras Darracq Gordon Bennett IC 104.53 168.22
January 24, 1905 Daytona Beach, USA Arthur MacDonald Napier 6 IC 104.65 168.42
December 30, 1905 Arles, France Victor Hémery Darracq V8 Special IC 109.65 175.44
January 26, 1906 Ormond Beach, USA Fred Marriott Stanley Rocket Racer Steam 127.66 205.44 First over , first speed greater than contemporary rail speed record
November 6, 1909 Brooklands, United Kingdom Victor Hémery 200 hp (150 kW) Benz No 1 IC 125.94 202.68 115.93 186.57
June 24, 1914 Brooklands, United Kingdom L. G. Hornstead 200 hp (150 kW) Benz No 3 IC 124.09 199.70 First 2-way record
February 12, 1919 Daytona Beach, USA Ralph DePalma Packard 905 IC 149.875 241.200 Recognized in the USA, not recognized by AIACR
May 17, 1922 Brooklands, United Kingdom Kenelm Lee Guinness Sunbeam 350HP IC 133.70 215.17 129.17 207.88 Last record set on a closed course
July 6, 1924 Arpajon, France René Thomas Delage La Torpille IC 143.21 230.47 143.31 230.64
July 12, 1924 Arpajon, France Ernest A. D. Eldridge FIAT Special Mephistopeles II IC 146.01 234.98 145.89 234.79 Last record set on a public road
September 25, 1924 Pendine Sands, Wales Malcolm Campbell Blue Bird IC 146.15 235.21 146.16 235.22
July 21, 1925 Pendine Sands, Wales Malcolm Campbell Blue Bird IC 150.86 242.79 150.76 242.62
March 21, 1926 Southport, United Kingdom Henry Segrave 4 Litre Sunbeam Tiger Ladybird IC 152.30 245.10 149.32 240.31 Last record set by a racing car, not a specialist record-breaker
April 27 1926 Pendine Sands, Wales J.G. Parry-Thomas Babs (ex-Higham-Thomas Special) 26.9 liter Liberty 169.29 272.45 168.07 270.48
April 28, 1926 Pendine Sands, Wales J.G. Parry-Thomas Babs IC 171.01 273.60 170.62 274.59 Survived. His death was in March a year later, trying to re-capture the record from Campbell
February 4, 1927 Pendine Sands, Wales Malcolm Campbell Bluebird II IC 174.88 281.44 174.22 280.38 Last record set in Europe
March 29, 1927 Daytona Beach, USA Henry Segrave Sunbeam 1000 hp IC 202.98 326.66 203.79 327.97 First over
February 19, 1928 Daytona Beach, USA Malcolm Campbell Bluebird III IC 206.95 333.05
April 22, 1928 Daytona Beach, USA Ray Keech White Triplex Spirit of Elkdom three 26.9 liter Liberty 207.55 334.02
March 11, 1929 Daytona Beach, USA Henry Segrave Irving-Napier Golden Arrow

IC 231.56 372.66 231.36 372.34 Segrave retired from land speed racing and Golden Arrow never ran again
February 5, 1931 Daytona Beach, USA Malcolm Campbell Bluebird IC 246.08 396.03 245.73 395.46
February 24, 1932 Daytona Beach, USA Malcolm Campbell Bluebird IC 251.34 404.49 253.96 408.71
February 22, 1933 Daytona Beach, USA Malcolm Campbell Bluebird IC 272.46 438.48 272.10 437.90
March 7, 1935 Daytona Beach, USA Malcolm Campbell Bluebird IC 276.16 444.44 276.71 445.32 Last record set on a beach
September 3, 1935 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Malcolm Campbell Bluebird IC 301.129 484.620 First over
November 19, 1937 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA George Eyston Thunderbolt IC 312.00 502.11 311.41 501.17
August 27, 1938 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA George Eyston Thunderbolt IC 345.20 555.55 345.48 556.00
September 15, 1938 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA John R. Cobb Railton Special IC 350.06 563.37 350.19 563.58
September 16, 1938 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA George E. T. Eyston Thunderbolt IC 357.33 575.07 357.49 575.32
August 23, 1939 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA John Cobb Railton Special IC 369.74 595.04 367.91 592.09
September 16, 1947 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA John Cobb Railton Mobil Special IC 393.82 633.79 394.19 634.39 First 400 mph (640 km/h) pass

1963 to 1970

Date Location Driver Vehicle Power Speed over
1 km
Speed over
1 mile
Comments
mph km/h mph km/h
September 5, 1963 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Craig Breedlove Spirit of America Turbojet 408.312 657.114 407.447 655.722 Ratified by FIM as vehicle has 3 wheels
July 17, 1964 Lake Eyre, Australia Donald Campbell Bluebird CN7 Turboshaft 403.10 644.96
October 5, 1964 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Tom Green Wingfoot Express Turbojet 415.093 668.027 413.199 664.979
October 7, 1964 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Art Arfons The Green Monster Turbojet 434.356 699.028 434.022 698.490
October 13, 1964 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Craig Breedlove ''Spirit of America Turbojet 468.719 754.330
October 15, 1964 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Craig Breedlove Spirit of America Turbojet 526.277 846.861
October 27, 1964 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Art Arfons The Green Monster Turbojet 544.134 875.699 536.710 863.791
November 2, 1965 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Craig Breedlove Spirit of America - Sonic 1 Turbojet 555.485 893.966 555.485 893.966
November 7, 1965 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Art Arfons The Green Monster Turbojet 572.546 921.423 576.553 927.872
November 13, 1965 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Bob Summers Goldenrod IC 409.277 658.526 Last piston-engined / wheel-driven record
November 15, 1965 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Craig Breedlove Spirit of America - Sonic 1 Turbojet 600.842 966.961 600.601 966.574
October 23, 1970 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Gary Gabelich Blue Flame Rocket 630.389 1014.52 622.407 1001.67 First record over ; record stood for 13 years

1983 to 2008

Date Location Driver Vehicle Power Speed over
1 km
Speed over
1 mile
Comments
mph km/h mph km/h
October 4, 1983 Black Rock Desert, USA Richard Noble Thrust2 Turbojet 633 1019.47
October 15, 1997 Black Rock Desert, USA Andy Green ThrustSSC Turbofan 760.343 1223.657 766 1233.704 Also did first supersonic pass, 13 October 1997.

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