Heritage100

Land Speed Record Car - 1960 Bluebird Proteus CN7

Leo Villa with Bluebird CN7 at Beaulieu

Donald Campbell set a new World Land Speed Record of 403.10mph /648.73kph

Donald Campbell set a new World Land Speed Record of 403.10mph/648.73kph in this car on 17 July 1964 at Lake Eyre, South Australia.

Bluebird cost £1 million to make and was powered by a Bristol-Siddeley Proteus 4,100hp gas turbine engine.

The tail fin was a late addition, after a disastrous crash at Bonneville, Utah in 1960. Lake Eyre was then chosen because it was a desolate, flat, salt plain. However, untypical rain became one of a series of frustrating delays that dragged the record attempt on for two years.

When the record was finally attained, Campbell returned to water speed record breaking.

Quick Facts

  • Build cost £1 million
  • Accession number BEAMM : V1021
  • Date made 1960
  • Made of metal, glass, rubber and plastic
  • Dimensions Length 9.14m, Width 2.44m, Front track 1.70m, Rear track 1.68m, Wheelbase 4.12m
  • Driven by Donald Campbell

 


Facts

  • This car was chosen by Louisa Braithwaite (Moving Image Conservator) as her favourite vehicle on display in the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Louisa has been a member of staff at Beaulieu since 2009. Watch the video in the "Gallery" section to see Louisa talk about the reasons why she chose this car as her favourite item in the Museum.

Did you know?

To celebrate the land speed record, Campbell drove CN7 through the streets of the South Australian capital, Adelaide, to a presentation at city hall before a crowd of in excess of 200,000 people.

Gallery

Land Speed Record Car - 1960 Bluebird Proteus CN7
Donald Campbell at Lake Eyre 1963
Bluebird camp flooded on Lake Eyre 1963
Land Speed Record Car - 1960 Bluebird Proteus CN7

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