Sunday, July 29, 2012

Land speed record vehicles up to the 1980's

Dark Roasted Blend has started a series on vehicles which set land speed records.  So far, two parts of the series have been posted with the third presumably covering the 1990's to the present.  As usual, DRB has a lot of photos but you can find even more if you follow the source links at the end of each section.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

Land Speed Record Vehicles, Part One: The Pioneers

Most of these vehicles predated me.  I was surprised how aerodynamic and sleek some of those early vehicles were.  The one that stands out for me is one I've already posted about, the Opel RAK.2. This car, powered by 24 solid-fuel rockets, set a record of 143 mph (230 km/h) in 1928. (Follow the post tag to see my earlier post, and one about Opel's rocket-powered motorcycle.)

Credit: Georg Schwalbach

Need for Speed: The Fastest Men On Earth & Their "Rocket" Vehicles, 1960s-1980s

As a kid, I was a big fan of Craig Breedlove and his original Spirit of America.  I still think it is one of the best looking jet-powered vehicles. He first set the speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats with a world record speed of 407.447 mph. On a subsequent run, he broke 600 mph.

Via: Tom Margie

And, here's another car that employed a big cluster of rockets - Walt Afron’s Wingfoot Express.  

Credit: Dougal McGuire