In 2000, Don Wales set the U.K. electric vehicle land speed record at 139 mph. Ten years later, he has decided to set out and beat his still-standing record and try to match that of his grandfather at 175 mph.
Back in 1925, Sir Malcolm Campbell was a land speed racer who drove Durracq’s, a defunct French automaker. Campbell named his car Bluebird, after seeing a play by Maurice Maeterlinck of the same name. He went on to set the land speed record at Pendine Sands in the UK, clocking in the flying mile and kilometer at about 174 mph. Campbell was also the first man to drive a car 300 mph. Both his son and grandson followed in his footsteps, setting land speed records of their own.
His grandson, Don Wales, set the electric land speed record in the U.K. in his own Bluebird at 139 mph. With the renewed interest in electric cars, Wales feels like his record could be vulnerable to an upstart team. So rather than wait for somebody else to break it, he’s going to break it himself, and try to match his grandfather’s record speed to boot. Wales currently holds the world steam-powered land speed record at 148 mph, but an American team called the Buckeye Bullet holds the electric land speed record at 321.8 mph. In 2012, Wales wants to go 500 mph in an electric vehicle.
A new generation of hot rodders are coming together under the flag of green fuels. I like it. I want to see some more land speed records and more sustainable racing series. While the electric Bludbird is a one-of-a-kind vehicle, production-based electric car races could be just what the customer ordered. As the old adage once went, race on Sunday, sell on Monday.
Source: Electric Car News
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.