December 18, 1898 – The first land speed record

The first officially recognized land speed record was set on this day in 1898 by Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat in Achères, Yvelines, northern France, driving a Jeantaud electric car. The record was set during a competition hosted by French automobile magazine La France Automobile. Chasseloup-Laubat completed a single 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) pass in 57 seconds to give an average speed of 63.13 km/h (39 mph). He would improve his record the next month to  66.65 km/h (41.41 mph) in the first of a series of speed duels with Camille Jenatzy. Just ten days later Jenatzy broke the record but Chasseloup-Laubat regained it in March when he hit 92.69 km/h (57.59 mph). On April 29, 1899 Jenatzy made the first run that surpassed 100 km/h (62 mph) with an average speed of 105 km/h (65 mph), a record that lasted three years. Pics:Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat in his electric Jeantaud.Georges Bouton and the Count de Chasseloup-Laubat on a steam powered Trépardoux & Cie. Dog Cart de route in 1885.

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