March 23, 1921 – English daredevil Donald Campbell

Donald Campbell’s father, Malcolm, was an early English racer and daredevil, snagging 13 land and water speed records in the 1920s and 1930s in the famous Bluebird cars and boats. Donald, born on this day in 1921, followed in his father’s footsteps, starting with tests in 1949. After 15 years of trial and error Donald was able to do what no person had done before, set the land speed record and the water speed record in the same year. On July 17, 1964 at Lake Eyre in Australia he posted a new record of 403.1 miles per hour (648.73 km/h) driving the Bluebird-Proteus CN7, designed to go 500 mph. Then, on the last day 1964, the anniversary of his father’s death, piloting the Bluebird K7 he earned his seventh water speed record at 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h) on Lake Dumbleyung near Perth, Western Australia. Campbell died while making a new water speed record attempt in the same boat on January 4, 1967. Bluebird CN7 on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. Bluebird K7 on display at Goodwood Motor Racing circuit in 1960. By Sheppane at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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