March 29, 1927 – Henry Segrave becomes first to go 200 MPH

March 29, 1927 was a clear, sunny day at Daytona Beach, Florida, with temperatures reaching 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect weather for setting a new land speed record, which is what British racecar driver Henry Segrave intended to do. The Sunbeam 1000 HP, also known as “Mystery” and “The Slug,” was powered by two Sunbeam Matabele aircraft engines, one that sat in front of the driver and one behind. While known as the 1000 HP, it actually put out closer to 900. Segrave, who set his first land speed record in 1926, was anxious to earn the top spot once again driving the Sunbeam, and he did so in quality fashion. During his record attempting run on this day in 1927 Segrave recorded a speed of 203.79 miles per hour (327.97 km/h), making him the first to ever drive any automobile faster than 200 MPH. Segrave would go on to set water speed records as well, becoming the first person to hold the water and land speed records simultaneously. He died in June 1930 during a water speed record attempt at Windermere in England.  Henry Segrave in 1921The Sunbeam 1000 HP, the first automobile to reach 200 miles per hour.

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