Malcolm Campbell was an English race car driver and daredevil who snagged 13 land and water speed records during the 1920s and 1930s in the famous Bluebird cars and boats. His son Donald, born on this day in 1921, followed in his father’s footsteps, starting with speed trials 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, in Australia he posted a new land speed record of 403.1 miles per hour (648.73 km/h) driving the Bluebird-Proteus CN7, which was designed to go 500 mph. Then, on the last day 1964, the anniversary of his father’s death, he piloted the Bluebird K7 to his seventh water speed record at 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h) on Lake Dumbleyung near Perth, Western Australia. Campbell died while going for a new water speed record attempt in the same boat on January 4, 1967.