Malcolm Campbell

 

(1885 - 1948)

Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
Comments
June 23, 1922 Fanoe Sir Malcolm Campbell   Sunbeam Bluebird
60 degree V-12 350hp
IC 137.720 mph   Speed was not recognized because the AIACR did not approve timing apparatus.
September 25, 1924 Pendine Sands, Wales Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain 350hp Sunbeam Blue Bird
V-12
IC 146.15 mph (235.21 km/h) 146.16 mph (235.22 km/h)  
July 21, 1925 Pendine Sands, Wales Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain 350hp Sunbeam Blue Bird
V-12
IC 150.86 mph (242.79 km/h) 150.76 mph (242.62 km/h) First person ever officially to go over, and set record in excess of 150 mph
February 4, 1927 Pendine Sands, Wales Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Napier Blue Bird
Napier W-12 Cylinder
IC 174.88 mph (281.44 km/h) 174.22 mph (280.38 km/h) Last record set in Europe
February 19, 1928 Daytona Beach, USA Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Napier Blue Bird
Napier W-12 Cylinder

IC   206.95 mph (333.05 km/h)  
February 5, 1931 Daytona Beach, USA Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Napier Railton Blue Bird
12 cyl SC
IC 246.08 mph (396.03 km/h) 245.73 mph (395.46 km/h)  
February 24, 1932 Daytona Beach, USA Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Napier Railton Blue Bird
Rolls Royce V-12
IC 251.34 mph (404.49 km/h) 253.96 mph (408.71 km/h)  
February 22, 1933 Daytona Beach, USA Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Rolls-Royce Railton Blue Bird
Rolls Royce V-12
IC 272.46 mph (438.48 km/h) 272.10 mph (437.90 km/h)  
March 7, 1935 Daytona Beach, USA Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Rolls-Royce Railton Blue Bird
Rolls Royce V-12
IC 276.16 mph (444.44 km/h) 276.71 mph (445.32 km/h) Last record set on a beach
September 3, 1935 Bonneville Salt Flats, USA Sir Malcolm Campbell Great Britain Campbell Rolls-Royce Railton Blue Bird
Rolls Royce V-12
IC   301.129 mph (484.620 km/h) First person to break 300 mph barrier

Malcolm Campbell was born in Chislehurst, Kent, England in 1885. He served in World War 1 in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and in the British Royal Air Force and achieved the rank of Captain�a nickname that would remain with him the rest of his life.

Sir Malcolm Campbell gained the world speed record on Land and on Water at various times during the 1920s and 1930s using vehicles called Bluebird. Sir Malcolm Campbell chose the name Blue Bird from the French play by the same name�written by Maurice Maeterlinck. The story is about a brother and sister seeking happiness, which is represented by the Blue Bird of Happiness.

His son, Donald Campbell, was killed, attempting to repeat his achievements thirty years later.

on June 17, 1922 he set his first record when he drove at 138.08 mph at Saltburn Sands, North Yorkshire, Wales, in Great Britain in his Sunbeam V12 which had a 350 Horse Power engine.
In 1924, at Pendine Sands, South Wales, Great Britain, Campbell in his new Sunbeam which had 550 Horse Power, set a new record by driving his new Blue Bird at 146.2 MPH (233.86 KPH). On July 21st, 1925 in his Blue Bird Sunbeam he set a new world land speed record by driving 150.76 MPH (241.22 KPH).
On February 4, 1927, once again at Pendine Sands in England, Sir Malcolm set another International land speed record. This time he achieved 174.88 MPH (279.81 KPH), in his Bluebird Napier-Lion which had 12 cylinders and 450 Horse Power.
On February 18, 1928, Sir Campbell came to the United States and set another record at 206.95 MPH (331.14 KPH).
In 1929 Campbell traveled to South Africa to try driving on a dry lake bed for speed, because his previous record had been beaten by an American driver named, Ray Keech. Campbell set a new record by driving 211.191 MPH.
On February 22, 1933, Sir Malcolm set another world speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A., this time he achieved 272.46 MPH (435.94 KPH).
On March 7, 1935, Sir Malcolm set another world record when he hit 276.82 MPH (442.91 KPH).
On September 3, 1935 he reached 304.331 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, becoming the first person to drive an automobile over 300 MPH.

After several unsuccessful attempts to break the land record he achieved at Bonneville, Sir Malcolm Campbell switched his focus to setting water speed records, and he did just that. The fastest world water speed record he achieved was in 1939 in his Bluebird and he reached a speed of 141.74 MPH.

 

(BLUEBIRD BOAT MODEL)

"Bluebird" speed boat model.
CU land speed record breaker Donald Campbell and two other men looking at model of "Bluebird" boat. CU model of boat - it has aerodynamic curves similar to "Bluebird" car. MS Donald Campbell holding up model. MS "Bluebird" boat in shed.

BLUEBIRD II LEAVES FOR LAKE CONISTON

Full titles read: "BLUEBIRD II LEAVES FOR LAKE CONISTON"
Several shots of the speed boat the Bluebird being loaded onto the back of a large trailer. M/S of Sir Malcolm Campbell sitting in the boat talking to the camera.
14/08/1939

BLUEBIRD AT SPEED

Full title reads: "Coniston. Bluebird At Speed".
Coniston Water / Lake Coniston, Cumbria.
SV Speedboat Bluebird being wheeled out of boathouse at Coniston.
CU Donald Campbell putting on helmet and fixing oxygen mask.
SV Campbell climbing onto Bluebird.
GV Boat towing marker balloons.
SV Campbell standing on one leg on Blue Bird while a mechanic wipes the soles of his boots.
CU Nose of Bluebird.
CU Donald Campbell getting into Bluebird.
LV Bluebird making run.
CU Lady Campbell and her secretary.
LV Bluebird making run from r. to l. of picture.

BLUEBIRD FLIES TO US

London Airport.
Donald Campbell and his speedboat "Bluebird" travel to USA to challenge the world water speed record. CU. Pan, "Bluebird's" engine on crane. CU. Mrs Campbell with Mr Donald Campbell. CU. "Bluebird's" engine is lifted up towards plane. CU. Chief mechanic. SCU. Engine going inside plane. SCU. Body of "Bluebird". CU. Lady Campbell, Donald's mother and Mrs Campbell, Donald's wife. CU. Body of "Bluebird" being hoisted. CU. Crane driver. SCU. Body near the top of crane. CU. Opening of plane and man pulling the body towards plane. SV. Body going into plane. SCU. Campbell giving the V sign, pan over to boat.
06/10/1955

BLUEBIRD SET FOR RECORD BID

Ullswater, Lake District.
SV. Mrs Campbell lifting bottle to christen Bluebird, a boat which will attempt to break the world speed record. SCU. Mrs Campbell christening boat. LV. Bluebird going down into water. SV. Mr Leo Villa, chief mechanic, watching. SCU. Bluebird. SCU. Campbell's sister. SV. Donald Campbell at wheel of boat. CU. Campbell putting helmet on. CU. Jet motor starting. GV. Jet motor starting. GV. Ullswater. LV. Bluebird on water throwing out smoke. LV. Bluebird on water throwing out smoke. Boat under way. CU. Campbell's wife (on left) and sister. LV. Boat going slowly through water. SV. Pan Boat going slowly through water. 14/02/1955

BLUEBIRD SINKS

Lake Mead, United States of America (USA).
On the eve of his bid to break his own world water speed record, Donald Campbell watches his boat "Bluebird" sinking - luckily, no permanent damage. GV. Lake Mead. SV. Bluebird going out for run. SV. People watching from bank. GV. Pan with Bluebird at high speed well out of the water. SV. People watching. GV. Pan with Bluebird coming back from run obscured by water. CU. Stern of Bluebird sticking up from water after she had sunk. SCU. Donald Campbell looking dejected. SV. Men in launch tying rope around the stern of Bluebird. SV. Donald Campbell watching anxiously from another launch. SV. From launch which is towing Bluebird to shore. GV. Boats (this is the shot where, we assume, Bluebird has sunk again). CU. Bubbles on surface where Bluebird has sunk. SV. Campbell standing in launch covering his face with his hands.

( 24 HOUR MOTOR BOAT RACE MEETING NEAR AIX LES BAINS )

French title reads: "Sur Le Lac De Lamartine".
Aix Les Bains, France.
Various shots of lake of Bourget. MS two yachts on lake. MS Bluebird jet boat. Travelling shot past people sitting on banks. Various shots of demonstration given by Donald Campbell in his Bluebird. LS Children Drivers running toward their miniature racing cars and jumping in and driving off. Various shots of car race where representatives of six nations compete. CU of engineers preparing speedboats for a race. Various shots of motorboat race.
(Dupe Neg.) Old record suggests material dates from around 30/06/1958.

BLUEBIRD'S NEW POWER

Lake Coniston, Cumbria.
CU. Donald Campbell. GV. The calm waters of Lake Coniston. LV. Donald Campbell's speedboat Bluebird about to be towed out into the centre of Lake for test run - Campbell is trying out a new engine after replacing the damaged one. CU. Donald Campbell in cockpit. SV. Bluebird slowly being towed out to lake. GV. Bluebird in the lake with the engines just starting up. SV. Donald Cambell's wife Tonia watching from bank. LV. Pan as Bluebird makes test run and spray being shot up from the jet exhaust, & GV. Nearer shot showing mass of spray from jet exhaust as the Bluebird makes its way across lake. SV. Donald Cambell's wife Tonia talking to two men. SV. Pan, Bluebird slowing down, & SCU. CU. Bluebird slows down, Campbell in cockpit takes off his helmet and stands up. GV. As Bluebird ends test run and moves slowly up to quayside. The new engine has failed and more work is needed. 25/11/1966

Malcolm Campbell
Sir Malcolm was not an ordinary man or an ordinary race car driver. As a matter of fact, he broke the world land speed record 9 times between 1924 and 1936.
Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm Campbell
Sir Malcolm is looking at the water speed limit sign he would significantly exceed.
Malcolm Campbell
in Scotland on Loch Lomond in July of 1937
Malcolm Campbell
September of 1938
Malcolm Campbell
Campbell kept experimenting with different designs to achieve the highest water speed possible. The photo below was taken in 1949.
Malcolm Campbell
The fastest world water speed record he achieved was in 1939 in his Bluebird and he reached a speed of 141.74 MPH.