History of Speed
History of Speed   

History of Speed

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Charting the evolution of human kind's thirst for speed and performance.

Perceptions of speed have altered in parallel with technology’s evolution. When Henry Segrave broke the 200mph barrier at Daytona Beach in 1927, it doubtless seemed unworldly to anybody accustomed to commuting by Austin 7. Today? Top-end sports cars have routine 200mph capability and most people have travelled at more than 500mph-plus courtesy of budget airlines.

Are big numbers still as impressive as once they were? The enthusiastic response to the UK’s Bloodhound SSC project suggests as much. The eventual target is to crack 1000mph at South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan… and if driver Andy Green succeeds, he will increase the land speed record (his own 763.035mph, set in 1997) by a greater margin than has ever been achieved before.

While Bloodhound builds towards its goal, Motor Sport dug into its archive and also commissioned some fresh material to reflect how our fascination with speed – and its generation on land, water or in the air – has been a constant over the years. We believe it remains so.