Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Malcolm Campbell

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June 1923.
1925. Sunbeam owned by Malcolm Campbell driven by Kenelm Lee Guinness drove 150.766 mph.
November 1927.
1927 Campbell reached 174.224 mph in this Napler Campbell, the original Bluebird.
In 1928 in Bluebell II, he achieved 206.956 mph.
September 1928.
In 1931, Bluebird (rebuilt) reached 246.086 mph at Daytona.
February 1931.
December 1935. In a greatly modified Bluebird raised the record to 301.13 mph.

Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885–1948) was an English racing motorist and motoring journalist. He gained the world speed record on land and on water at various times during the 1920s and 1930s using vehicles called Blue Bird. His son, Donald Campbell, carried on the family tradition by holding both land speed and water speed records.

1885 March 11th. Born in Chislehurst, the only son of William Campbell, a Hatton Garden diamond seller.

He attended the independent Uppingham School.

In Germany, learning the diamond trade, he gained an interest in motorbikes and races.

Returning to England, he worked for two years at Lloyd's of London for no pay, then for another year at one pound a week.

1906-8 Won all three London to Lakes End Trials (motorcycle races).

1910 Commenced racing cars at Brooklands.

1913 Married(1) Marjorie D. Knott but divorced two years later.

WWI Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and in the RAF.

1920 Married(2) in Westminster to Dorothy Evelyn Whittall and their son Donald was born in 1921, and they had a daughter Jean in 1923. They divorced in 1940

He competed in Grand Prix motor racing, winning the 1927 and 1928 Grand Prix de Boulogne in France driving a Bugatti T39A.

1924 He broke the LSR for the first time at 146.16 mph at Pendine Sands near Carmarthen Bay in a 350 h.p. V12 Sunbeam.

Malcolm broke nine land speed records between 1924 and 1935, with three at Pendine Sands and five at Daytona Beach. His first two records were driving a racing car manufactured by the Sunbeam Car Company in Wolverhampton.

1931 Knighted.

1935 He set his final land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on 3 September 1935, and was the first person to drive an automobile over 300 miles per hour (301.337 mph)

He set the water speed record four times. His highest speed was 141.74 mph in the Bluebird K4 on 19 August 1939 on Coniston Water in Great Britain.

He was a Vice President of the Middlesex County Automobile Club.

1945 Married(3) in Chelsea to Betty Nicory

1948 December 31st. He died after a series of strokes in Reigate, Surrey, aged 63 years.

1949 Obituary [1]

See Also


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