Pendine Sands, a 7-mile long beach on the south coast of Wales went down in history in 1924 when a journalist and motor racer by the name of Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record at a heady 146.16 mph in the Sunbeam 350HP car he called Blue Bird.
Since then the U.K. equivalent to the Bonneville salt flats has hosted many successful and unsuccessful attempts at land speed records and even the first land speed record fatality, resulting in a car being buried under the sands for 42 years.
Next month, some 87 years after his grandfather first drove the flat sands in search of a speed record the appropriately named Don Wales will be conducting speed trails on the same track in an all-electric car he hopes will win his team a new land speed record for an electric car.
Wales isn’t new to electric cars or speed records. Grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell MBE and nephew of Donald Campbell CBE, Wales has already broken many speed records of his own - setting the U.K. land speed record for an electric car twice in 1998 and 2000, and the world speed record for a steam car in 2009. In total, he holds one World Land Speed Record, two American national records and eight U.K.records.
Bluebird Electric land speed record car, 1998
But his new attempt, in a car he has named Bluebird in honor of his family’s long-standing heritage in the world of speed records, Wales will attempt to hit more than 500 mph powered by electricity alone.
During the weekend of July 2/3, Wales and his team will have the first real chance to test out Bluebird’s capabilities at speed. While the 500 mph record isn’t scheduled to be attempted until 2013, the team will certainly be seeing just how quickly their all-electric car can go.
We would like to wish Wales and his team the very best of luck in their first tests, and hope to see Bluebird breaking the electric land speed record in the next few years.