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National Motor Museum Beaulieu.

The National Motor Museum holds 4 four wheel drive vehicles in its extensive collection of historic automobiles [NMM]. These are 1944 Willys Jeep, 1948 Land Rover, 1983 Audi Quattro A2 rally car and 1961 Bluebird world speed record car (below).

Bluebird 1961 On 17 July 1964 Bluebird, driven by Donald Malcolm Campbell (1921-1967), broke the world land speed record [GBR] at Lake Eyre South Australia [SA]. The average speed from two runs through the measured mile was 403.1 mph. Success came after problems due to unseasonal rain at the normally dry lake.

Bluebird crashed at about 360 mph during a 1962 attempt at the record in Utah. The car was rebuilt and the large tail fin added to improve stability.

In 1965 jet and rocket propelled cars were allowed to compete and their speeds soon exceeded 600 mph. Bluebird on the other hand was powered by a Proteus gas-turbine which drove all four wheels. Donald Campbell was killed in 1967 on Coniston Water, England, while attempting to raise his water speed record.


  • loa 9.1m (30')
  • weight 4354kg
  • approach and departure angles, turning circle: awful
  • Bristol Siddley Proteus 705 gas turbine, 4,500 shaft horse power
  • [GBR] Guiness Book of Records

[NMM] National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN, England

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