The First Land Speed Record


Castrol and Triumph Motorcycles have teamed up to develop the Castrol Rocket, a potential land speed record breaker scheduled to hit the salt flats in the coming months.

One look at the machine and it’s a safe guess that copious amounts of cash went into the two wheeled missile with its dual Triumph Rocket III engines and sleek aerodynamic body.

By comparison, it seems that the very first land speed record of 39.252 MPH vs. today’s 400+ MPH records was pitifully meager. But remember, that first official record was a giant leap compared to the under 3 MPH limits motor vehicles had achieved up to that time. It was as fast as the fastest quarter horse, and could keep that pace for much longer.

Yet more astonishing is the fact that that first official record was achieved not by an internal combustion engine, but by an electric car.

The electric car would be almost instantly eclipsed by the rapid development and refinement of the internal combustion engine and the portability and abundance of petroleum based fuel; but for that brief moment in history the electric car was the fastest land vehicle on the planet.

Full circle: the time of the electric car is returning. Infrastructure is finally being built to support cross country drives in electrics such as Tesla automobiles, Zero Motorcycles, and nearly a hundred different hybrids already passing you numerous times a day on the streets and highways of all major American cities.

jeantaud_ElectricWould Count de Chasseloup-Laubat have believed it if you told him the day he piloted his 3,000+ lb French Jeantaud electric car to the first land speed record that electric cars would one day dominate the world? Yes, he would. And yet there are those today who won’t believe it.

The day is coming.

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