Spirit of America Sonic 1, Craig Breedlove’s second Land Speed Record car, twice took speed records in 1965. Here are some key facts about the car and her driver.
15 November 1965 – the date Breedlove set his record breaking speed, at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
600.601 mph – the record breaking speed recorded for the measured mile (966.547 km/h), the first time the 600 mph marker had been exceeded.
593.178 mph – the speed achieved on the outward run (954.627 km/h).
608.201 mph – the speed achieved on the return run (978.805 km/h).
600.842 mph – the speed recorded for the flying kilometre ((966.961 km/h).
5 years – the time that Spirit of America Sonic 1 held the World Land Speed Record, before the successful 622 mph challenge by Gary Gabelich in The Blue Flame in 1970.
555.485 mph – the previous record speed that Spirit of America Sonic 1 had set for the measured mile (893.939 km/h), on November 2 1965. This was temporarily beaten 5 days later, when Art Arfons drove Green Monster to an average speed of 576 mph, before Breedlove once again broke the record with his landmark 600 mph run 8 days after that.
Did You Know?
Spirit of America Sonic 1 was the last jet-powered car to hold the Land Speed Record until Thrust 2, driven by Richard Noble, broke the record held by The Blue Flame.
308.56 mph – the new Women’s Land Speed Record set by Breedlove’s wife, Lee, driving Spirit of America Sonic 1 shortly after her husband set his new 555 mph record. Prior to this, it is claimed, Lee Breedlove had never driven over 75 mph.
35 feet – the length of the Sonic 1 car.
3.6 tonnes – the weight of the car (7991 lbs).
14,980 lbs – the amount of thrust from the single General Electric J-79GE Turbine jet engine (6,795 kg).
4 – the number of wheels in the chassis (the first Spirit of America had three).