The way we were: August 1963

Published: 06:30AM Jul 15th, 2013
By: Richard Rosenthal
Craig Breedlove became the fastest man on wheels at the Bonneville Salt Flats with his jet propelled three-wheeler, but initially the authorities wouldn’t recognise the vehicle rather than the record...
The way we were: August 1963

His mean speed of 408.3mph for the flying kilometre beat John Cobb’s car land speed record of 394.2mph and Bill Johnson’s 224.5mph set on a motorcycle... but as it wasn’t a four-wheeler the car world didn’t want to know and it gave the FIM a headache as its solo and sidecar records are for vehicles with one driving wheel, in fact Breedlove’s Spirit of America had no drive through any wheels. It was powered by a General Electric J47 turbojet from an F-86 Sabre jet fighter!

The FIM created a special category – Group D – for jet powered three-wheelers then dithered over Breedlove’s 1963 figures. But Breedlove solved the problem 15 months later posting 848.651kph (530.407mph) at Bonneville, again with Spirit of America, on October 13, 1964. It’s a record which remains in the FIM world record lists to this day. 

On August 1, at the 7.4 mile Dundrod circuit near Belfast, Mike Hailwood (500/4 MV Agusta) raised the lap record for the Ulster Grand Prix to over 101mph.

Responses to “The way we were: August 1963”

Current Issue: Dec 2015

Issue Dec 2015

Big Four: Stunning multi-cylinder Zundapp
Ariel VH: Pristine red Hunter Single
FREE: Double-sided A2 poster
Go faster Commando: Trick Norton tested
PLUS: Henry Cole interview; Greeves Silverstone genesis; 1905 Triumph endurance test; New Imperial rebuild; October Stafford show and sale


Buy this issue now

• Next issue on sale: 4th December 2015

Issue 42-12

Issue 42-12
Dec 2015

Where legends come to life

Subscribe and get this issue

Buy it now facebook Sample on-line

Other News

Live Tweed, Ride Dapper: The 2015 Worldwide Distinguished Gentleman”s Ride

Live Tweed, Ride Dapper: The 2015 Worldwide Distinguished Gentleman”s Ride

With dapper clothing and plenty of facial hair to the fore, the 2015 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride took place on September ...

Read More »

Blue Plaque at the former home of Siegfried Bettmann

Blue Plaque at the former home of Siegfried Bettmann

A Blue Plaque has been unveiled at the former home of Triumph founder Siegfried Bettmann by the Lord Mayor of ...

Read More »

View all...


Related magazines:

The Classic MotorCycle MSL Magazine Twist & Go magazine


Use our handy tool to find your nearest stockist!
Find your nearest Stockist

Advertising Deadline:

Jan 2016: 11 Dec 2015
Feb 2016: 15 Jan 2015

Book advertising here

Next Issue Out:

4th December 2015