Campbell, Malcolm 1885 - 1948

English; British

(1885-1948), holder of land and water speed records

Malcolm Campbell was born on the 11th March 1885 in Chislehurst, Kent, attending the independent Uppingham School. Between 1906 and 1908, he won all three London to Lakes End Trials (motorbike races). In 1910 he began racing cars at Brooklands. In 1910, he purchased his first car, a "Darracq" which he christened "Bluebird" (a name that he used for all is subsequent record cars). When the war started, he was drafted into the Royal Flying Corps.

From 1924, when he attained 146.16 miles (235.22 km) per hour, through 1935, he established world land-speed records on nine occasions. On September 3, 1935, at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, his automobile was timed at 301.1292 miles (484.62 km) per hour, the first officially clocked land-vehicle performance exceeding 300 miles (483 km) per hour.

He also competed in Grand Prix motor racing on the continent, winning the 1927 and 1928 Grand Prix de Boulogne in France driving a Bugatti T39A. In 1937 Sir Malcolm captured the world’s water-speed record at 129.5 miles (208.41 km) per hour. In 1938 on Lake Hallwil in Switzerland, he raised the record to 130.93 miles per hour, and finally, on August 19, 1939, on Coniston Water in Lancashire, he set the record of 141.74 miles (228.11 km) per hour that he held when he died. His son Donald Malcolm Campbell set subsequent land- and water-speed records but was killed, attempting to repeat his achievements, thirty years later.

Campbell was knighted in 1931, and died on the 31st December 1948.