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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Speed record of 345 mph on this date in 1937

YAHOO AUTOS

                   

 
After Ab Jenkins and his "Mormon Meteor" began setting speed records at the salt flats outside Bonneville, Utah, in the 1920s, the site soon became the standard for all such attempts, luring daredevils from around the world.

 By the mid-1930s, a group of British drivers had taken the top spot, with Capt. George E.T. Eyston dominating in his Thunderbolt, a seven-ton, eight-wheel wonder powered by two Rolls-Royce V-12 aircraft engines rated at 2,350 hp each.

 On this date in 1937 he hit a two-way average of 345.49 mph -- a record that stood for a year, until fellow Brit John Cobb bested the mark a year later.

 You can see them below in this rare color footage. (And as for the Thunderbolt; it was shipped to New Zealand before World War II, where it burned in a warehouse fire and was buried under an airport tarmac.)