Craig and Lee Breedlove Land Speed Record 

Craig and Lee Breedlove became the fastest couple ever, when they both set land speed records in 1965. Lee Breedlove claimed the ladies land speed record at 308mph in the Jet powered Spirit of America sonic 1. Craig later went on to set his all time land speed record at 600.6mph. Spirit of America Is a trademark name used by Craig and Lee Breedlove for their land speed record vehicles.

Lee Breedlove's ladies land speed record in 1965 held for 48 years.

The Women’s Land Speed Record of 308.56 mph was set by Lee Breedlove driving Spirit of America Sonic 1 over a total of four runs making her the fastest woman alive. Prior to this, it is claimed, Lee Breedlove had never driven over 75Mph.

Craig and Lee Breedlove

According to author Rachel Kushner, Craig Breedlove had talked Lee into taking the Sonic 1 out for a record attempt in order to monopolize the salt flats for the day and block one of his competitors from making a record attempt This ladies land speed record stood for 48 years. That record fell recently with Jessi Combs setting an average speed of 392.954 mph. Jessi Combs, the fastest woman on 4 wheels, would later die in a crash, while attempting to break her own record.

Spirit of America jet-powered cars

Pictured Left is the Spirit of America jet-powered car Pictured right is the Spirit of America Sonic 1

 

Craig Breedlove Land Speed Records

Craig Breedlove is an American professional race car driver and a five-time world land speed record holder. He was the first person in history to have reached a average speed ( 2 way runs) of over 400mph, 500 mph and 600mph, using several turbojet-powered vehicles named Spirit of America. Breedlove set his first record on September 5, 1963, at Bonneville Salt Flats, during a land speed record attempt in the jet powered Spirit of America. Craig would later go on to set many land speed records and his all time land speed record of 600.6mph

 

The first Spirit of America, was the first of the modern record breaking jet-propelled cars, built with a narrow streamlined fuselage, a three wheel chassis, and most significantly, turbojet engine. Like most of the other competing vehicles the engine was ex-military. The first Spirit OF America, had a General Electric J47 engine from an F-86 Sabre. It was first tested at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1962, and was difficult in handling and resulted in failure. Before trying again to break the land speed record, a new stabilizer and steerable front wheel were added.

 

Both FIA & FIM records were broken in October 1964 by Tom Green and further extended by Art Arfons. Breedlove returned to Bonneville with Spirit of America, and pushed the record to over 500 mph (800 km/h), setting it at 526.277 mph (846.961 km/h) on October 15. In setting the new record, at the end of his second run, the Spirit lost its parachute brakes, skidded for five miles (8 km), through a row of telephone poles and crashed into a brine pond at around 200 mph. Drenched but uninjured, Breedlove climbed out of the cockpit and declared "And now for my next act I'm going to set myself on fire. This feat earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest skid marks. Spirit was recovered and taken to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago as an exhibit.

Craig and Lee Breedlove racing team

In January 1968, one month before the official introduction of the AMX model, two cars were prepared for the endurance speed runs on a five-mile banked track in Texas. Craig and Lee Breedlove, along with Ron Dykes, established fourteen United States Automobile Club certified speed records, for cars of any engine size, and 106 national and international speed and endurance records for cars with less than 488 cu in (8.0 L).

Craig and Lee Breedlove racing team

The shattered records included a Class C AMX. The Breedlove car was a standard 290 cu in (4.8 L) V8 engine, bored out to 304 cubic inches, 4-speed manual transmission, achieving a 24-hour average of 140.79 mph (226.58 km/h) that was set by Craig and his wife Lee Breedlove.