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  1. 1885

    11 March - Malcolm Campbell is born in Chislehurst.

  2. 1898

    The first ever World Land Speed Record is set by Count de Chasseloup-Laubat in an electric Jeantaud at 39.24mph.

  3. 1906

    Malcolm Campbell wins his first of three annual London to Lands End motor cycle races.

  4. 1911-1912

    Malcolm Campbell watches the play 'The Bluebird' by Maurice Maeterlinck at the Haymarket Theatre and christens his car 'Blue Bird' at Brooklands, Surrey.

  5. 1915-1918

    Malcolm Campbell starts the war as a dispatch rider on the front and then joins the Royal Flying Corps as a ferry pilot. Promoted to Captain, he finishes the war as a pilot instructor and receives an MBE for his services to flying.

  6. 1921

    23 March - Donald Campbell is born in Kingston, Surrey.

  7. 1923

    30 September - Jean Campbell is born.

  8. 1924

    30 September - Malcolm Campbell achieves his first World Land Speed Record of 146.16mph in the 350bhp Sunbeam on Pendine Sands, Wales.

  9. 1925

    21 July - Malcolm Campbell is the first to exceed 150 mph (150.766mph) at Pendine Sands, Wales in the 350bhp Sunbeam.

  10. 1927

    4 February - The first purpose-built record breaker car the '450bhp Bluebird Napier Lion' returns to Pendine Sands, Wales and achieves 174.883mph.

  11. 1928

    19 February - Malcolm Campbell takes the modified body shell of Bluebird for his first trip to Daytona Beach, USA and achieves 206.956mph.

  12. 1931

    The body shape of the car is redesigned to accommodate a new supercharged 26.9litre, 1450bhp Napier Lion engine. On 5 February Bluebird achieves 246.09mph on Daytona Beach, USA. A knighthood awaits Malcolm Campbell on his return to Southampton.

  13. 1932

    24 February - Sir Malcolm Campbell achieves 253.97mph on Daytona Beach, USA.

  14. 1933

    Bluebird's body shape is modified to accommodate a new Rolls Royce supercharged R Type v12, 36.5litre, 2300bhp engine. On 22 February Bluebird achieves 272.46mph on Daytona Beach, USA.

  15. 1935

    Bluebird is redesigned with twin rear wheels for more grip. On 7 March at Daytona Beach, USA, Bluebird achieves 276.82mph. Sir Malcolm Campbell is confident he could achieve faster but Daytona Beach proved to be an unsuitable surface.

  16. 1935

    3 September - Sir Malcolm Campbell realises his ambition of being the first to break 300mph, with a speed of 301.129mph at Bonneville Salt Flats, USA. Having doubled his original record Sir Malcolm Campbell moves on to the Water Speed Record.

  17. 1937

    Sir Malcolm Campbell achieves the first of four Water Speed Records, 126.33mph and 129.5mph, in Bluebird K3 on Lake Maggiore, Switzerland.

  18. 1938

    Sir Malcolm Campbell achieves 130.93mph on Lake Hallwill, Switzerland.

  19. 1939

    August - Sir Malcolm Campbell achieves 141.74mph on Coniston Water, Cumbria in a new boat Bluebird K4.

  20. 1939-1945

    WWII Sir Malcolm Campbell is involved with Special Operations.

  21. 1946

    Sir Malcolm Campbell acquires a Goblin jet engine and Bluebird K4 is converted to accommodate it. Tests on Coniston Water, Cumbria are unsuccessful.

  22. 1948

    Sir Malcolm Campbell passes away after a series of strokes on New Years eve.

  23. 1948

    19 September - Gina Campbell is born.

  24. 1949

    Donald Campbell enters the family business and restores Bluebird K4 to a propeller-driven boat and nearly achieves the World Record.

  25. 1951

    Bluebird K4 is converted into a prop rider after the record is increased to over 160mph by Slo-Mo-Shun. Donald Campbell wins the Oltranza Cup boat race on Lake Garda, Italy in June.

  26. 1955

    After Bluebird K4 was holed during an attempt in 1951 a new boat is announced. Bluebird K7, powered by a Beryl jet engine, is launched at Ullswater, Cumbria and achieves Donald's first World Record of 202.32mph on 23 July. He increases the record to 216.20 mph on Lake Mead, USA.

  27. 1956-1959

    Donald Campbell achieves a further four Water Speed Records rasing the record from 225.63mph to 260.33mph.

  28. 1960

    Donald Campbell unveils a new car, the Bluebird CN7, at Goodwood racetrack.

  29. 1960

    September 23 - Donald Wales is born.

  30. 1964

    Donald Campbell achieves the unique double of breaking both Land and Water Speed Records in the same year in Australia. He sets a Land Speed Record of 403.10mph on the dried lake bed of Lake Eyre and a Water Speed Record of 276.30mph on Lake Dumbleyung.

  31. 1967

    4 January - Donald Campbell is killed attempting 300mph on Coniston Water, Cumbria.

  32. 1984

    October - Gina Campbell breaks the Women's World Water Speed Record on Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire with a speed of 122.85mph in the Agfa Bluebird.

  33. 1990

    April - Gina Campbell increases her World Water Speed Record to 156.49mph on Lake Karapiro, New Zealand. On 16 June she is awarded the Queen's Service Order for her services to the New Zealand community.

  34. 1998

    Don Wales breaks his first UK Land Speed Record for an electric car on Elvington airfield in Yorkshire with a speed of 116.81mph.

  35. 2000

    17 June - A new electric Bluebird is launched at Pendine Sands, Wales and increases the record to 128mph and then to 137mph on 19 August.

  36. 2009

    26 August - Don Wales is invited to drive the British Steam car to a new World Record of 148.308mph on Edwards Airforce Base, California.

  37. 2010

    23 May - Don Wales breaks the Guinness World Record for riding a Lawn Mower with a speed of 87.833mph on Pendine Sands, Wales.


100 years of Bluebird

The 'Bluebird' name is the most famous name in land and water speed record breaking and the Campbell family that created it is the most successful speed record dynasty in history. Over the hundred years since 1911, the family has amassed over 30 speed records, on land and water, and undertaken incredible technological and personal challenges in doing so.

The Bluebird legend began sometime in 1911/12 when Sir Malcolm Campbell saw Maurice Maeterlinck's play 'The Blue Bird' at the Haymarket Theatre, London. He was so inspired by the play's theme that on the way home from the theatre he woke the local ironmonger and bought all the blue paint in the shop. That night he painted his race car, naming it 'Blue Bird', and with the paint still wet won his first race the very next day at the famous old race circuit 'Brooklands' in Surrey, England. Explore the timeline, above, and witness the incredible landmarks Bluebird and the Campbell family have achieved.

Above all this is a human story of immense honour, commitment and fortitude that continues today with Don Wales, Sir Malcolm Campbell's grandson and the driver of the Bluebird Electric land speed record car. The legend lives on.