This Friday marks the 30th anniversary of Richard Noble breaking the world speed record at Bonneville in 1983 with the Thrust2 blasting through the salt flats at 633.468 mph. Now, his team aims for 1,000 mph with their latest record car, the Bloodhound SSC.
The British team started the Thrust2 project with £175 in their pocket back in 1979. But that wasn't their only problem. After successful trials in the UK, they went to Bonneville in 1981 only to find it washed out. The next year, Bonneville was under two feet of water once again. The team improvised and continued at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, a dried out lakebed that offered 12 miles of perfectly flat baked mud which perfectly suited their solid wheels. But guess what: after a few runs, it started raining. The British were followed by their clouds.
The team returned in 1983 and made 11 runs as they learned how the car handled at speeds above 600 mph. After the record was set, when asked why they did it, Noble famously replied: “For Britain and for the hell of it.”
So, if traveling between 300 mph and 550 mph in a car actually feels boring, and stopping from 633 mph is like being sucked into the earth, what will it be like to break the 1,000 mph barrier with the latest car? Still, if somebody can do it, it's this team.
Richard Noble went on to direct the Thrust SSC campaign which, in 1997, culminated in RAF fighter pilot Andy Green becoming the first person to break the sound barrier on land. Their record of 763.035 mph still stands.
It's worth noting that Richard Noble will be here, Friday afternoon, answering your questions LIVE on Jalopnik. Better get those questions ready.