Malcolm Campbell Biography (British Automobile and Speedboat Racer)


Who was Malcolm Campbell? Information on British automobile and speedboat racer Malcolm Campbell biography, life story, racings and career.

Malcolm Campbell? (British Automobile and Speedboat Racer)

Source :

Malcolm Campbell; (1885-1949), British automobile and speedboat racer, who in 1937 held the world speed record both on land and on water. He was the first driver to average more than 300 miles per hour on land.

Campbell was born in Chislehurst, Kent, on March 11, 1885. Educated at Uppingham, in Rutland, England, and in Germany and France, he began a business career at Lloyd’s of London as a broker and underwriter. In World War I he was a dispatch rider and then pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, retiring from the service with the rank, of captain. He first began to race automobiles in 1910, and finally set a land speed mark in 1927 at Pendine Beach, Wales, with 174.22 mph. In competition with other famous racing men, he continued to break records, and at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on Sept. 3, 1935, he achieved his aim of averaging more than 300 mph with a mark of 301.1292 in Bluebird, a car he designed.

Meanwhile, Campbell took up speedboat racing. In his 12-cylinder boat, also named Bluebird, he broke Gar Wood’s hydroplane mark of 124.86 mph by averaging 129.4164 mph on Lake Maggiore near Locarno, Switzerland, in 1937. He beat his own record in 1939 in Bluebird II, at 141.74 mph on Coniston Water, Lancashire. He was knighted in 1931. Sir Malcolm died in Reigate, Surrey, on Jan. 1, 1949. His published works include My Greatest Adventure, Speed (1931), Romance of Motor Racing (1936), and Key to Motoring (1938).

Donald Malcolm Campbell (1921-1967), his son, broke both land and water speed records in 1964 in vehicles named Bluebird. He was the first to average better than 200 mph in a speedboat, with 202.32 mph at Lake Ullswater, Cumberland, in 1955. He hit his top speed of 276.33 at Dumbleyung, Western Australia, in 1964.


Campbell was born at Povey Cross, Surrey, on March 23, 1921. He was educated at Uppingham and enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1939. An engineer with Norris Brothers, Ltd., he became chairman of the firm in 1954. In competing for the land speed mark, he set a record for 4-wheeled vehicles in 1964 at Lake Eyre, South Australia averaging 403.1 mph. He was killed on Coniston Water on Jan. 4, 1967, when his hydroplane became airborne and crashed at about 320 mph.

Leave A Reply