Video of the Day: World’s most-beautiful speed-record car

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2083
golden arrow
Golden Arrow was a landmark piece of aerodynamic design

In March 1929, the world-land-speed record was set by Henry Segrave and the Golden Arrow, a spectacular example of early aerodynamic design by Captain Jack Irving and arguably the most-beautiful speed-record car ever created.

Segrave was the first person to exceed 200 mph in a land vehicle, and he set three land-speed records and one water-speed record. He was the first person to hold both records simultaneously. 

This video tells the story of Segrave and the Golden Arrow, which was powered by a 925-horsepower Napier Lion W12 aero engine in which the British driver set his final record of 231.45 mph on the sands of Daytona Beach, Florida.

That was his last speed record attempt – a few days after his run, he witnessed a horrific fatal crash during another record attempt, and he never drove the Golden Arrow again.  The car was retired after being driven just over 18 miles, and is on display at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the U.K.

golden arrow
Captain Jack Irving with a model of his Golden Arrow

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. A fascinating story and video Mr. Golfen. Thank you for presenting it. I have always been an admirer of the ingenuity and inventiveness of the 1920’s era when so much was accomplished. Scarf and Goggles video channel is a must see too. Thanks again.

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