On the day before his remarkable escape - Sept 16 - from the wrecked Bluebird car, Donald Campbell made two trial runs on the Bonneville Salt Flats at Utah.
On the day before his remarkable escape - Sept 16 - from the wrecked Bluebird car, Donald Campbell made two trial runs on the Bonneville Salt Flats at Utah. On this occasion he reached a speed of 250 miles per hour - the fastest he had ever travelled on land. He described the course as being extremely rough and said that a cross wind tended to push the car to one-side.
The next day, 39-year-old Campbell crashed at an estimated 300 miles per hour in Bluebird. It travelled 681 feet through the air and bounced on its side six times over a distance of 1 1/4 miles. He was pulled from the wreckage with only cuts and bruises and taken to hospital, where he said later: "I am ready to go again."
After drafting to the left of the course, the GBP1 million car hit the rough salt on the edge of the course and was flung into the air, almost standing on its tail. It crashed to the ground and skidded and the front and rear wheels on one side were torn off. Donald Campbell was able to speak briefly to his wife as he was assisted from the car.
Engineers and mechanics were thoroughly examining Bluebird to ascertain the extent of the damage. Later, the car was described as a total "write-off" by second driver and project chief, Peter Carr. No more record attempts were expected with the car this year.
One report described Campbell's condition as "just fine" though an official hospital statement said he was "fair". A spokesman said it was hoped he would leave sometime that day and return to his headquarters at Wendover.