Craig Breedlove: Fastest Man in the World (on Wheels)

Bob Hayes vs Spirit of AmericaIn October, 1964, Bob Hayes was crowned the fastest man in the world. But the “Bullet” is no match for a rocket.

Craig_Breedlove_1968
Craig Breedlove

While all eyes were on Hayes and his quest for 100 meter gold in Tokyo, a different level of speed competition was taking place in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. On October 13, during the first week of the Tokyo Summer Games, Craig Breedlove raced to a land speed record of 468.72 mph in the Spirit of America, the first ever jet-propelled car.

Incredibly, only two days later, Breedlove raced the Spirit of America to another land record of 526.28 mph, becoming the first person to exceed 500 mph (800kmh).

About how fast did Bob Hayes run to take gold? About 20 mph.

Craig being congratulated after setting his 468 mph record on Oct. 13, 1964. (William A. Moore photo)
Craig being congratulated after setting his 468 mph record on Oct. 13, 1964. (William A. Moore photo)