At the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, 27 year old Los Angeles speed king Craig Breedlove became the first man to move across the earth's surface at 500 MPH.
CAR TO START LINE
TURN CAR AROUND
LS RETURN PASS W/CHUTE SNAP
GOES OFF COURSE
TAIL FIN OUT OF WATER
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Background: At the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, 27 year old Los Angeles speed king Craig Breedlove became the first man to move across the earth's surface at 500 MPH. In the process of setting his third World Land Speed Record in his 3-wheel jet car "Spirit of America", he also became the first to crash - and swim away from it! 526.28 MPH was the official two-way average that wiped out his own record of 468.72 MPH set only last Tuesday. On that day his top speed of 498 MPH gave credence to his prediction of breaking the magic 500 MPH. Last year, Breedlove became the first man to successfully apply jet power to land vehicles by averaging 407.45 MPH and bettering a 16 year old record set by England's John Cobb. It was the first time a vehicle had averaged over 400 MPH. In the last two weeks, three drivers -- including Breedlove -- broke that record. Yesterday, his first run was 515.33 MPH. He had been plagued by a rough surface on the track earlier in the week, but those difficulties were nothing compared to what was to come. On the return run, the vehicle clocked 539.892 MPH in the timing traps. What happened next was one of the most hair raising rides in history as Breedlove's braking parachute snapped off, leaving him powerless to slow down to conventional braking speed. At more than 300 MPH the racer swerved out of control, spun off the track, sheared off two telephone poles, climbed a 4-foot dike and plunged into a canal 6 miles away -- and less than 500 yards from U. S. Highway 40. Breedlove managed to remove the canopy of the battered racer, and swim to the edge of the pool. When his near-hysterical Shell-Goodyear crew reached the scene, Breedlove reportedly said: "I'm all right baby, what's the speed"?