On 17 July 1964. Much excitement at Lake Eyre, South Australia, where Donald Campbell and his team set a new land speed record of 403.1mph. Typical British stoicism and determination was required in the face of unpredictable weather and mechanical problems in order for Bluebird CN7 to achieve the record. No-one ever said this stuff was easy…
Fifty years on, almost to the day (Saturday 19 July), the feat will be celebrated at Beaulieu with an evening in the company of not only Bluebird CN7 but also Donald Campbell’s widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell. The event will include a first public screening of a digitally remastered version of the film How Long a Mile, which details Campbell’s claim of both land and water speed records in the same year – a feat that has never been repeated.
After the screening, there will be an exclusive dinner at the National Motor Museum, and a talk by Tonia Bern-Campbell. Having read her excellent autobiography, My Speed King, I can speak from experience when I say she has some stories experiences to share. You’d assume that any way, of course, but it looks set to be a fascinating night. Nobody was closer to Campbell during that exciting period. There will also be a post-screening opportunity to explore the museum – including the new display, For Britain & For the Hell of It, in which CN7 is a central feature.
Tickets start from £90 per person, and can be booked on Beaulieu’s website.