Don Wales holds the World Land Speed Record for a Steam car along with 2 American National Records.
Don was born into Land Speed Record Breaking family. His grandfather was Sir Malcolm Campbell MBE and his Uncle was Donald Campbell CBE, who between them broke over 20 World Land and Water Speed records in various Bluebirds.
Don broke the World Land Speed Record for a steam car in August 2009 in the British built car ‘Inspiration’ on Edwards Air Force base in California. The two-way average speed was 148mph over the measured one Kilometre.
The Steam Car attempts were a real challenge. The team consisted of an eclectic mix of people who all pulled together in extraordinary circumstances to eventually win through in extremely harsh conditions.
The team spent 8 weeks in America battling severe heat, experiencing a heat wave in the Mojave Desert! The car, very much a prototype, had a mind of it’s own and refused to work to order. However, the Team were determined not be beaten and with true ‘Brit Grit’ saw the record beaten. The BBC captured this struggle with their documentary ‘The Fastest Steam Car In The World’.
Don Wales also broke The UK National Record for an Electric Car along with a further 7 UK records. He broke the UK Electric Car record 3 times and held it for over 12 years with an average speed of 137mph over the measured mile on Pendine Sands and hit over 160mph.
In December 2009 Don was announced as the driver for Project Runningblade the attempt to be the World’s fastest lawn mower. On May 23rd 2010 Don broke the record with a new speed of 87.83 mph average over a two way average of one mile on Pendine Sands. The top speed was 94mph! The previous holder, Bobby Cleveland was at Pendine to witness his record being beaten and has since taken the record back at 94 mph.
As a guest speaker, Don’s talks are unique, a mix of family history and human endeavour, centering on his, his grandfathers’ and his uncle’s record breaking achievements.