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The Blue Flame
The fastest land vehicle on Earth for most of the the second half of the 20th century.
Author: garry
Friday, December 11, 2009
The Blue Flame

"Honey, I'm going to drive down to 7-Eleven to pick up a gallon of milk."

Burning just a little bit brighter than that blue sky-tinted fire emanating from your stovetop, The Blue Flame rocket car was the fastest land vehicle on Earth for most of the second half of the 20th century. On the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, it set a land speed record of 630.388 mph on October 23, 1970--a challenge that went unbeaten for nearly three decades, until 1997! The Blue Flame really was just a rocket on wheels. Indeed, its engine generated 22,000 pounds of thrust, which equals 58,000 horsepower. How many horses does your ride have?

Timeframe: Post-Altamont.

Public Impact: Although its long reign as the King of Speed is over, the Blue Flame went on to inspire the Thrust SSC, a jet engine car, to break the sound barrier at 763 mph on October 15, 1997, and continues to inspire others to surpass the 1,000 mph mark. Will they succeed? Or will they flame out and crash in a blaze of glory? Only time will tell. Any way you slice it, though, the Blue Flame led the way.