Where did it all begin?


WDS’s support of the supersonic car project began many years ago when the company first sponsored the Thrust SSC.

The History of the Land Speed Record

The challenge of becoming the fastest man on Earth has certainly inspired a select band of very brave men throughout the years. Many who succeeded in their quest were rewarded with fame, wealth and national honours. Many of those who failed were subjected to the most public and horrifying of deaths. As these courageous men strapped themselves into their formidable machines, they knew that they could never be in complete control of their destiny, that their next journey could be their last. And yet they were there because they wanted to be - and they kept coming back for more. Few people can understand the obsession that gripped these men, but this obsession created the ultimate form of motor racing - the quest for the Land Speed Record.


Richard Noble, 1983

Richard Noble, OBE was the original holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997. He was also the project director of Thrust SSC, the vehicle which holds the current land speed record, set at Black Rock Desert, Nevada in 1997. Thrust2, the record-breaking car driven by Noble, travelled at 633.468 mph (1019 km/h).

The accomplishment won Noble the 1983 Segrave Trophy.

Watch an amazing interview with Richard Noble talking about breaking the record in Thrust 2. »


Andy Green, 1997

In 1997 the Thrust SSC - a car designed to set the first ever supersonic World Land Speed Record, conceived with a capability of reaching 850mph, was the most powerful car ever built.

Andy Green, a fighter pilot with the RAF, was the driver of the first car to set a supersonic World Land Speed Record. Thrust SSC, the supersonic car driven by Andy broke the record at 763.035 mph (1221 km/h) or Mach 1.02. Andy's preparation was extensive. He worked closely with the team on the design of the cockpit, as well as undergoing rigorous training to enhance his already-impressive driving skills.

The first ever supersonic World Land Speed Record of 763.035mph was set on 15th October 1997 by Andy Green in Thrust SSC, on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The speed of sound was exceeded on land by Thrust SSC for the first time in history on 13th October 1997.