On This Day In History: The Summer Brothers’ Goldenrod Sets A Land Speed Record, 409.277 MPH!


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As jet powered cars like Art Arfon’s Green Monster and Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America began to escalate the ultimate land speed record, Bill and Bob Summers thought that thrust powered cars were cheating, so they built Goldenrod, powered by four 426 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi V8s. On  November 12, 1965, with Bob Summers driving it, Goldenrod set the wheel-driven LSR with a speed of 409.277 mph (658.64 km/h) over the flying mile, a record which stood for 42 years 9 months and 14 days. The Summers brothers have both passed away but in 2002 Bill Summers sold Goldenrod to the Henry Ford Museum. With the help of a Saving America’s Treasures grant from the federal government, the museum had the quad-engined record setting car restored in 2006 and it’s on display in the museum’s Racing In America display.

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