Since the creation of the car, there has been a fascination with speed and pushing the boundaries of car performance. In the 1920’s and 30’s, Land Speed Record holders such as Malcolm Campbell, Henry Seagrave and John Cobb were household names and the names are still familiar today. Fame for the driver and car were assured, making international headlines whenever the Land Speed Record (LSR) was attempted or broken.
In 1994, Rosco McGlashan broke Donald Campbell’s Australian Land Speed Record with a car called Aussie Invader II at 500 mph (802 km/h) and then crashed it at nearly 600 mph trying to raise it further. In 1996 with a new car, Aussie Invader III, Rosco recorded a one way pass of 638 mph (1,028 km/h), this was actually faster than the current record, but bad weather prevented a return run, and the record did not change hands. In 1997 before Rosco could make another attempt, the British raised the bar further by reaching 763 mph (1,223 km/h) and breaking the sound barrier in Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green. This increase in speed made Aussie Invader III redundant, and over the next 10 years a new car was being designed and planned.