Music Video of the Week: Spirit of America

Music Video of the Week: Spirit of America

I’m sure most of you know that Craig Breedlove passed away about a week ago at the age of 86. Mickey Thompson beat him to the 400 mph record at Bonneville, but Breedlove was the first person in history to reach 500 and 600 mph in his jet aircraft-powered Spirit of America… That’s a really big deal. Craig’s racing accomplishments made him a household name in the 1960s, and it wasn’t until Gary Gabelich and Blue Flame eventually broke his land speed record in 1970, eclipsing 622 mph, that anything changed. In fact, Breedlove was such an icon of the decade that the Beach Boys actually wrote a song about his speed record in October of 1963 (The Spirit of America was on the cover of Hot Rod the same month!) and released on their Little Deuce Coupe LP:

Spirit of America

The Bonneville salt flats had seen some strange thingsBut the strangest thing yet was a jet without wingsOnce as a jet it played in the starsBut now on the ground it’s the king of our cars

An airplane an auto now famous worldwideThe Spirit of America, the name on the sideThe man who would drive her Craig Breedlove by nameA daring young man played a dangerous game

With a J-47, a jet for his powerCraig Breedlove had averaged four-o-seven per hourBoth man and machine had given fair warnThey’d set a new record on that warm August morn.

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