Want to know what 300mph looked like in 1961? British Pathé can show you…

So the British film industry beat Bugatti to the 300mph mark nearly 60 years ago.

1y ago

Back in September, news emerged of Bugatti’s now legendary run with a modified Chiron that hit the 300mph barrier. The test was performed on the 5.4 mile straight at VW’s infamous Ehra Lessein test track in the height of Summer. Imagine doing that kind of speed on a busy motorway with lorries cutting you off.

Well, if that’s something you’d like to experience, the British film industry hit that speed all the way back in 1961 on the M1 motorway.

Alright, so maybe they didn’t actually break the 300mph barrier in a rickety little Austin A55 Cambridge Mark I. Instead, the film was simply accelerated to look like the car was going a lot faster than it really was. However, surprisingly, it does give a good impression of speed. Of course, it does mean that all the vehicles on the road look like they’re going faster than the fastest supercar in the world.

One thing I would like to point out about the video is the so-called ‘pitstop’. Obviously, inflation plays a large part in fuel prices not being what they used to, but the fact is 2 gallons – or around 7.5 litres – cost just 10 shillings, or less than 50p. It seems that as car fanatics, we’re living in the wrong era.

Personally, as a fan of classic cars, I would happily turn back time and give up our modern luxurious cars for cheaper fuel. What are your thoughts on this?

Drive at 300mph in a classic British car… in your living room

We're not sure the Italian-Job-inspired Scalextric Mini set will hit 300mph, but that's not to say you can't try. Just try not to crash into Grandma's ankles over Christmas. It's £115, and you can get yours here.

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Comments (4)

  • Love this film. The cars, the videography, the commentary!

      1 year ago
  • Just a minor point 2 gallons (imperial) is around 9 litres. Nice to think you could once by petrol for less than 6p a litre

      1 year ago
  • I have been in a car at 145 MPH on the M1.

      1 year ago