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Documentary series looking at mankind's attempts to set new speed records.
|S01E01||The Battle of Bonneville||05/01/2005||The Battle of Bonneville focuses on six dramatic years in land speed history that saw Craig Breedlove and Art Arfons go head-to-head in a death-defying land speed duel. Two men locked in a near-lethal contest which saw the 400, 500 and 600 miles per hour barriers broken. The programme features interviews with Arfons and Breedlove, friends, family and members of their teams. Farm-boy Art Arfons was affectionately known as the Junkyard Genius. Art famously built his record breaking car from pieces of junk and stock-parts, including the powerful J-79 aircraft surplus jet engine which he bought from a scrap dealer. When he first ignited his restored J-79, Art obliterated his chicken shed. In his car The Green Monster, an angry, over-powered beast, Art captured the world record three times only to have it snatched from him on each occasion by Breedlove. In 1966, Art became the first man to survive a crash at over 600 miles an hour. Smooth-talking Californian hot-rodder Craig Breedlove, in his cars Spirit of America and Sonic 1, was the first man to break the 400, 500 and 600mph barriers on land. At the tender age of 24, Craig Breedlove was so moved by President Kennedy's plea to 'ask what you can do for your country', he decided that his goal was to recapture the world land speed record from the British. Breedlove persuaded Shell Oil to sponsor his vision and, backed by a team of hot-rod friends, he went on to build his car Spirit of America, arguably the most beautiful land speed car ever built. This is a story of a dramatic showdown between two land speed legends who displayed extraordinary ingenuity, ambition and bravery.|
|S01E02||The Battle of the Rocket Men||09/02/2005||Recalling aircraft designers' race to break the sound barrier in the years following the Second World War. The film focuses on how a team of engineers in the California desert hoped to be the first to achieve the seemingly impossible feat - but faced stiff competition from two rival groups within the American military. Featuring contributions by famed test pilots Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield and Pete Everest.|
|S01E03||The Battle of the Prop Riders||19/01/2005||Examining the lives and careers of world water speed record-holders during the 1950s and 60s. The programme highlights the rivalries and technical breakthroughs which contributed to the development of their extraordinary machines, and tells the story of Seattle car dealer Stanley Sayres, who shattered Malcolm Campbell's record on Lake Washington.|