Today marks the 80th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell breaking world land speed record
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1930: Record-Setting Bluebird. ca. 1935, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA, D-139. BLUEBIRD DRIVEN TO A WORLD'S SPEED RECORD BY SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL, DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. The great beach constitutes the most unique drive in the world. From above Ormond Beach to the Inlet it is a 'tide packed pavement', 500 feet wide and over 33 miles in length. It is unbelievably smooth and directly at sea level. Thousands visit Daytona Beach just for the breathtaking thrill of a spin down the length of this greatest of all speedways. The International Speed Trials are a great feature of the Winter seasons. (Photo by LCDM Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
9th March 1928: Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885 - 1948) and his wife on board the liner 'Berengaria', behind them is the cased world land-speed record car 'Bluebird' plastered with messages. (Photo by H. F. Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL â February 1931: Sir Malcolm Campbell (L) and Clessie Cummins (R) both set new speed records on Daytona Beach. Campbell increased the one-mile world land speed record for internal combustion engine-powered automobiles to 246.09 mph. Cummins became the first man to top 100 mph with a diesel-powered car. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)
20th February 1931: English land and water speed-record contestant Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885 - 1948) sits beside his wife Lady Campbell while broadcasting his speech from Southampton, England. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images)
GREAT SALT LAKE, UT â September 3, 1935: Englandâs Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to go over 300 mph on land when he ran a two-way average speed of 301.129 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats with his âBluebird Vâ powered by a Rolls-Royce aircraft engine. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 09: Before leaving for Daytona, Sir Malcolm Campbell's world-record breaking car Bluebird was on view at his house at Povey Cross, Surrey. The Bluebird has been entirely reconditioned. (Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 12: Postcard showing Sir Malcolm Campbell's (1885-1949) 'Bluebird' on Daytona Beach, Florida. Campbell was the holder of both land and water speed records from 1927 onwards. In 1935 he became the first man to break 300 mph on land reaching 301.1291 mph on Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. In 1939 he achieved his fastest speed on water with 141.74 mph. He called all his racing cars and speed boats 'Bluebird' after the symbol of unattainability in the play of that name by Maurice Maeterlinck. Photograph by W L Coursen. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
Sir Malcolm Campbell (world speed record holder) at his race car BLUEBIRD in Daytona Beach/California. February 15th 1935. Photograph. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) Sir Malcolm Campbell (der Geschwindigkeitsweltrekordhalter) neben seinem Rennauto Bluebird in Daytona Beach/Kalifornien. 15. Februar 1935. Photographie (press print). 13 : 18 cm .
UNKNOWN â 1935: Ab Jenkins (C) with a Dusenberg automobile at a Texaco gas station. Jenkins' interest in motorsports began with racing motorcycles on dirt tracks and cross-country. He then became interested in land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. He drove the Duesenberg 'Mormon Meteor' to a 24-hour average land speed record of 135 mph in 1935. In 1940, Jenkins set the 24-hour record at a 161.180Â mph average that lasted for 50 years until broken in 1990. Jenkins became the 24th mayor of Salt Lake City, UT, serving from 1940 to 1944. He was instrumental in establishing Bonneville as a location for land speed record events, and in attracting overseas drivers such as Sir Malcolm Campbell and George Eyston to compete there. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)
AAA officials examine a portion of the 13 mile long jet black oil line that Sir Malcolm Campbell will follow in his attempt to set a new automobile speed record of 300 mph, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, September 1, 1935. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
CARMARTHEN, WALES - JULY 21: Don Wales drives the original Sunbeam car as he recreates his grandfather's 1925 land speed world record at Pendine Sands on July 21, 2015 in Carmarthen, Wales. Sir Malcolm Campbell drove his 350 hp Sunbeam on July 21, 1925 on the sands at Pendine to reach a new world record of speed of 150.76 miles per hour. The car was bought in 1957 and restored by Lord Montague for his National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL â March 1935: The 30-foot-long âBluebird Vâ is prepped for a world land speed record attempt on Daytona Beach. Expecting his Rolls Royce-powered machine to easily top the 300 mph mark, driver Sir Malcolm Campbell could not solve a problem of excessive wheel spin and settled for a new record of 276.816 mph on March 7, 1935. In September 1935, Campbell took the car to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and upped his record to 301.129 mph, becoming the first man to travel over 300 mph on land. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)
CARMARTHEN, WALES - JULY 21: Don Wales (in blue top) pushes the original Sunbeam car onto the beach as he recreates his grandfather's 1925 land speed world record at Pendine Sands on July 21, 2015 in Carmarthen, Wales. Sir Malcolm Campbell drove his 350 hp Sunbeam on July 21, 1925 on the sands at Pendine to reach a new world record of speed of 150.76 miles per hour. The car was bought in 1957 and restored by Lord Montague for his National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
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Sir Malcolm Campbell just wanted to go fast. And on this day 80 years ago, that's exactly what he did.
It was Sept. 3 1935 when Campbell set a new record for speed on land, in his 2,500-hp motor car Bluebird. Over two laps on a one-mile course, the car averaged a speed of 301.129 miles per hour, shattering a record set earlier that year.
He retired from land racing after setting the record, but broke a water-speed record later in 1935, clocking in at just over 129 miles per hour.
Today, the record has since been broken, and stands at 763 miles an hour, set by Britain's Andy Green in 1997. But the astonishment Campbell brought the racing world 80 years ago today is worth honoring today.
Click through the gallery above to find the best moments from Campbell's career, and watch the video below to see old Bluebird in action again in 2015.