Dozens of velocity fans turned out at Coventry Transport Museum this week to meet the individual who forty years ago became the fastest man on earth.
Along with a team of engineers, Richard Noble was the driving force behind the Thrust project. He himself piloted Thrust 2 as it sped through the Nevada desert on October 4 1983 to reach average speeds of 633.468mph.
Forty years to the day, Mr Noble was reunited with the vehicle where it is homed at the Transport Museum. There he took questions, posed for photos, and did a book signing in the venue’s gift shop.
Speaking about the event, Mr Noble said: “It’s like meeting up with an old friend – though it does make us all feel very old.
“But being back here and seeing the car again has been fantastic. But it’s been even better seeing the team again. We’ve lost a few of them, forty years is a long time, but it’s been wonderful catching up with everyone else.
“We were a very tight team and we had to fight to overcome so many obstacles. You put your faith in the team so they become everything and my job was to deliver.”
Talking about the wider implications of the achievement, Mr Noble added: “These things are so important for Britain. We need engineers in this country and this is what Thrust is all about.
“But we have to back people in this country to get things like this done, which unfortunately Britain isn’t always very good at, so it can be a huge battle, but, it brings real value.
“I hope people continue to try and break records because if you’re not moving forward you’re staying still.”
Transport Museum venue manager Steve Spencer said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure having Richard and the Thrust 2 team back here at the Transport Museum.
“Our Land Speed Gallery is such an important part of our collection and is a real draw. Visitors travel from around the globe just to see these amazing cars.
“So to welcome the people who were responsible for that to the museum has been a real thrill – I look forward to celebrating 50 years in a decade’s time!”