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BBC Autos

Alt-Green

Bluebird, recharged

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

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At the 2013 edition of the Sustainable MotoExpo, an annual jamboree devoted to sustainable motorsport, transport and mobility, aficionados of speed will encounter a name synonymous with maximum velocity: Bluebird.

The story begins in the 1920s and 30s, when British driver Malcolm Campbell set 13 international speed records on both land and water, piloting vehicles named “Blue Bird”. His son, Donald Campbell, followed in his fast father’s tracks during the 1950s and 60s, breaking eight records of his own before his untimely death in 1967, during a water speed record attempt on England’s Coniston lake. 

For 2014, Don Wales, grandson of Malcolm and nephew of Donald, has created the very enticing – and very blue – Bluebird DC50. The car, created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Donald’s back-to-back record runs on land and water, features scissors-style doors and an all-electric powertrain producing as much as 360 horsepower. The car is expected to achieve a cruising range of up to 200 miles and Porsche-level performance.

Fittingly, Wales plans to offer a scant 50 handcrafted examples of the DC50, every last one painted Bluebird blue. No word on pricing.

Wales will also use the event to pull the wraps off his Bluebird GTL electric racer, which will compete in the new all-electric global race series, Formula E, set to kick off next year.

The UK’s National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, hosts the debut of the Bluebird DC50 and Bluebird GTL Formula E at the Sustainable MotoExpo on 28 September.