Bentley Sets New ‘Flying Mile’ Speed Record With Actor Idris Elba

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The ‘Flying Mile’ is a historical high-water mark, a thing of legend. In 1927, Sir Malcolm Campbell drove a modified Bentley—the Napier-Campbell Blue Bird—to a U.K. land speed record of 174.8 mph. That’s faster than most of today’s sports cars, just 41 years after the Daimler Patent-Motorwagen first did it’s three-wheeled crawl.

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But now, 88 years after Sir Campbell’s record run (and 129 years after the Patent-Motorwagen for those keeping track), a new Bentley has claimed the Flying Mile record with a speed of 180.361 mph. At the wheel was Idris Elba, an actor known for his role in The Wire and Luther.

The car that set the new record? A Bentley Continental GT Speed.

Idris Elba sets new Flying Mile UK land speed record in Bentley Continental GT

Idris Elba sets new Flying Mile UK land speed record in Bentley Continental GT

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The run was made on the beach of Pendine Sands, Wales. It was filmed as part of a Discovery Channel miniseries entitled Idris Elba: No Limits. It will air in July.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a Bentley has been involved in a one-off speed record. Perhaps the most impressive was when Juha Kankkunen piloted a Bentley Continental Supersports convertible to a top speed of 205.48 mph—on ice.

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