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Who Was the First Person to Break 100mph In a Car?


One Small Speed Record For Man, One Giant Step For Car Lovers

Nowadays, going 100mph in a car doesn’t sound like that big of a deal. Most of us have probably had that experience at one time or another… perhaps not even under the most legal of circumstances (sorry about that dad).

Have you ever wondered who the first person was that hit 100 mph in an automobile? That person’s experience was probably a bit scarier than it was for us behind the wheel of our safe, modern vehicles.

Who Broke the 100 mph Speed Mark First?

On a warm summer day back in July 21, 1904 there was a crazy Frenchman by the name of Louis Rigolly who was determined to do something that nobody else had ever done before: break 100 mph in a car. He and his team went to a beach (roads weren’t that great back in the day) in Ostend Belgium for a shot at the history books. Their car of choice? A 13.5 litre Gobron-Brillié.

Rigolly hit 103.561 mph and completed the 1 kilometre course in just under 22 seconds.

Old Records, New Targets

Impressive? Not by today’s standards, but for the day, that was an amazing feat for mankind and auto tech. It’s neat to know that every record and every advancement we make on (or in) an automobile gives us all a new target to beat and raises the bar just a bit higher for the next person. Guys like Louis Rigolly help make our collective auto achievements possible.

Next time you hit 100 mph in your car (hopefully legally), give a shout out to the crazy Frenchman, Louis Rigolly, and try to imagine what it would be like to be going that fast on a beach in a 13.5 litre Gobron-Brillié.

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Louis Rigolly in his Gobron Brillie

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