Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat
Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat (7 June 1866, Paris, France – 20 November 1903, Le Cannet, France) was a French aristocrat and race car driver. He was the son of Prosper, Marquis of Chasseloup-Laubat, minister of Napoleon III, and of his American wife Marie-Louise Pilié.
He is known for setting the first recognised automobile land speed record on December 18, 1898, in Achères, Yvelines, using a Jeantaud electric car. The record was set as part of a competition organised by the French automobile magazine La France Automobile. He completed a single flying 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) run in 57 seconds to give an average speed of 63.13 km/h (39.23 mph).
He further improved this record to 66.65 km/h (41.41 mph) one month later on January 17, 1899, also at Achères, in the first of a series of record setting duels with Camille Jenatzy. Ten days later Jenatzy managed to break this record with a speed of 80.35 km/h (49.93 mph), although it would revert to de Chasseloup-Laubat on March 4, 1899, when he increased it to 92.69 km/h (57.59 mph). Jenatzy finally took the record on April 29, 1899, with the first run to exceed 100 km/h (62.14 mph) with an average speed of 105 km/h (65.24 mph), a record that was to last 3 years.
Chasseloup-Laubat managed to win the Marseille-La Turbie long-distance race in 1897 with a steam vehicle built by Trépardoux & Cie, predecessor of De Dion-Bouton. This was the only major city-to-city event won by a steam car.
- Jules Delarbre, Le marquis P. de Chasseloup-Laubat, Paris, 1873, p. 16.
- L'Aérophile. Revue technique et pratique de la locomotion aérienne, 11 (1903), p. 245
- La Locomotion automobile. Revue des voitures et véhicules mécaniques (1903), p. 755
- Car Illustrated. A Journal of Travel by Land, Sea, & Air, 7 (1903), p. 6.
- The New York Times, November 21, 1903, mistakenly placed his death in Paris.
- J.R. Holthusen (1999). The Fastest Men on Earth. Sutton Publishing. p. 6.