Kitty O’Neal passed away last week. A truly inspirational figure, left deaf from a childhood illness, she was thwarted in her dream to become a champion diver, and instead became a renowned stunt-woman, and then famously the world land speed record holder. She proved that deafness was no barrier.
In 1976 in Oregon, O’Neil set the world land-speed record for female drivers. A hydrogen peroxide powered three-wheeled rocket car called the “SMI Motivator” reached an average speed of 512.7mph, with a peak speed of 621mph.
When she retired, Kitty had set 22 speed records on land and water.
Her land speed record still stands.