Rosco McGlashan OAM
Australian Land Speed record Holder
Rosco McGlashan OAM is the Australian land speed record holder and is now working towards becoming the 1st person to break the 1000 MPH barrier, and in doing so, to become the holder of the World Land Speed Record. With steely determination, a clear focus, technical breakthroughs and an ability to form a winning team around him, Rosco’s goal to become the FASTEST MAN ON EARTH is now within his sights. Rosco shares with audiences his remarkable story of overcoming the odds to reach his goals and then reach some more.
Rosco was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1950. As a child he was always tinkering with anything that had wheels, trying to go faster than the other kids on the block.
When Rosco was 12, the late Donald Campbell visited Australia with his Bluebird turbine powered land speed racer. Rosco was so intent on building and racing a car faster than Campbell’s, that he quit school and went working in his home state’s far north. With an age adjustment from 12 to 16, he managed to fund his ambition with a good wage.
His desire to beat Campbell’s World Land Speed Record of 403 mph, has taken him many long years. His first motor racing break came in 1968, when he was given a drive in a Pro Stock Drag Car. Rosco was an instant success story in Drag Racing and has earned his living in this field for many years.
Setting The Australian Land Speed Record
In 1993, Rosco with the help of 25 professionals, all volunteers, assembled his first Land Speed Racer known as “Aussie Invader II”. This car was powered by a 36,000 hp Mirage Jet Fighter Engine. This racer was a culmination of 10 years blood, sweat and tears. On the first outing Aussie Invader II reached a speed of 450 mph. Due to bad weather, the team were forced away from their Salt Lake race venue, in central Australia and back to their base in Western Australia, to prepare for their next attack on the Australian Land Speed Record of 403 mph.
1994 saw a revamped Aussie Invader II and a much more experienced race team. Rosco McGlashan became the “Fastest Aussie On Earth” with an official 500 mph two way pass. Not being content to settle with an Australian Record, Rosco convinced a nervous team that he would have a go at the World Land Speed Record, despite poor salt conditions, rain and bad light.
Rosco ran his racer southbound on a track in very poor condition. At 580 mph Aussie Invader II broke through the salt surface and tram-lined through the timing equipment, 200 yards away from the tracks measured mile. Aussie Invader II was a write-off. Immediately the team went to work on a newer, sleeker and more powerful car, Aussie Invader III.
The Aussie Invader Team returned to Lake Gairdner in South Australia in 1996. After some test passes, the car recorded a peak speed of 638 mph which was faster than the World Land Speed Record held by Richard Noble at 633 mph, however to claim a new world record, two passes must be made in opposite directions within one hour and again bad weather prevented the team from achieving this goal.
In 1997 the British in their twin jet engine car ran 763 mph, creating the biggest jump in the history of the Land Speed Record, with their car going supersonic on the way. This effectively made Aussie Invader III redundant.
Aussie Invader 5R is Born
After witnessing the success of Spaceship One’s historic flight, Rosco knew he needed a BIG rocket motor to set his next record and consulted Rocket Legends Bob Truax and Ken Mason. From that meeting came an introduction to Rocket Lab in NZ, with the aim to get him to the holy grail of a 1000 mph LSR.
After many years of planning and testing, different designs and propulsion formats, work is now underway on Aussie Invader 5R.
Aussie Invader 5R is unique in design, being built around a 40′ bisalloy 36″ tube, using a 62,000 lbs thrust liquid oxygen and bio-kerosene motor. This vehicle is designed to have a dry weight of 6.2 tonnes and will go from a standing start to 1,000 mph (1,600+ km/h) in about 20 seconds. As the car enters the measured mile, the rocket is throttled down to about 3/4 power, not wanting to exceed the magic 1,000 mph barrier by more than 25 mph, to limit the max rpm on our wheel and bearing safety rating.
The car is making great progress, and as Rosco has said to several of his land speed record contacts around the world, “I can build this car in my home state of Western Australia for comparatively little cost, and that is what we are doing. However it is hard to put a completion date on our project, all we can do is keep on keeping on”.
Some of Rosco's Achievements to Date Include:
- Awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1998 by the Queen of England for his services to motorsport and for setting a new Australian Land Speed Record.
- Given the “Premiers Award”, Western Australia by the premier of the state Richard Court MLA in 1999.
- Given the ‘Key to the City’ Perth, Western Australia by the Premier of the state Richard Court MLA in 1999.
- International Jet Dragster Competition Winner 1998, 1999, 2001.
- Entered in the Australian Roll of Honour by the Governor General Sir Michael Jefferies in 2001 as “The Fastest Aussie On Earth.”
- Confederation of Australian Motor Sport award 2001.
- Registered motivational speaker with International Celebrity Management Australia.
- Letters of Endorsement for our project from Australia’s ex-Prime Minister John Howard and Defence Senator Robert Hill.
- Patron of the The Kids Cancer Support Group,
- Five television documentaries about Rosco’s LSR achievements.