01 September 2022
Mildred Mary Petre, better known by her married name, The Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce was a British record-breaking racing motorist, speedboat racer and aviator in the 1920s and 1930s, and later, a successful businesswoman.
The Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce was passionate about speed on land, at sea and in the air. In 1929 she approached the Managing Director of Bentley Motors with a bold proposition: would they lend her a 4 ½ Litre Bentley for a record attempt?
They did, and she did—breaking the world record for single-handed driving at the L’autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry circuit near Paris, averaging 89mph over 24 hours in Tim Birkin’s car.
Not content to rest on her laurels, she followed this up in 1930 by breaking the double-crossing record from Dover to Calais in 1 out 47 minutes in her speedboat, Mosquito.
Still restless, she flew her own biplane the following year solo to Japan.
A fearless adventurer who relied on Ovaltine for strength and vitality!
In April 1974, The Hon Mrs Victor Bruce, dressed immaculately in her trademark skirt, blouse and string of pearls, driving Ford’s new Gia Capri. This vital force was let loose at the Thruxton motor circuit, where she touched 110mph to set a new personal speed record. She was 78 years old!