Car vs train across the United States
Sounds easy enough, except back in the day, motorway-style péages didn't exist, necessitating the need to travel the often badly maintained and circuitous Routes Nationales in cars that were - usually - a damn sight less reliable than they are now. Which made it a real challenge. Various carmakers and drivers had attempted to beat the Blue Train, but none had succeeded.
Until, that is, Rover stepped up with its Light Six model, and outran the train from Cannes to Calais for the first time. Job done, you might think. Except one man thought that the achievement was lacking in flair and an appropriate coup de grâce. That man was Woolf ‘Babe' Barnato, a major shareholder in a little company called Bentley.