Car vs train across the United States

A cornerstone of the infamous Bentley Boys - and three-time Le Mans winner in 1928, '29 and '30 - he made a bet for £100 that not only could he beat the train to Calais, but make it back across the Channel and to his London club before Le Train Bleu reached its destination. And so, on 13 March 1930, he fired up his Speed Six and attempted to make history.

Having set off from the bar of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes with co-driver Dale Bourne, Barnato battled punctures and foggy weather, missed fuel stops and dangerously bumpy roads to catch a cross-Channel packet ship in time to arrive at the Conservative Club in St James's Street, London, a bare four minutes before the Blue Train pulled into Calais. He'd sealed his legend, established Bentley and was immediately fined more than his winnings by French authorities for racing on a public road.