Speed legend Craig Breedlove sues museum for damage to car that first broke 500 mph barrier

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The first man to surpass 500 mph and 600 mph in a vehicle is suing the museum that housed one of his record-breaking vehicles for 50 years.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a judge will allow a lawsuit to go forward by legendary speed record holder Craig Breedlove, 79, who alleges that Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry damaged one of his race cars after being housed in the museum for the last 50 years.

Breedlove was the first driver to pass the 500 and 600 mph barriers in his turbo-jet versions of vehicles known as Spirit of America.

In his suit, Breedlove alleges the Museum caused nearly $400,000 in damage to his historic speed machine, which broke the 500 mph barrier (526.26 mph) in 1964 at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Breedlove loaned the record-setting car to the Museum in 1965, which had it on display for 50 years until 2015, when it was returned to Breedlove.

The Museum had Breedlove’s first lawsuit – alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty – dismissed, but an amended complaint by the driver and his attorney was given permission in October to go forward in the courts.

“They didn’t live up to museum standards,” Breedlove’s attorney, Steve Young, told the Tribune.

Breedlove alleges in his suit that the car was returned in damaged condition including graffiti, a re-welded frame and a missing seat.

A settlement meeting between the Museum and Breedlove is scheduled for Jan. 23.

If the Museum doesn’t settle, Young told The Tribune, “We will go forward … and ultimately, we will see the museum in court.”

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