Google Doodle today celebrated the life of an American stunt performer who drove rocket-powered cars in the 1970s. Kitty O'Neil once drove a car at the speed of 825 km per hour, earning her the title of "the fastest woman in the world". The most remarkable aspect of her achievements was that she did all this despite being deaf since childhood.
Her mother was a Native American whereas her father was of Irish descent. She was born on this day in 1946 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She lost her ability to hear due to an intense fever as a child. However, she never let this become an impediment to her success. She loved speed. She first tried her hands at water skiing and motorcycle racing. Later she turned to stunts. She once performed a dangerous act in which she was thrown from daunting heights after being set on fire. She became a famous stunt woman, appearing in TV series like The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman and The Blues Brothers.
In 1976, she won the title of the fastest woman alive after she drove at 512 miles per hour across the Alvord Desert at a speed of 512.76 miles per hour. She trumped the previous best record by almost 200 mph.
The name of her ca was SMI Motivator. It was powered by hydrogen peroxide. It was built by Bill Fredick. The car hit a top speed of 999 km per hour and an average speed of 825 km per hour. She later said she could have done 1100 km per hour. She stopped performing stunts after her colleagues died while performing. She died in 2018.
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