Richard Noble has been obsessed with speed since he was six years old, when his father took him to Loch Ness to see John Cobb's boat Crusader - in which Cobb was to die trying to gain the water speed record only a few months later. After a public school education Noble led two overland expeditions across Africa and Asia. On his return he briefly contemplated a career in the SAS, before working in industry for several years, while building Thrust 1 in his spare time. Following his world land speed record in Thrust 2, Noble was awarded the OBE. Nowadays he is much in demand for motivational speaking, particularly since the triumph of Thrust SSC in piercing the sound barrier for the first time.