SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL’S NEW RECORD FIVE WEEKS’ WAITING ENDS IN TRIUMPH-A GALLANT EFFORT IN THE FACE OF DANGEROUS CONDITIONS280 M.P.H. EXCEEDED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. •
ALTHOUGH he has had to leave Daytona Beach without reaching the coveted goal of 300 m.p.h. Sir Malcolm Campbell is to be heartily congratulated on his latest achievement of raising the World’s Land Speed Record to 276.816 m.p.h.
Fate, in the form of Daytona Beach, has been against him all along. After several weeks of anxious waiting, during which time the beach was never in good condition, the little party comprising the Campbell iquipe began to lose heart. Then suddenly, on the morning of March 7th, a favourable tide left the long stretch of sand in a passably smooth state. With typical decision, Sir Malcolm ordered “Blue Bird” to be brought out, and the timing officials foregathered on the Beach.
It was a lovely morning, with a slight haze. To the uninitiated the sands looked as smooth as a billiard table, but Sir Malcolm’s experienced eye told him that he would be in for a rough passage when the 250 m.p.h. mark had been passed. Two runs were made, one in each direction, and both were fraught with danger. On the first run he strained the muscles of his wrist in changing into top gear. At 200 m.p.h. on Daytona “Blue Bird” throws the driver about so badly that he has to be strapped in like an aeroplane pilot, and gear changing under such conditions is no easy matter. Just before entering the measured mile he closed, the radiator slot, but the great car could not give of its best owing to continuous wheel-spin. The sand was too soft to give the wheels a chance to transmit the full power of the 2,350 h.p. engine. On top of this the familiar little wrinkles on the sand had a disastrous
effect on the thin tyre treads, and the front ones were frayed before the measured mile was reached. By the end of the run the tyres were stripped of their treads, but even so Sir Malcolm praised them highly for withstanding the rough treatment they had received without puncturing or bursting. On this first run his speed was 272.727 m.p.h. On the return journey all went well until a soft patch of sand was suddenly and on one occasion travelled a distance of 30 ft. with all four wheels clear of the ground The speed for the second run was 281.030 m.p.h., making an average for the two runs of 276.816 m.p.h., as against “Blue Bird’s” previous best of 272.46 m.p.h. The car was timed over other distances as well, and the full list of records, subject to official confirmation, is given below. The figures in parenthesis
encountered, and in a trice the five-ton projectile slewed sideways. The onlookers held their breath while Sir Malcolm struggled to control the long skid, handicapped by his sprained wrist, but no one knows better how to deal with such a situation and the car was held on its proper course. Some idea of the appalling ride this record run turned out to be may be judged by the fact that the car was constantly leaping into the air
are the previous records : I Mile (f.s.),
m.p.h. (272.11 1 Kilometre (f.s.), 276.160
(272.46 m.p.h.). 5 Miles (f.s.),
m.p.h. (242.75 5 Kilometres (f.s.)’, 268.474
In the hope that he would still be able to reach 300 m.p.h. Sir Malcolm stayed on at Daytona for two weeks, but in the end he had to admit the impossibility of making further attempts. Before returning to England, hciwever, he may go to the famous Salt Beds in Utah to see whether the conditions there are more favourable than those at Daytona. In any event it is extremely unlikely that the Beach will be used for record purposes in the future. In spite of all the ministrations of the A.A.A.—and they a I”! considerable—the sand is too variable a surface for any certainty to be placed in its condition.
As things are, Sir Malcolm is in the tantalising position of possessing a car which is undoubtedly capable of reaching his life-ambition of 300 m.p.h. So much is certain. There remains the problem of finding a suitable track on which its full power can be unleashed. If the Salt Beds are useless, Sir Malcolm’s only hope lies in the new motor road now under construction at Karlsruhe, in G erthan y. No account of his recent achievements would be complete without a tribute to all those concerned in • its manifold aspects. Sir Malcolm deserves—and we are sure he receives—the admiration of all who have automobile progress at heart. His quest for unknown speeds is the supreme example of pioneer work. Mr. Reid Railton, the designer of ” Blue Bird,” has the satisfaction of his theories being vindicated on every attempt by mention in detail, and we must content ourselves with giving a full list of the component parts, as follows :—
“BLUE BIRD’S” CONSTRUCTION. ” “
The design of ” Blue Bird ” is the work of Mr. Reid A. Railton, and the car was constructed by
” Blue Bird.” His designing genius gives unbounded prestige to British automobile products abroad. To all those who have contributed, both in their products and financially, to the success of the enterprise, we extend the congratulations they deserve, not only for their enthusiasm and support for a venture which reflects credit on the British automobile industry as a whole, but for the success of their products in withstanding the severest test of all time. They are too numerous to
Messrs. Thomson and Taylor. The following components were used :—Rolls-Royce engine, Dunlop wheels and tyres, Ace discs, Tyzack clutch plates with Ferodo linings, Clayton Dewandre servo-motors, Ferodo brake linings, Hoffman bearings, K.L.G. sparking plugs, Serck radiator, E.N.V. back-axle gears, D. B.S. gearbox gears, Moseley float-on-Air upholstery, Hadfield front-axle and rear-axle lorgings, shafts, etc. Burman Douglas steering gear, T.T.N. stabilizers Hardy-Spicer steering column, Woodhead road springs, Andre Silent-bloc shock absorbers, Castrol oil, Guest, Keen and Nettlef old’s bolts and nuts, B.T.FL magnetos, chassis frame by John Thompson Motor Pressings, Ltd., Smith instruments, Petroflex tubing, Pyrene fire, fighting equipment, and fuel prepared by PrattsTriplex windscreens and goggles.
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