Gentle giant of records


I am indebted to Motor Sport for reviewing my book Leap Into Legend in December.

On turning to page 101, I was most pleased to see an article on John Cobb (who forms a central part of my book, along with a unique insight into his fatal accident on Loch Ness, written with the help of both of Crusader’s designers, Reid Railton and Peter du Cane) but was dismayed to see that the main picture is incorrect.

I am sure I will not be the only one to point this out to you, but I believe that this is the second time the same picture has been used, incorrectly stating that the boat shown is Crusader. (It is, of course, Blue Bird K3 on Lago Maggiore, as denoted by the removal of the tail section and the inclusion of the extra water piping that Leo Villa thought made the craft look like “the town cart”).

Coincidentally, Blue Bird was having trouble with an overheating front-mounted ‘v’ drive box, and this was being cooled by an extra water tank and the horn from Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Rolls!

That the locals still hold the memory of Cobb so highly speaks volumes of the ‘gentle giant’ of record-breaking. I have recently been in touch with Adrian Shine, who has located some of the remains of Crusader on the bed of Loch Ness, and his remarks as to the feeling still felt in the area about Cobb brought home to me what a great man he was. Perhaps a picture of the brave Cobb in Crusader could be published to make amends?

I am, Yours Etc, Steve Holier, Eastboure, E Sussex