New records

The American driver Mickey Thompson. who achieved the fastest speed recorded by a vehicle using automobile engines last, summer, when he attempted the World’s absolute speed record, has been at it again. only this time in the sphere of acceleration. Using a “dragster “‘ fitted with two Pontiac engines. supercharged by G.M.C.-Roots-type blowers, he has set staggering new records for the standing kilometre and standing mile, running on a very long aerodrome runway in California. The car was of the typical “dragster” layout, with the driver behind the rear axle in what is known as a “sling-shot,” but instead of all the mechanism being exposed, as is normal, this vehicle was fitted with a bodywork enclosing the rear wheels, but leaving the front ones out in the open. To assist in stopping the thing at the end of the runs an aireraft parachute brake was used. To try and keep a sense of proportion the absolute records for the kilometre and mile are given below for the pre-war factory-prepared Auto-Union, the H.R.M.-“dragster” of Cal Rice, which set up records two years ago, and Thompson’s latest times and speeds, which are truly remarkable.