captain malcolm campbell's wonderful feat




ABOVE is a photograph of Captain Malcolm Campbell’s record breaking car, Bluebird,being pushed out preparatory to the start of his record breaking run at Verneuk Pan, South Africa, when he succeeded in breaking two world’s records, e.g., the 5 miles record and the 5 kilometres record. His speeds for these distances were 212 m.p.h. and 211 m.p.h. respectively, and when taking these wonderful records into consideration it must be remembered that Blueibrd’s engine was unsupercharged and that the track where the record was made was 2,500 feet above sea level. The rareified atmosphere at this height naturally decreases the horse power developed by an engine, and in spite of the air resistance decreasing also it is not proportional, and therefore, Captain Campbell’s speeds, though very high, were probably not quite so high as they would have been had he attempted his record at sea-level. Also the surface of Verneuk Pan does not appear to be as good for record breaking purposes as one was at first led to believe, since it appears to be very easily broken up. Captain Campbell’s other difficulties must also be taken into consideration. Verneuk Pan is 450 miles from Cape Town by the shortest route, which con

sists of few roads, but mostly difficult scrub country. Bluebird had to be transported over this, and for this purpose a Thorneycroft six-wheeler was used. On arrival at the Pan Captain Campbell was faced with the problem of clearing a sufficiently good track for his record attempt, and for this purpose native labour had to be employed to sweep the track and make it clear of stones.

When all these difficulties are taken into consideration we have no doubt our readers will agree with us that Captain Campbell’s was a truly wonderful effort.

Attempts were made by two South African Motor Cyclists on April 26th last to break the World Record for the flying Kilometre on Verneuk Pan, the scene of Captain Malcolm Campbell’s recent records. J. W. du Toit riding a Brough Superior attained a maximum speed of 91 m.p.h. and a mean speed of 87 m.p.h., while S. Collins, riding an Ulster model Rudge Whitworth attained a maximum of 95 m.p.h. in one direction and a mean speed of 91 m.p.h. While these speeds do not break the existing World Records, Collins was successful in breaking the South African Kilometre Record.