What a marvellous picture John Perrett conjures up in his article “An Engineer Remembers” on the goings, on at Brooklands between the wars. He mentions John Cobb, and if there was a man who was underestimated and unappreciated, this was the man.
When you think that Cobb took the land speed record to 369 m.p.h. in 1939 and pushed it up in 1947 In 394 m.p.h., he received very little credit for those stupendous runs, or recognition. And yet in the light of the tact that in 1964, a whole 17 years later, Donald Campbell with a million pound gas turbined Bluebird only managed another measly 9 m.p.h. up to 403 m.p.h. in Australia, the Cobb effort deserves much more publicity.
What an incredible car that Railton-Napier Special must have been, and yet where is it languishing today, without doubt the finest land speed record car ever built (?) in a little-known Birmingham museum. I have been in touch with the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and asked whether it would be possible for this magnificent machine to be transferred to Beaulieu so it would be put where the largest amount of people could see it. They replied that they only had persuasion, but as I write this some considerable time later, it obviously wasn’t enough. Perhaps through the pages of MOTOR SPORT, those with influence could perhaps loan it to the National Motor Museum and something from there Could be sent to the Birmingham museum.
Summing up, the omission of the RailtonNapier from the display so beautifully set up at Beaulieu of these land speed record machines is little short of tragic, like a crown with the pinnacle jewel missing.
London SW 1 W. D. BARBUT