One small error has crept into your interesting review of the World’s Hour Record published in your October issue. The twelve-cylinder Sunbeam which held the record from 1918 until 1924 had a cylinder capacity of 9,048 c.c. (not 3,207 c.c. as stated).
This car has a side-valve V12 engine of 80 x 150 mm., mounted in what was stated to be an ordinary 25/80-h.p. Sunbeam chassis frame. The engine was of a type originally designed for use in aeroplanes.
It is interesting to note that the car had to stop for a change of tyres on its 42nd lap, but in spite of this handicap Chassagne managed to cover over 107 miles in the hour. His fastest lap was his second, which was covered at the very creditable speed of 117 m.p.h.
It was in an attempt to beat the Sunbeam’s record that Percy Lambert met his death. Tyres were the limiting factor, and after 20 laps at an average speed of 110 m.p.h. one of the Talbot’s rear covers burst. It seems that after a series of hectic swerves the car went over the top of the Members’ Banking.
Chassagne and the twelve-cylinder Sunbeam appear, from the table you published, to have held the Hour Record for a longer period than any of the other holders.
In 1914 the Sunbeam made further attempts on World’s Records and covered a flying mile at Brooklands at 120.73 m.p.h. and five miles at 114 m.p.h.
Since these record-breaking runs before the last war I cannot recall that this machine was ever seen or heard of again. It seems odd that such a successful car should have disappeared without a trace. Perhaps the readers of MOTOR SPORT can throw some light on its fate. I am, Yours etc.,
ANTHONY S. HEAL. Denham,
Bucks. [See “We Hear” column for admission of further mistakes.—Ed.]