For the first time since the war a record attempt has been officially observed in England by the RAC. At a Bedford aerodrome last month Wing Cmdr F Sowrey, AFC, broke the International Class G standing-start kilometre and mile records, respectively at 87.64 mph, and 93.88 mph. These records were formerly held by RJW Appleton (Appleton-Riley), who was timed at Brooklands at 82.16 and 91.3 mph, respectively.
Sowrey’s attempt was timed by Bob Wright, using Longines crystal-quartz ray apparatus. The RAC is prepared to consider further attempts on records in this country, but only when a suitable course can be used, which, in the absence of access to banked tracks, seems to rule out long-distance or even short-distance flying-start records.
Sowrey drove a supercharged Cooper 1,100 with all-enveloping body, of which some details are appended.
The car is a Mark VI chassis with a streamlined fibreglass body which George Wicken made about two years ago using the works Cooper streamliner as a mould. Sowrey bought the chassis from him at the end of last year and fitted the suspension components from hits own normal Mark VI. He also cleaned up the car aerodynamically by fitting a perspex bubble canopy. John Cooper adapted the engine-bay to take the 1,100 JAP engine, and fitted a disc brake, and Robin Jackson tuned and installed the engine and Wade supercharger. Dunlop supplied tyres buffed to a tread depth of 1 mm, to give the lowest rolling resistance and power loss, and the car used Esso fuel, Castrol oil, Lucas magnetos, and KLG plugs. Teleflo shock-absorbers kept the wheels on the ground at speed,
The car was geared to an overall ratio of 3.18 to 1 for the mile, giving 141 mph over the finishing line, and 3.45 to 1 for the kilometre, giving 127 mph. Jim Clark, Robin Jackson’s head mechanic, looked after the car during the attempt.
The tactics were to drive the first run over each distance inside a safe rev limit, leaving an extra 400 rpm in hand to be used, if necessary, for the return.