EYSTON’S GREAT RECORD
NEW LAND SPEED RECORD OF 345.49 M.P.H. SET UP AT ” BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS
BRAVO, George Eyston 1 At the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, U.S.A., the world’s most consistent recordbreaker raised his own land speed record on August 27th by no less than 33
setting new figures for the flying mile at 345.49 m.p.h., and for the flying kilometre at 345.21 m.p.h. His full times and speeds were : Flying Mile :
Northward-10.36 secs.. 347.49 m.p.h. Southward-10.48 secs. 343.51 m.p.h. Mean-10.42 sees. 345.49 m.p.h. Flying Kilometre:
Northward-6.45 secs. 346.80 m.p.h. Southward-6.50 secs. 344.15 m.p.h. Mean-6.48 secs. 345.21 m.p.h. Eyston has not had quite such a trying time with the weather as he had last year, but even so he has already been out
in Utah for nearly two Months, and on his arrival was held up because the surface was too wet. During the rainy season the salt is covered with water, and the procedure when it dries is to drive little pegs into the ground, and measure the depth to which it has sunk below the surface. Not until the water is at least 2 in. below ground level, and has remained there for several days, is the surface fit for high speeds. Then one has to wait for a. calm day, as a side-wind, or worse still a wind blow’ ing in gusts, might easily cause disaster at these very high speeds. RoSemeyer’s accident is still fresh in the memory,
but ” Thunderbolt,” weighing about six tons, is less susceptible to gusts of air.
The 13-mile course, dead straight across the gleaming white surface, has to be marked out, and a black line, about 8 in. wide, has to be drawn with an oily paint for the entire length, to give the driver his direction. This is a big advantage over Daytona, where no line could be drawn owing I:6 the ebb and flow of the tides. Eyston arrived at the Salt Flats with “Thunderbolt ” about the middle of July, but it was not until August 24th that he was able to make an attempt on the record. In the meanwhile he had had a few test runs, and this gave him an
opportunity to test his new respirator, or gas-mask. ” Thunderbolt ” now has an entirely enclosed cockpit, and there would be grave risks of fumes overpowering the driver. “
Thunderbolt” had been partly redesigned, and now has a longer tail, a smaller radiator opening, and adjustable slats on top of the bonnet to emit the air passing through the separately mounted radiator. Bigger air scoops, elaborately streamlined, have been provided for the superchargers, and an important alteration is the substitution of coil for leaf springs all round, while the brake actuating mechanism has also been modified, now utilising Lockheed servo motors.
On his first real attempt with the new car, Eyston put his foot down with great courage, and actually achieved 347.155 m.p.h. in one direction.
Then, on the return run, after ” Thund.erbolt ” had appeared to be travelling even faster than before, a disappointment awaited the driver, for the timing apparatus had failed to function. This is worked by a ray, and it is thought that owing to the intense glare off the surface, with the polished sides of the car, the beam failed to be interrupted as the great machine flashed by.
Accordingly the sides of ” Thunderbolt” were painted a dull black, and two days later Eyston tried again.
This time everything functioned perfectly, and Eyston set up new figures as recorded above.