FASTEST ON LAND AND WATER
THOUGH other countries may be supreme in Grand Prix racing, Britain has at any rate shown the world recently that her technicians and her drivers are capable of setting standards in the field of record-breaking which it will be hard to surpass.
Following Major Gardner’s wonderful 200 m.p.h. records with his M.G., both John Cobb and Sir Malcolm Campbell have raised the maximum speed records on land and water respectively.
Cobb was fortunate on arriving at the Salt Flats, Utah, to find the course in good condition, and was not hampered by the rains which have delayed record attempts in recent years. He was able to make a trial run almost at once, and his only trouble throughout was in his engines tending to stall soon after the getaway. The Railton has two
Napier Lion engines (which, incidentally, were once used in Miss Carstairs’ speed boat, “Estelle “), one driving the front wheels and the other the back, but has no clutches. Instead the drive is picked up by means of freewheels on each gearbox, an arrangement giving a positive transmission, without risk of slip, but difficult to get used to.
On his first trial Cobb covered the mile at over 350 m.p.h., and a few days later was timed in one direction at 369243 m.p.h., more than 12 m.p.h. faster than the record set up by Capt. G. E. T. Eyston. However, trouble with one of the engines prevented a second run being made within the allowed period of 60 mins., and the attempt was postponed. Then on Wednesday, August 23rd, Cobb brought the Railton out again, and before a crowd of 10,000 people, gathered in that faraway spot from all over the U.S.A., set up new figures as under :—
The kilometre was thus slightly faster than the mile, whereas on both Cobb’s and Eyston’s attempts last year, the run over the mile proved the faster.
John Cobb’s Railton had received only slight modifications, such as a higher boost, an altered cooling system, and an. improvement in the rear suspension.