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Old 05-17-2005, 07:56 PM
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Sunbeam Bluebird Land Speed Record Car 1925

Early in 1921 one Kennelm Lee Guinness (of the famous brewing family and inventor of the K.L.G. spark plug) got an already ageing big black and white V-12 Sunbeam to perform at its best and was timed down the Brooklands Railway Straight at 135 mph, entering the finishing straight at 140 mph.

During practice on the 16th May 1922 KLG was timed by friends on the Railway Straight at 144 mph and on the following day in windy conditions he clocked an official 140.51 mph one way to take a new Brooklands lap record of 123.39 mph along with several other speed records over various distances. His official 137.15 mph flying kilometre record was to stand unbeaten for another seven years.

This was the car subsequently bought by Malcolm Campbell for a bargain price which has never been disclosed, which after a refurbishment he named Bluebird and took to the Fanoe Island speed trials in Denmark where although it recorded a speed of 146.4 mph, which much to Campbell's frustration was never internationally recognised, even though the timing apparatus had been properly certified.

Campbell however, was not a man to be easily defeated and after a lot of expensive tuning work and several abortive outings he took the car to Pendine Sands in September 1924 where he recorded an official two-way kilometre of 146.16 mph, 0.015 of a second faster that Eldridge's previous record set in a Fiat at Arpajon in France. Immediately afterwards he put the car up for sale for £1,500 but then relented and decided to spend some more time on it when he learned that Parry Thomas was about to make a serious attempt to take his record from him in the ex-Zborowski re-bodied Higham Special which Thomas had renamed Babs.

Back at Pendine on 21st July 1925 Campbell lifted his record to 150.766 mph becoming the first driver to exceed 150 mph. To commemorate this he had some large scale models of the Sunbeam built, at least two of which are known to have survived.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:27 AM
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My pics from Beaulieu National Motor Museum......
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Last edited by robcooper; 05-01-2006 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:19 AM
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Ecnelis Ecnelis is offline
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Sunbeam 350HP #3
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