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Nov 19 11 5:31 PM
Great pics steps and thanks for clearing up the Ormond/Daytona Beach thing. I couldn't find any definitive info on the web about what was what, sometimes Ormond, sometimes Daytona.I particularly like the chap in the deerstalker hanging out behind the rear axle!
It seems there were a few 'records' set at Daytona before and just after the first world war, which weren't ratified because of the timing set up. I'll see if I can dig up some more on that.
Here's one, Sig Haughdahl and his Wisconsin Special, who recorded a speed of 180mph in April 1922. The Official record at the time was a meagre 124mph and it would be 5 years before anyone (Segrave) beat that speed. The record wasn't recognised because the American Automobile Association weren't in charge of the timing.
Nov 19 11 7:23 PM
A bit more about Haugdahl's (that's the right spelling, got it wrong above) car and more pics. It used a 13.7 litre straight six aero engine developing 250bhp.
What I can't understand is why, having so much speed in hand, he didn't ever attempt the record again, with official timers. Given that his engine size and power were less than other contemporary attempts, and that eventually, it took 4 times that amount of power to exceed 180mph, it all seems a bit fishy to me, but who knows maybe there were reasons there wasn't another attempt.
steps, this will interest you, Haugdahl designed and built a rocket car in 1932. The site I found this on, claimed that it was the first in the world and that the 'famous German Rocket car' was merely a small railcar. I did consider leaving them a comment and links proving otherwise, but life's too short.Apparently Haugdahl's rocket car only managed 45mph.
The rocket car pics are from the Stig Haugdahl archive
Nov 19 11 10:51 PM
Haha i chuckled when i saw that picture Vulpes, Ransom olds hanging on for dear life! Haugdhal sounds an interesting character and i suppose with the mists of time and lack of record keeping,we can only surmise what is written as being fact. Rocket powered cars and aeroplanes were so unpredictable then its a wonder anyone survived,probably why Opel used a cat ! Wondrful black and white photographs of Haugdhal now i know where Top Gear get the name from. Vulpes check out some of the Bonneville speed sites,you,ll find a wealth of information not always relevant to LSR but will take you to websites that will.
Nov 21 11 12:04 PM
I can't find much information about this, but it seems that Campbell broke the record later in 1922, using the same Sunbeam car he'd purchased from Guiness, setting a new speed of 138.08mph at Saltburn Sands in the North East. Unfortunately the record wasn't ratified, because the type of timing equipment used wasn't approved.Two pictures of Campbell, posing and during a run. [image][image] -vulpes_vulpes
I can't find much information about this, but it seems that Campbell broke the record later in 1922, using the same Sunbeam car he'd purchased from Guiness, setting a new speed of 138.08mph at Saltburn Sands in the North East. Unfortunately the record wasn't ratified, because the type of timing equipment used wasn't approved.Two pictures of Campbell, posing and during a run. [image][image]
Nov 21 11 12:18 PM
Skoda broke the LSR (under 2 litre catagory) with a heavily modified Octavia Vrs. 202mph,not bad eh!
Nov 21 11 3:37 PM
In spite of having to now beat a record some 24mph faster than when he set out from England, Malcolm Campbell returned to Verneuk Pan once conditions were more favourable – though favourable is a relative term when applied to that location.
'The Pan' gave the advantage of a track 16 miles long, without the vagaries of tides and wind or the narrow confines of a beach. It brought problems of it's own though. The course had to be prepared, which involved removing very sharp stones from the surface, this in turn left small holes everywhere. The work had to be undertaken in an area where scorpions and puff adders were commonplace, and in temperatures as high as 42ºC in the shade.
When Bluebird finally got to run, dust devils and mirages were a major hazard. Because the course ran due East-West, the Eastbound run was straight into the low early morning sun, causing further problems.
Because the altitude of nearly 3,000 ft, meant that the Napier engine didn't develop quite the same power as at sea level, Blue Bird 'only' achieved a speed of 218.45mph, faster than the record Campbell had left England to beat, but well short of Segrave's new mark. As a consolation, Campbell achieved new records for 5km (211mph) and 5miles (212mph).
Campbell remarking in an interview that "Verneuk pan is the most interesting experience experiment I have ever made." He promised that he'd return there, but never did.
Apparently, the prepared track at 'The Pan' is still visible 80 years later (and no, not the swervy ones in the pic!).
Nov 22 11 12:16 AM
Eventually found out a little bit more about Sig Haugdahl's 'record' and it seems my suspicions may have been right. I found this entry on http://www.landracing.com in a list of record attempts.He made runs according to his statement, of 180 mph (the press said 170 mph). None had ever been confirmed. I did also find a couple of earlier attempts at Daytona, which were successful, but not ratified by the European authorities because 2 way runs weren't made.The first was on February 12th 1919, by Ralph de Palma, who achieved 149.875mph in his Packard 905 Special. The car was a modified passenger car(!), with a 9.9 litre V12 engine (top 2 pics).The 1920 'record' was set by Tommy Milton's Duesenberg on April 27th, with 156.046mph, but I can't find any details about the car (bottom pic).These speeds were much quicker than those achieved for several years in Europe and it seems a pity that these 'records' have fallen into obscurity, because of a transatlantic difference in rules.
Nov 22 11 1:25 PM
Aww . . . . . you two are having such a good time over here, are'nt you
I read it all . . . very interesting.
Nov 23 11 10:11 PM
I,m really enjoying this thread Silver,some brilliant research by Vulpes and i just chuck in the oddball stuff !! I have a book on Donald Campbell written by Tonia Bern-Campbell (his widow) it completely captivated me. A couple of old codgers ! .
Dec 11 11 1:53 PM
In 1929, Sunbeam decided to build a car capable of reaching 250mph, based around two of their aero engines each designed to produce 2000bhp*. The driver was to be Irishman, Kaye Don.
The result was the innovative Silver Bullet. The two engines were mounted in line, supercharged and cooled by 280kg of melting ice (stored in a tank in the nose), to avoid the drag of a conventional radiator. The car also used a rear mounted wing, similar to recent F1 cars – the earliest instance I can find of this (any other offers?).
The engines were never tested properly before being mounted in the car and the car itself was built very rapidly, which all led to problems when it made it's first runs at Daytona in March 1930, with Kaye Don at the wheel. It only achieved a speed of 186 mph, well short of Sunbeams earlier record of 203 with Henry Seagrave's 'slug'. The car was difficult to control and suffered engine fires.
On return to the UK further tests were made at Pendine, but the problems were never resolved and it was sold to Jack Field, a Southport hotelier, who after running some unsuccessful tests himself at Southport beach, scrapped the car. A failure, but a really interesting one.
The crippling costs of running such an ambitious LSR programme eventually drove Sunbeam aero engines into receivership in 1935.
* I'm really sceptical of this figure, since apparently, no bench testing was carried out to give a true power output. Also, it wasn't until the Napier Sabre used in the Hawker Typhoon some decade later, that the RAF got it's hands on an engine delivering that amount of power.
images are from www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk
Dec 11 11 5:27 PM
Blimey v, that's a machine and a half . . . . .was this Kaye Don a woman ?
Dec 29 11 9:11 PM
It does look phallic.....loik ! . Now let's get back on topic for goodness sake.....
Here is a video clip of the 2011 challenger for the fastest (piston engined) land speed record,the car achieved 462mph.....one way,sadly the engine blew up so could not record a second run,and unless it can the record attempt fail's, two run's being averaged then a final speed being accepted.
Feb 24 12 10:07 PM
On this day (24 Feb) 80 years ago Donald Campbell in Bluebird beat the world LSR at Daytona Beach at 253.96mph.The record he beat, incidentally, was his own previous record !
Feb 26 12 10:14 PM
This is such a wonderful thread,land speed records captured the imagination and enthralled countries world wide possibly more than F1 does today,sadly over the years it has almost become forgotten.
Thanks Roadie,fantastic achievement from a speed king.
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