1927: Napier Campbell driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell

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Napier Campbell (Bluebird)

United Kingdom
12 cyl. Napier Lion Aero
Direct Drive
Dry, multiplate
502 bhp @ 2200 rpm
Top Speed:

174.88 mph

Napier Campbell

The 450 horse-power Napier-Campbell was a masterpiece of machinery, built without regard to cost, it afforded no compromise in design or engineering, a car bred from the single-mindedness and perfection demanded by Malcolm Campbell.

Fitted with Napier Lion engines, it would take the land speed record an amazing four times, and when modified and re-powered as the Rolls-Royce Campbell, it would take out the record a further three times, putting the speed up  during its reign from Parry Thomas's 171.02 mph, to  a shattering 301.13.

The chassis was built at the  K.L.G. sparking plug factory with strong and deep  side members made from nickel steel, with four  tubular cross-members. It was an orthodox chassis frame, but bigger and stronger than others.

Power came from the 12-cylinder Napier Lion engine, which was in three banks, the outer ones at 60 degrees to the vertical centre one. Peak power was 500 horsepower at 2,200 rpm. Each cylinder had two spark plugs.

The clutch had 16 plates driving to an epicyclic gearbox unit with the rear axle, the  final drive being 1.27 to 1.

A safety factor was that the steering was duplicated, with a separate steering  box and drop-arm for each front wheel. The body was  a single-seater closely enveloping the mechanical parts. The gear lever and handbrake were mounted outside the body.

Also See:

Land Speed Record Drivers
Herbert Austin LSR Attempt
History Of The Land Speed Record
Unique Cars and Parts USA - The Ultimate Classic Car Resource