Campbell had twice re-taken the record from Segrave
in arguably the most exciting days of the world land
speed record, those during the 1930’s. But
even though he remained the current record holder,
he was not satisfied.
Always the perfectionist, Campbell
decided his car must go even faster. The great designer
Reid Railton was called in and hit upon the idea
of using one of the Rolls-Royce R-type racing aero
engines giving 2,500 horse-power-five times the power
of the original Lion engine.
The adoption of a Rolls Royce engine however was
not without problems. First the Bluebird’s
chassis was "stretched" to 27 feet by the
insertion of gussets in the side-members, and these
were also taken further forward to carry a new radiator.
The clutch was also improved to take the extra power,
and room made for an outsize supercharger at the
front of the car.
It was estimated the engine would
last for three minutes at full boost, and Campbell
thought this long enough to reach his new goal of
300 miles an hour.
Many changes had been made to the Lion-engined Bluebird
before the Rolls engine was fitted.
Gurney Nutting reshaped the car to take the new engine.
Campbell came close, but in the end had to be satisfied
with a record of 272.46 mph.