1935: Rolls-Royce Campbell driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell

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Rolls-Royce Campbell

United Kingdom
12 cyl. Rolls-Royce "R" Supercharged Aero
36,523 cc
Bore x Stroke:
152.4 x 167.6 mm
2500 bhp @ 3200 rpm
5 Tons (approx)
Top Speed:

276.82/301.73 mph

Irving Special

Campbell had been the first driver to achieve 250 miles an hour, but this had made him set his heart on being the first 300 miles-an-hour man.

This would require some radical changes be made to the Bluebird so that he could find the extra 25 miles an hour needed.

A major operation was begun under the direction of Reid Railton, and the “modified” Bluebird fitted with the Rolls-Royce engine had achieved a staggering 272.46 mph.

Campbell realised that he had ample power, the problem was in transmitting it to the sand; wheel-spin had robbed him of many miles an hour on his last run.

This was tackled by using a special type of rear axle with a separate propeller shaft to each wheel.

To enable the bevel gears and crown wheels to clear each other, one shaft was shorter than the other, so that the wheelbase on one side of the car was shorter than on the other.

There was no differential, and twin rear wheels were used. The body was also changed again, this time by enclosing the radiator in a fairing right across the front of the car, reducing the size of the tail fin, and placing fairings behind the rear wheels.

In this version Campbell first reached 276.82 and eventually broke through the 300 mph barrier.

Sir Malcolm Campbell
Malcolm Campbell and entourage encircle the 1935 Bluebird, which took the record at 301.13 miles per hour.

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