Jump to content


Photo

Land speed record cars - where are they today?


  • Please log in to reply
163 replies to this topic

#1 27neil

27neil
  • Member

  • 32 posts
  • Joined: November 02

Posted 28 December 2003 - 15:16

Does anyone on the forum have any information as to the current whereabouts of previous Land Speed Record cars in the UK.

I understand Thrust 2 and SSC are in the Coventry Transport Museum and the Napier Railton Mobil Special is in the Birmingham Science museum. Bluebird, Golden Arrow, and two Sunbeams at Beaulieu.

Any info on any of the others?, i include a list:


1898 JEANTAUD (Gaston de Chasseloup- Laubat) Acheres 39.24
1899 JENATZY (Camille Jenatzy) Acheres 41.42
1899 JEANTAUD (Gaston deChasseloup- Laubat) Acheres 43.69
1899 JENATZY (Camille Jenatzy) Acheres 49.92
1899 JEANTAUD (Gaston deChasseloup- Laubat) Acheres 57.60
1899 JENATZY (Camille Jenatzy) Acheres 65.79
1902 SERPOLLET (Léon Serpollet) Nice 75.06
1902 MORS (William K.Vanderbilt) Ablis 76.08
1902 MORS (Henri Fournier) Ablis 76.60
1902 MORS (Augieres) Ablis 77.13
1903 GOBRON BRILLIÉ (Arthur Duray) Ostend 83.47
1903 GOBRON BRILLIÉ (Arthur Duray) Dourdan 84.73
1904 FORD ARROW (Henry Ford) Lake St. Clair 91.37
1904 MERCEDES (William K Vanderbilt) Daytona 92.30
1904 GOBRON BRILLIÉ (Louis Rigolly) Nice 94.78
1904 MERCEDES (Pierre de Caters) Ostend 97.25
1904 GOBRON BRILLIÉ (Louis Rigolly) Ostend 103.55
1904 DARRACQ (Paul Baras) Ostend 104.52
1905 NAPIER (Arther E MacDonald) Daytona 104.65
1905 DARRACQ (Victor Hémery) Arles-Salon 109.65
1906 STANLEY (Fred Marriot) Daytona 121.57
1909 BENZ (Victor Hémery) Brooklands 125.95
1910 BENZ (Barney Oldfield) Daytona 131.275
1911 BENZ (Bob Burman) Daytona 141.37
1914 BENZ (L.G.Hornsted) Brooklands 124.10
1919 PACKARD (Ralph de Palma) Daytona 149.875
1920 DUESENBERG (Tommy Milton) Daytona 156.03
1922 SUNBEAM (K.L. Guinness) Brooklands 133.75
1924 DELAGE (Réne Thomas) Arpajon 143.31
1924 FIAT (Ernest Eldridge) Arpajon 146.01
1924 SUNBEAM (Malcolm Campbell) Pendine 146.16
1925 SUNBEAM (Malcolm Campbell) Pendine 150.76
1926 SUNBEAM (Malcolm Campbell) Southport 152.33
1926 BABS HIGHAM SPECIAL (Parry Thomas) Pendine 169.30
1926 BABS HIGHAM SPECIAL (Parry Thomas) Pendine 171.02
1927 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Pendine 174.883
1927 SUNBEAM (Henry Seagrave) Daytona 203.792
1928 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Daytona 206.956
1928 WHITE TRIPLEX (Ray Keech) Daytona 207.552
1929 GOLDEN ARROW (Segrave) Daytona 231.446
1931 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Daytona 246.09
1932 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Daytona 253.97
1933 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Daytona 272.46
1935 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Daytona 276.82
1935 BLUEBIRD (Malcolm Campbell) Bonneville 301.129
1937 THUNDERBOLT (George Eyston) Bonneville 312.00
1938 THUNDERBOLT (George Eyston) Bonneville 345.50
1938 RAILTON MOBIL SPECIAL (John Cobb) Bonneville 350.20
1938 THUNDERBOLT (George Eyston) Bonneville 357.50
1939 RAILTON MOBIL SPECIAL (John Cobb) Bonneville 369.70
1947 RAILTON MOBIL SPECIAL (John Cobb) Bonneville 394.20
1963 SPIRIT OF AMERICA (Craig Breedlove) Bonneville 407.45
1964 BLUEBIRD (Donald Campbell) Lake Eyre 403.10
1964 WINGFOOT EXPRESS (Green) Bonneville 413.20
1964 GREEN MONSTER (Art Arfons) Bonneville 434.02
1964 SPIRIT OF AMERICA (Craig Breedlove) Bonneville 468.72
1964 SPIRIT OF AMERICA (Craig Breedlove) Bonneville 526.28
1964 GREEN MONSTER (Art Arfons) Bonneville 536.71
1965 SPIRIT OF AMERICA. SONIC 1 (Craig Breedlove) Bonneville 555.483
1965 GREEN MONSTER (Art Arfons) Bonneville 576.553
1965 GOLDENROD (Summers brothers) Bonneville 409.277 (wheel driven )
2001 TURBINATOR (Don Vesco) 458.440 (wheel driven)
1965 SPIRIT OF AMERICA. SONIC 1 (Craig Breedlove) Bonneville 600.601
1970 THE BLUE FLAME (Gary Gabelich) Bonneville 622.407
1983 THRUST 2 (Richard Noble) Black Rock 633.468
1997 THRUST SSC (Andy Green) Black Rock 714.144
1997 THRUST SSC (Andy Green) Black Rock 763.035


Thanks in advance.

Advertisement

#2 Aanderson

Aanderson
  • Member

  • 126 posts
  • Joined: July 03

Posted 28 December 2003 - 15:50

[QUOTE]Originally posted by 27neil
Does anyone on the forum have any information as to the current whereabouts of previous Land Speed Record cars in the UK.

I understand Thrust 2 and SSC are in the Coventry Transport Museum and the Napier Railton Mobil Special is in the Birmingham Science museum. Bluebird, Golden Arrow, and two Sunbeams at Beaulieu.

Any info on any of the others?, i include a list:


[B]Not in the UK, of course:

1903 Oldsmobile Rocket (the actual car) apparently no longer exists, but GM did have a pretty accurate replica of this car built for the centennial of GM (actually the Centennial of Oldsmobile) built in 2001, saw the replica on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in February 2002)

Campbell's late 1930's Bluebird is on permanent exhibit at the Museum Of Speed in Daytona Beach Florida, I believe.

Only a few artifacts remain from Frank Lockhart's Stutz Blackhawk, which of course was destroyed in Lockhart's fatal crash at Daytona Beach in 1927. The engine is in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, mounted as it was, in the Spike Jones Special Indy Car (the old Sampson Spl), and various small bits and pieces still exist, I believe.

Sonic I still exists, last I saw it was in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, in the early 1980's.

Spirit of America I, I last saw at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago in 1983.

Mickey Thompson's Challenger I was restored to running condition by his son. I saw this car at the 1994 Oakland Roadster Show (hot rod show--very appropriate place to unveil this car, as MT was pretty much the "King Of The Hot Rodders"). On Sunday evening of the Roadster Show, they fired the car up, nothing like hearing the roar of 4 389cid Pontiac V8's!

The Summers Brothers Golden Rod still exists, I believe, don't know where it is though (Have a cool resin model of this one, by Jimmy Flintstone, in 1:25 scale--nice kit!)

I believe, also, that someone has replicated Fred Marriot's Stanley Steamer LSR car, the original was, of course, demolished in a crash on the sands of Ormond Beach Florida.

It sure would be a find, though, if in some dusty barn in central Indiana were to reveal the 1920-21 Duesenberg twin-straight eight LSR car! This car was preserved for several years after its record runs, by Duesenberg Incorporated, but apparently disappeared in the late 1920's. I have seen pics of it standing both in the Duesenberg factory floor, and in the lobby of their offices in Indianapolis. This one would be a NICE find!

Art Anderson


#3 dbw

dbw
  • Member

  • 993 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 28 December 2003 - 16:49

the marriot stanley was replicated by the redoubtable buck boudiman in hickory falls ...[it shares space with buck's miller golden submarine among other treasures.]

am i right to assume the buck's wife is related to the stanley family?? i heard that somewhere....

#4 Geoff E

Geoff E
  • Member

  • 1,211 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 28 December 2003 - 17:06

BABS is in the small museum at Pendine.

#5 Cirrus

Cirrus
  • Member

  • 1,539 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 28 December 2003 - 17:26

BABS is in the small museum at Pendine.



Whilst the Pendine museum is not large enough to warrant a major outing, it is very atmospheric, with BABS framed in a large window overlooking the sands

#6 Rainer Nyberg

Rainer Nyberg
  • Member

  • 1,767 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 28 December 2003 - 20:17

The controversial BUDWEISER ROCKET is displayed at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum, Talladega.

#7 Magee

Magee
  • Member

  • 379 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 28 December 2003 - 20:58

There's some news of LSR cars at Ugo Fadini's website:

http://www.ugofadini...operstory2.html

#8 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,538 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 28 December 2003 - 22:38

Originally posted by Geoff E
BABS is in the small museum at Pendine.

... except in winter, when it's closed. She's currently at Brooklands.

Jenatzy's Jamais Contente used to be in the Museum of Compiegne in northern France. There was a replica at Goodwood FoS 2002.

#9 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,902 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 28 December 2003 - 23:03

Babs also was on display for a while, soon after its resurrection, in the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland, the connection being Parry Thomas’ involvement with the Leyland Eight motor car.

Some photos of Golden Arrow & Bluebird at Beaulieu....

Posted Image
clickhere for larger image

Posted Image
click here for larger image

Posted Image
click here for larger image

Posted Image
click here for larger image

#10 Geoff E

Geoff E
  • Member

  • 1,211 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 28 December 2003 - 23:18

Jottings by a relative of Parry-Thomas :- http://www.morriganc....co.uk/pt3b.htm

#11 Frank S

Frank S
  • Member

  • 2,157 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 28 December 2003 - 23:34

Posted Image

These Lledos "Days Gone" replicas slipped through my
defenses a few weeks ago.

I can quit any time I want. Really.

#12 Mark Ballard

Mark Ballard
  • Member

  • 160 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 29 December 2003 - 01:09

The Rene Thomas Delage is often seen in VSCC events and owned by the Williamson family (the Sunbeam Tiger also competed in VSCC events until recently

The ex Eldridge Fiat is owned by Fiat itself.

The Blue Flame is/was recently in the German Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim.

I met someone last year who was rebuilding/recreating (depending on your definition) the Hemery Darracq around the original engine.

The 1930s Bluebird is on display in the Dayona Intenational Speedway museum.

I also understand that Art Arfons chopped up the Green Monster and the Thundebolt's remains were buried in a New Zealand land fill site (but I could be wrong about this)

Mark

#13 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,783 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 29 December 2003 - 09:06

I think that the Green Monster was sold to the Anderson family and became the Andersons Pea Soup Monster or something like that!

Campbells 1935 Bluebird was in the Talledega Museum (Motorspert hall of fame) in 1991 when I visited as well as the Bud Bullitt.

Eystons Thunderbolt was in New Zealand on a world tour when ww2 broke out and was stored in a building which then burned down.

#14 Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor
  • Member

  • 1,094 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 29 December 2003 - 12:28

Babs (I took this myself last year I think):

http://www.crasheram...klands/Babs.jpg

#15 Franklin

Franklin
  • Member

  • 323 posts
  • Joined: December 03

Posted 29 December 2003 - 16:13

Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird is on display in the museum/attraction on the grounds of Daytona International Speedway.

The body of the Mercedes-Benz T-80 is on display at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart while its chassis is in storage at a Mercedes warehouse.

Art Arfons original J-79 Green Monster was destroyed in the 600 mph crash at Bonneville in 1966.

Goldenrod is in the possession of Bill Summers.

Walt Arfons cut up the Wingfoot Express II rocket car.

Everyone connected to the Wingfoot Express jet car claims not to know whatever happened to it.

The Budweiser rocket car was formerly at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Alabama but is now at the Rick Hendrick's museum in North Carolina.

#16 David Lawson

David Lawson
  • Member

  • 874 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 29 December 2003 - 16:49

The small museum at Pendine is very interesting and worth an hour or so of your time as Vitesse said check the opening times to avoid a wasted trip - Dylan Thomas's very interesting home is nearby if you do find the museum shut.

As I'm sure we've all done, a visit to the beach pub where the record attempts were based and a walk down the ramp onto the beach and a walk along the sands is also compulsory to get the full experience.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

David

#17 Franklin

Franklin
  • Member

  • 323 posts
  • Joined: December 03

Posted 29 December 2003 - 17:29

http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=44519

Mercedes-Benz T-80 chassis

#18 Steve L

Steve L
  • Member

  • 244 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 29 December 2003 - 20:33

Does anyone have any pictures of Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird as it is now?

I understand it has recently been restored :) after many years of neglect.

I seem to remember there being a big "hoo-hah" in the press a couple of years back about the National Motor Museum turning Segrave's Golden Arrow back into a runner, but this proposal seems to have quietly died a death...... :| .

It was good to see the 350HP Sunbeam out at the Goodwood Revival in September. Shame it couldn't join in the Brooklands parade then, but I think the engine threw a rod a few years ago after they had put a lot of effort into getting it mobile : .

#19 Lotus23

Lotus23
  • Member

  • 1,006 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 30 December 2003 - 02:33

I think I have as much courage as the next guy, but the thought of climbing into Babs and running that chain-driven beast over 170 on the beach tightens my anal sphincter a notch or two!

Ol' JGPT was made of a pretty tough alloy...

Advertisement

#20 gmw

gmw
  • Member

  • 41 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:35

I saw Goldenrod three or four months ago, and it is in reasonable condition. I can't give any details yet, but it will probably be restored and places in a major US museum.

#21 prettyface

prettyface
  • Member

  • 3,029 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:42

Originally posted by Frank S
Posted Image

These Lledos "Days Gone" replicas slipped through my
defenses a few weeks ago.

I can quit any time I want. Really.


Sweet! But what is the silver one?

#22 Frank S

Frank S
  • Member

  • 2,157 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 31 December 2003 - 07:59

Originally posted by prettyface


Sweet! But what is the silver one?

1947 Railton Mobil Special - J. Cobb
http://www.bluebird-...t/john_cobb.htm

#23 prettyface

prettyface
  • Member

  • 3,029 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 December 2003 - 18:24

I hadn't heard of Cobb's exploits outside Brooklands. Fascinating stuff, thanks!

#24 aldo

aldo
  • Member

  • 135 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 06 January 2004 - 19:03

A fibreglass 1:1 replica of Lockhart's 1928 beach car has been made in the US some years ago. It's presently back at the building site of the original: the former Stutz-factory in Indianapolis.
Well made and accurate in size and detail: I had the privilege of seating inside it.
One may find one of my photos in the Ruoteclassiche December 2003 issue, page 9.

In a storage of the Dyatona Speedway Museum I saw, about 5 years ago, one of the magnetos of the White Triplex: apparently, it's the only bit saved from that huge car.

If I remember correctly, the Daytona Country Museum used to have on display the goggles and the cap weared by Lockhart in his final drive.

#25 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 936 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 23 January 2004 - 10:36

Pendine, Djelmo, Campbell, etc... at :

http://www.sandspeed...session*id*val*

#26 Lortim149

Lortim149
  • New Member

  • 1 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 16 December 2005 - 21:21

Darracq "200" V8 record holder 30 December 1905
Being rebuilt "somewhere near Hereford"
Expect to see it during 2006
Hopefully to include Saltburn (july) Goodwood and others
and I hope to "get it lit"
still to fit mag and get carbs to work
would like to talk to anybody who has detailed knowledge on Darracq 80 and 100 machines
http://www.darracq-v8.co.uk

#27 Terry Walker

Terry Walker
  • Member

  • 2,723 posts
  • Joined: July 05

Posted 17 December 2005 - 05:26

I think I have as much courage as the next guy, but the thought of climbing into Babs and running that chain-driven beast over 170 on the beach tightens my anal sphincter a notch or two!
You're absolutely right. I saw Babs at Brooklands in 2004 and when I peered in the cockpit I just shivered. Scarey. Those old time record breakers had balls of iron.

#28 gmw

gmw
  • Member

  • 41 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 18 December 2005 - 06:26

Goldenrod is currently in a shop in Riverside, California in the process of being restored for it's new owner, The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

GMW

#29 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 14 January 2007 - 13:28

Did anyone watch this on January 13th?

One of those few TV programs where you are literally removed from all outside communication and focused on the speed at hand.

The North American Eagle land speed attempt:

http://www.landspeed.com/Default.asp

Posted Image

Posted Image

#30 f1steveuk

f1steveuk
  • Member

  • 3,210 posts
  • Joined: June 04

Posted 14 January 2007 - 15:58

Originally posted by Franklin


Art Arfons original J-79 Green Monster was destroyed in the 600 mph crash at Bonneville in 1966.

.


So what did Art sell on to become the Anderson Pea Soup Monster driven by Slick Gardner??

Thunderbolt has been located in a rubbish tip, a long way down, but the museum in New Zealand is supposed to have the two Rolls-Royce R types that were with it, still on display, though they are only empty cases.

Anyone know what happened to the near complete City of Sterling that was aiming for the speed of sound years before Thrust II let alone SSC??

#31 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 14 January 2007 - 23:17

Repairs completed, the Summers Bros. Goldenrod is now on exhibit at The Henry Ford Museum. For the installation the museum put on a very nice ceremony featuring the family members.

Big hand to restorer Mike Cook and Bob Casey, Curator of Transportation at the HFM, for doing a sensitive, curatorial preservation instead of the usual automotive-style overkill restoration. The Goldenrod was in pretty rough shape from its time on the salt plus sitting outside for many years. With its much milled aluminum bulkhead construction it had basically corroded to death from the inside out. Looks great now.

Craig Breedlove's Spirit of America (the first) is at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. His Sonic I (the second Spirit of America) is still around and was also at the Chicago museum at one time, among other places (I seem to recall it was at the IMS Hall of Fame at one point) but I am not certain of its location at the moment.

#32 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,783 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:00

I always wonder whatever happened to Norman (Wizard) Smiths "Fred H Stewart Enterprise"? I guess it just went to scrap.

#33 Steve L

Steve L
  • Member

  • 244 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:49

So they have definitely found "Thunderbolt", Steve?

I've always thought what a shame it is that there are so few (if any?) of George Eyston's cars still around.

I believe "Speed of the Wind"/"Flying Spray" was destroyed in an air raid(?) and no-one knows what happened to cars like the diesel powered "Black Magic".

It would be a super thing to do, if no doubt expensive to rescue "Thunderbolt" from her grave.

#34 f1steveuk

f1steveuk
  • Member

  • 3,210 posts
  • Joined: June 04

Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:25

I have to say it would be hard to see the side scan I saw, as anything but Thunderbolt, it just amazes me that after the fire, the chassis wasn't deemed worth keeping!! It didn't look that bad in the pictures. I have never had a response from the museum regarding the engine cases as I was trying to track all of the R type engines, but would guess the data plates had been removed anyway.

#35 SpitfireJEJ

SpitfireJEJ
  • Member

  • 42 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 15 January 2007 - 15:00

What became of the Sunbeam Silver Bullet? After Kaye Don's failed attempt in 1930, the car was run again by one Jack Field and later the rather better known Freddy Dixon. Both efforts ended in failure. But what then? I seem to recall there have been recent stories about one or other of the engines appearing recently.

The 1935 Blue Bird was brought over to the Goodwood Festival of Speed a couple of years back. In an utter travesty, it was then displayed for the duration of the meeting at the top of a very high plinth and then immediately returned to Daytona Speedway afterwards. It's post war history seems quite hazy. It appeared in a Pathe newsreel circa 1950 looking already quite distressed, having been used as some kind of attraction at a garage in Wembley. Subsequently there is one story in which it was partially rebodied in order to star in a film, while another report circa 1951 had it going to America having been bought by individuals over there with a view to challenging Cobb's record! It was nearly acquired by Castrol in 1974 for the "Great Motoring Extravaganza" exhibition at Olympia but the then owner required too much money. An 80's initiative by an ex-member of the Thrust team to buy it back and restore it to running order came to naught. I believe it is now owned by Bill France.

#36 Scuderia SSS

Scuderia SSS
  • Member

  • 251 posts
  • Joined: April 06

Posted 15 January 2007 - 15:35

http://www.bluebirdproject.com/

A good read.

#37 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,538 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 15 January 2007 - 16:02

SpitfireJEJ: are you sure about Jackie Field owning Silver Bullet? He was an associate of Billy Cotton and certainly owned the ex-Campbell Bluebird. And of course they were jointly responsible for the Cotton-Field Special ....

Field sold the Campbell car to Billy for £50 on condition that he tried an LSR run on Southport beach! This occurred before the race meeting on September 5th 1936. Cotton managed a one-way 121.57mph over a flying kilometre, apparently frightening himself silly (partly due to a 45mph crosswind!) and ending up in the dunes. He returned to the start and did another run in his Riley, clocking 104.52mph.

#38 f1steveuk

f1steveuk
  • Member

  • 3,210 posts
  • Joined: June 04

Posted 15 January 2007 - 18:20

I must admit, Norman Smith's Enterprise is very often forgotten (like Arfon's Anteater, Djelmo etc), but there are many missing land speed cars, especially the failures!

I am aware of Jack Field buying the 350 HP Sunbeam Blue Bird (always two seperate words for Sir Malcolm's vehicles), but not the 1935 car. On Sir Malcolm's death the estate still had the 1938 Blue Bird K4 hydroplane and the 1935 car, which Donald brought. When he decided to follow in his father's wake, he sold the car to John Simpson to get the R type engines (which came along with the remains of the '38 K3 boat, where it had been at Simpson's Lincoln car dealership on the Great West Road, and Simpson was the man responsible for selling it out of the country. Indeed Cotton's speed match's the Sunbeam more than the 300 mph 1935 car!

#39 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,538 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 15 January 2007 - 18:32

Originally posted by f1steveuk
I must admit, Norman Smith's Enterprise is very often forgotten (like Arfon's Anteater, Djelmo etc), but there are many missing land speed cars, especially the failures!

I am aware of Jack Field buying the 350 HP Sunbeam Blue Bird (always two seperate words for Sir Malcolm's vehicles), but not the 1935 car. On Sir Malcolm's death the estate still had the 1938 Blue Bird K4 hydroplane and the 1935 car, which Donald brought. When he decided to follow in his father's wake, he sold the car to John Simpson to get the R type engines (which came along with the remains of the '38 K3 boat, where it had been at Simpson's Lincoln car dealership on the Great West Road, and Simpson was the man responsible for selling it out of the country. Indeed Cotton's speed match's the Sunbeam more than the 300 mph 1935 car!

Yes, sorry Steve: it was the Sunbeam I meant. There's a picture of Cotton with the car in his autobiography "I Did it My Way".

Advertisement

#40 Magee

Magee
  • Member

  • 379 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 15 January 2007 - 19:58

This review, one I've put together, may be of interest to readers of this thread. (taken from Books thread)



Ab & Marvin Jenkins, The Studebaker Connection and the Mormon Meteors, by Gordon Eliot White, Iconografix, PO Box 446, Hudson, Wisconsin, 54016, USA, 2006, ISBN 13:978-1-58388-173-6, 160 pp, US$32.95

With the current growing interest in land-speed record activities this book is arriving at the right time. Just recently The Fastest Indian movie was released appealing to a wide audience. This movie follows Burt Munro from New Zealand as he realizes his dream of breaking the record for his motorcycle class on the Salt Flats at Bonneville. From what I can gather from this book, Ab Jenkins must have had a super dream to achieve his magnificent goal of popularizing, in the early 30s, a land-speed track on the Salt Flats, driving for automobile companies and setting records, developing his own land-speed cars, being elected as Mayor of Salt Lake City, and raising a family, and his activities run on and on.

Ab Jenkins' father left Cardiff, Wales, in the 1870s for a job in the United States. Ab's mother followed soon after. For what it's worth, it's interesting to note that Sir Anthony Hopkins, the lead character in The Fastest Indian, was born in Wales. David Abbot Jenkins II was born in 1883 in Spanish Fork, Utah, and took the nickname "Ab".

Chapter One's opening photo is one of Ab Jenkins standing beside an Excelsior "autocycle" in 1914 which he drove on the Salt Flats. Slowly, the siren of speed took hold of him as he progressed from car to streamliner, and speed record to speed record.
Prior to his period of building his own streamliners, Jenkins was setting speed records by driving cars such as Pierce-Arrow, Auburn, Cord, and Studebaker between cities and also beating the speed of railroad steam engines pulling coaches. His contract drives were determined to get people off the train and into the client's car. He was also active at Indy earning the Stevens Cup, a 24 hour enduro maintaining over an average of 60 mph in a Cord Coupe. Ab competed on board ovals driving for records supervised by AAA officials. He was also associated with Firestone tires and Conoco motor oil in addition to car companies.

His son Marvin, a commercial pilot, took over from his father after WWII. Ab Jenkins found the record runs becoming too laborious for him at the age of 67. Chapter Ten is devoted to the achievements of Marvin Jenkins, carrying on with his father's drive. Both Ab and Marvin have land-speed records untouched to this day.

The publishing company Iconografix's credo is "Preserving History through the Publication of Notable Photographic Archives". The reader of this book will be very satisfied by the interesting panorama of images of the life of Ab Jenkins, his family, his cars and his adventures chasing speed records. There is much more detail in this book than what appears here. Ab Jenkins' life is captured in text and photos worthy of your motor-sport interest.

Mike

________

#41 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,261 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:58

An Arfons' car at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, in the covered parking lot near the entrance...still there when we were there last month:

http://www.petersen......0FASTEST CARS

Vince Howlett, Victoria, B.C., Canada

#42 SpitfireJEJ

SpitfireJEJ
  • Member

  • 42 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:17

SpitfireJEJ: are you sure about Jackie Field owning Silver Bullet? He was an associate of Billy Cotton and certainly owned the ex-Campbell Bluebird. And of course they were jointly responsible for the Cotton-Field Special

You will find this reference on Page 266 of the definitive Posthumus/Tremayne book on the LSR. I don't know if either Field or Dixon actually owned the car at any stage, but they certainly "tried to make the recalcitrant Bullet work." Another reference (which my ageing mind has buried in Cobweb Corner so don't ask me where) has it that Field ran the car at Pendine. There, it displayed its distressing habit of catching fire quite frequently.

Re Thunderbolt's engines. I believe Eyston had three Rolls-Royce Type R units available. One found its way into the Science Museum where it was displayed - with accreditation of Eyston's custodianship - for many years adjacent to the Schneider trophy winning Supermarine S6b seaplane. It might still be there. I have not been in for quite some time myself. Let's hope one fine day we can see Thunderbolt again in it's formidable glory. It was a rare combination of both brute force and the technical excellence which typified Eyston.

#43 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:38

Originally posted by Magee
His son Marvin, a commercial pilot, took over from his father after WWII. Ab Jenkins found the record runs becoming too laborious for him at the age of 67. Chapter Ten is devoted to the achievements of Marvin Jenkins, carrying on with his father's drive. Both Ab and Marvin have land-speed records untouched to this day.


Marv Jenkins is still with us in his eighties and doing very well, sharp as a tack and fit as a fiddle. He has restored the Mormon Meteor III (the Curtiss Conqueror powered LSR car) and has been showing it all over, most recently at SEMA 2006. If you see the car stop and visit with him... he is a treasure to talk to and always has several fat scrapbooks full of photos near to hand.

#44 rbm

rbm
  • Member

  • 294 posts
  • Joined: October 05

Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:42

Magee,

as we are talking record cars what happened to the Owen & Knight Mark IV T-11 Cooper Streamliner LSR Monza record holder,also records from Montlhery, and Thurleigh (all attempts by Owen and Knight in the '50s).

#45 Magee

Magee
  • Member

  • 379 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 16 January 2007 - 16:20

Richard,

It went into oblivian. Those, perhaps several, who bought the car were more interested in the 1100 Climax it carried. I and others could not track the body's eventual fate. Incidentally,
Michael Knight was eager to find it and get it sent to the UK for restoring.

The car is shown in Doug Nye's Cooper book.

Mike

#46 rbm

rbm
  • Member

  • 294 posts
  • Joined: October 05

Posted 16 January 2007 - 16:47

shame, but seems to be a common fate of vehicles with intresting engines.

#47 f1steveuk

f1steveuk
  • Member

  • 3,210 posts
  • Joined: June 04

Posted 16 January 2007 - 20:51

Originally posted by SpitfireJEJ
SpitfireJEJ:
Re Thunderbolt's engines. I believe Eyston had three Rolls-Royce Type R units available. One found its way into the Science Museum where it was displayed - with accreditation of Eyston's custodianship - for many years adjacent to the Schneider trophy winning Supermarine S6b seaplane. It might still be there. I have not been in for quite some time myself. Let's hope one fine day we can see Thunderbolt again in it's formidable glory. It was a rare combination of both brute force and the technical excellence which typified Eyston.


Don't get me started on the R type!! Eyston had the loan of R25 and 27, one the Schneider trophy winning engine, the other the air speed record engine, his third was at one time R17, but this was the counter clock motor from one side of Miss England II, which he swapped with Malcolm Campbell with R19, and an option on the factory spare R39. Campbell actually owned R37 (Bonneville 301 mph engine) having paid RR £5800 for it. R 25 now resides in the Science Museum, and R25 at Hendon, R37 is at Filching Manor (I part restored it when I was curator there), and it's possible the 1935 car houses either R19 or 39. Campbell's other spare engines went through the hands of Donald, and when K7 was built with a jet, these two engines went to a scrap yard in Hunslow, and were tipped into a hole!!!! Hence why I am curious about the New Zealand "shells"!!!

#48 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 17 January 2007 - 10:45

Originally posted by Franklin

Walt Arfons cut up the Wingfoot Express II rocket car.

Everyone connected to the Wingfoot Express jet car claims not to know whatever happened to it.


Apparently he cut that one up as well - I think this may have later been 'forgotten' to cover up the imbarissment.
A lot of bad blood existed in later years between various parties involved with the first Wingfoot. Much of this seems to be pure jealousy that Tom Green, an engineer with little racing and no salt-flat experience got to drive the car on it's record runs rather than one of Walt's circle of drag racing associates.
Tom is sadly no longer with us but his name is on the list of record holders and fully deserves to be. You don't run over 400mph on land without serious amounts of bravery.

#49 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:14

Originally posted by raceannouncer2003
An Arfons' car at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, in the covered parking lot near the entrance...still there when we were there last month:

http://www.petersen......0FASTEST CARS

Vince Howlett, Victoria, B.C., Canada


I saw it there too, was a bit of a head scratcher. Here is a photo I snapped in the Petersen Museum's parking garage in 2004, so it has been there for a while. As can be seen, this car differs significantly from the record-setting Green Monster, which by all accounts was totally destroyed at Bonneville. At the time there was a sign implying this was the record car, which it is not of course.

Posted Image

#50 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:33

Sometime on the 90s this Green Monster was advertised in AUTOSPORT or MOTOR SPORT for sale at $500,000 or thereabouts and mentioning it's "supersonic potential" - this is pre Thrust SSC obviously. Alternatively you could hire the car as a STATIC exhibit for $5000 per day...wonder if anyone ever did?
This version of the Monster was the car Art crashed in England during a demo tour in the early 70s. I think someone, maybe a journalist he was seriously hurt or even killed when a tyre blew on one run and that prompted Art to sell the car. Later he admitted regretting the sale . He felt the car had the power to top Blue Flame's existing record.
New owner Slick Gardner, had a go in about 1978 but ran with the solid (tyreless) wheels and as Richard Noble and others later found out they simply do not work well on the salt (compared to the softer dried mud surface of Black Rock) and he gave up having scared himself half to death.