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Motorsport: books - world speed record

A book on the land world speed record? Here are books on recordcars, from the Jenatzy Jamais Contente, via Railton's cars and Donald Campbell's Bluebird up to the Bloodhound.

The Land Speed Record - 1898-1919 - Brooklands Portfolio

A portfolio of reports telling how the first Land Speed Record of 39.24 mph was set in 1898 by Count de Chasseloup-Laubet in an electric Jeantaud.
By 1919 the record had been officially pushed up to 124.10 mph by the likes of Rolls, Ford, Duray and other courageous souls.

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Author:R.M. Clarke
Specs:140 pages, 27 x 20 x 0.7 cm / 10.6 x 7.9 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:300 b&w photographs
Publisher:Brooklands Books (GB, 2000)
Series:Portfolio
Book: The Land Speed Record - 1898-1919 - Brooklands Portfolio

The Land Speed Record - 1898-1919

Language: English

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The Land Speed Record - 1920-1929 - Brooklands Portfolio

This portfolio of reports tells how the Land Speed Record criss-crossed the Atlantic during the 1920s. And, how fearless drivers such as Milton, Guinness, Thomas, Eldridge, Campbell, Keech, Lockhart and Segrave pushed it up over 230 mph in evocatively named machines like Babs, Blue Bird, Black Hawk, Golden Arrow and Mephistopheles.

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Author:R.M. Clarke
Specs:140 pages, 27.5 x 20.5 x 1.3 cm / 10.8 x 8.1 x 0.51 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Brooklands Books (GB, 2000)
Series:Portfolio
Book: The Land Speed Record - 1920-1929 - Brooklands Portfolio

The Land Speed Record - 1920-1929

Language: English

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The Land Speed Record - 1930-1939 - Brooklands Portfolio

This portfolio of reports tells how the Land Speed Record was raised from 231.46 mph in 1930 to 368.85 mph in 1939. Featured are articles on Kaye Don's Silver Bullet, Sir Malcolm Campbell's Blue Birds, George Eyston's Thunderbolt and John Cobb's Railton.

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Author:R.M. Clarke
Specs:140 pages, 27.5 x 20.5 x 0.9 cm / 10.8 x 8.1 x 0.35 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Brooklands Books (GB, 2000)
Series:Portfolio
Book: The Land Speed Record - 1930-1939 - Brooklands Portfolio

The Land Speed Record - 1930-1939

Language: English

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The Land Speed Record - 1940-1962 - Brooklands Portfolio

This portfolio of reports tells how the Land Speed Record was raised from 369 mph to 394 mph by John Cobb in the Railton Mobil Special.
Also featured are record attempts by Donald Campbell in Bluebird, Mickey Thompson in Challenger I, Craig Breedlove in 'Spirit of America', and much more. Expert comments by David Tremayne.

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Author:R.M. Clarke
Specs:140 pages, 27.5 x 20.5 x 0.9 cm / 10.8 x 8.1 x 0.35 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Brooklands Books (GB, 2000)
Series:Portfolio
Book: The Land Speed Record - 1940-1962 - Brooklands Portfolio

The Land Speed Record - 1940-1962

Language: English

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Parry Thomas - The First Driver to be Killed in Pursuit of the Land Speed Record

John Godfrey Parry Thomas - J.G Thomas - was by any standards an extraordinary man. From a conventional upbringing as the son of the curate of Rhosddu in Wales, having been born in April 1884, he became a prominent figure in the developing world of high-speed motor car racing and design.
In time, Thomas became the chief engineer at Leyland Motors, a company whose main products were commercial vehicles. But J.G. Thomas was more interested in swifter vehicles and in 1920, along with his assistant Reid Railton, he designed the Leyland Eight, a luxury car which bristled with novel features, such as torsion springs, anti-roll bars and vacuum-assisted brakes.
It was the experience of driving this car around the race track at Brooklands that persuaded Thomas to give up his career with Leyland to become a fulltime motor-racing driver and engineer. With the Leyland Eight, Thomas achieved some success, winning 38 races in five seasons and setting numerous records.

Thomas continued to develop ever-faster cars and eventually he turned his attention to the land speed record. He acquired the 27-litre Liberty engine powered Higham 'Special' and, after re-modelling it and re-naming it Babs, he achieved a speed of more than 170 mph at Pendine Sands, Wales, on 28 April 1926. In so doing, he broke Colin Campbell's record by almost 20 mph.
The following year, Campbell re-took the record, which drove Thomas to attempt to regain his title, once again at Pendine Sands. Sadly, on 3 March 1927, Babs crashed, and Thomas was killed. Thomas was buried at Byfleet in Surrey, whilst Babs was interred in the dunes at Pendine Sands.

Author:Hugh Tours
Specs:180 pages, 23.5 x 16 x 1.9 cm / 9.25 x 6.3 x 0.75 in, hardback
Illustrations:16 b&w photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2019)
Book: Parry Thomas - The First Driver to be Killed in Pursuit of the Land Speed Record

Parry Thomas - The First Driver to be Killed in Pursuit of the Land Speed Record

Language: English

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Ab and Marvin Jenkins: The Studebaker Connection and the Mormon Meteors

It was Ab Jenkins who popularized the vast Salt Flats as a place to run for speed records. In the words of Captain George E.T. Eyston, ''he is the man who made competition at Bonneville possible.''
Jenkins was the first man to run for accepted records at Bonneville, in 1933, and he succeeded both in attracting the British record-setters to the Salt Flats and, himself, set and broke more American and International speed marks there than any man in history. Many of those records still stand in 2006, half a century after his death.

His son, Marvin, grew up with his father's zest for speed, set an unofficial speed record as a youngster, helped Bud Winfield and Lewis Welch build the fabulous Novi Indianapolis cars, worked on the Novi team at Indianapolis and drove the Novi to class speed records at Bonneville.
This then is the story of two men, father and son, their racing cars, their lives and the salt flats where they ran their most famous trials.

Author:Gordon Eliot White
Specs:160 pages, 1 x 1 x 0 cm / 0.4 x 0.4 x 0 in, paperback
Illustrations:200 b&w photographs
Publisher:Iconografix (USA, 2006)
Book: Ab and Marvin Jenkins: The Studebaker Connection and the Mormon Meteors

Ab and Marvin Jenkins: The Studebaker Connection and the Mormon Meteors

Language: English

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Reid Railton : Man of Speed

Reid Antony Railton, Cheshire-born automotive engineer par excellence, created an extraordinary range of cars. He rose to renown during the 1930s as chief engineer at Thomson & Taylor, Brooklands-based racing-car builders.

There he realised the dreams of that era's top men of speed, including Tim Birkin, Malcolm Campbell, Whitney Straight, John Cobb, Raymond Mays and Goldie Gardner. His great cars powered them all to sensational racing and record-breaking success.

This magisterial book, by one of the world's foremost automotive historians, tells Reid Railton's personal and professional story in superb detail and fascinating depth, with special focus on Reid's unique insights - amounting to genius - and technical accomplishments.

Author:Karl Ludvigsen
Specs:600 pages, 30.5 x 25 x 6.8 cm / 12 x 9.8 x 2.68 in, hardback
Illustrations:750 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Evro Publishing (GB, 2018)
Book: Reid Railton : Man of Speed

Reid Railton : Man of Speed

Language: English

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Bluebird CN7 - The inside story of Donald Campbell's last Land Speed Record car

Since the early 1920s the name Bluebird has been synonymous with world speed record breaking on land and water. Driven first by Sir Malcolm Campbell, then his son Donald, and latterly by Donald's nephew Donald Wales in electric powered vehicles, they have consistently pushed records ever higher.

This book is the story of the design and construction of the fastest of the Bluebirds, the Campbell-Norris 7 (CN7). This car, now resident in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in England, is the most sophisticated design ever produced for a wheel-driven record breaker.
Using methods and materials developed for the aircraft industry, the CN7, given suitable running conditions, was capable in 1960 of a speed exceeding that produced by the present wheel-driven record holder 19 years later.

The author was first employed by the designers Norris Brothers Ltd as a design draughtsman on the Bluebird K7 hydroplane. After completing his National Service in the RAF, he rejoined the company to work with the two chief designers developing the specification for CN7, and he later became project co-ordinator for its construction.

Pages of the book Bluebird CN7 - The inside story (1)

Author:Donald Stevens
Specs:160 pages, 25 x 21 x 1.8 cm / 9.8 x 8.25 x 0.71 in, paperback
Illustrations:134 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Veloce Publishing Ltd (GB, 2016)
Series:Veloce Classic Reprint
Book: Bluebird CN7 - The inside story of Donald Campbell's last Land Speed Record car

Bluebird CN7 - The inside story of Donald Campbell's last Land Speed Record car

Language: English

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Last update:05-04-2024