Tag Archives: SSC

Blue Bird & Pandora – Pendine Sands

Anyone passing through Pendine in Camarthenshire might miss the relevance to the checkered flags on the head board of Sunbeam Dinner.

Sunbeam Diner, Pendine Sands

However if they were to turn left before the Dinner and go through to the small beach car park like the couple in the 1909 Alldays below …

Alldays, Pendine Sands

… they might notice the Museum of Speed, entry just £2.00 when BABS below is resident and free when she is not.

BABS, Museum of Speed, Pendine, Carmarthenshire

Regular readers may remember JG Parry-Thomas became the first man of land to travel at over 170mph when he set a new land speed record aboard BABS on the 7 mile beach at Pendine in April 1926.

Darracq 1.9 Twin, Pendine Sands

On July 21st this 1904 Darracq, builders of the first car to travel two miles in less than a minute, 1.9 Twin and all the other vehicles featured in today’s post gathered to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the previous land speed record of 150.87 mph by Malcolm Campbell.

Sunbeam 3 litre, Pendine Sands

Like the 350hp Blue Bird Campbell drove in 1925 the 1930 3 litre heavy sports car above was made by Sunbeam.

Chrysler Prowler, Pendine Sands

Sunbeam merged with Automobiles Darracq S.A. in 1920 to become Sunbeam Talbot Darracq shortly after Automobiles Darracq S.A. had themselves bought Clément-Talbot to sell Talbot Darracqs. In 1935 the triumvirate went into receivership only to be rescued by the Rootes Group owners of Hillman and Humber who created the new Sunbeam Talbot brand in 1938. Rootes sold a 30% stake to Chrysler who were attempting to establish a presence in Europe in 1964 which gives us a tenuous link to the 2002 Chrylser Prowler seen above.

Gilbern Invader Mk II, Pendine Sands

Adding another touch of local flavor in the car park was the 1971 Gilbern Invader built in nearby Pontypridd.

Blue Bird Sunbeam 350hp, Don Wales, Pendine Sands

Above Sir Malcom Campbells Grandson Don Wales, a World Land Speed Record holder for steam powered vehicles, drives his Grandfathers Blue Bird which was built in 1920 when the car was known as the Sunbeam V12. After several unsuccessful attempts at claiming the Land Speed Record Malcolm Campbell bought the car, which now belongs to the National Motor Museum, in 1924 and turned it into a record breaker.

Napier Railton, Alan Winn, Pendine Sands

Also being demonstrated at Pendine was John Cobb’s Napier Railton seen above driven by the Brooklands Museum’s Director & CEO, Allan Winn. In 1950 the Napier Railton was given a new nose and windscreen and called Pandora for an appearance in the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman staring Eva Gardener as Pandora, James Mason as the Flying Dutchman and Nigel Patrick as a would be land speed record breaker Stephen Cameron. It’s a lovely period flash back movie the trailer for which can be seen on this link, after Stephen pushed the Napier Railton off a cliff to prove his love to Pandora he rescues the car from the sea and restores it and sets an improbably high 200 mph plus record before the car catches fire and has to be driven into the sea to quench the flames. The scenes of the fictional record breaking were filmed at Pendine apparently with Dylan Thomas among the extra’s.

 Jaguar XF Portfolio Sportbrake D, Pendine Sands

Finally this Jaguar XF Portfolio Sportbrake D in the car park was a reminder that Bristol’s own SSC Bloodhound team are making preparations on their own Supersonic World Land Speed Record attempt in South Africa in the not too distant future.

Thanks for joining me on this “Blue Bird & Pandora” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be making the first of three visits to Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance. Don’t forget to come back now !


Engineering Adventure Get Involved – The BLOODHOUND Project

Earlier this year a team of 300 workers in the Hakskeen Pan in the Nothern Cape of South Africa set about clearing rocks and obstacles from 9,500,000 square meters of desert, by hand, in order to prepare a 19 km long surface 500 meters wide in anticipation of the arrival in the new year of what may well prove to be the biggest land based engineering adventure of the decade.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The Hakskeen Pan was chosen by former World Land Speed Record Holder Richard Noble, 633 mph in 1983, and present World Land Speed Record Holder Wing Commander Andy Green, 763mph in 1997, and their BLOODHOUND Project team as the most suitable venue to realise a £15 million pound dream in just over 80 seconds by driving their six and a half ton vehicle at a two way average speed of over 1,000 mph in 2 consecutive runs.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In order to achieve this goal some lateral thinking was required in order to get some basic backing. The BLOODHOUND project was announced in 2008 as one who’s primary mission is too inspire future generations of engineers with a program of school projects in both the UK and South Africa which are designed to inspire youngsters to see the possibilities and realise their dreams through engineering and team work. One school has already broken the Land Speed Record, for a model car.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Serving RAF pilot Wing Comander Andy Green will be taking the wheel of the BLOODHOUND SSC when it gets to Hakskeen Pan and to train for the 2.5g he will experience during acceleration and 3g he will experience during breaking he will be engaged in stunt flying exercises that expose his body to similar forces.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

To propel the 6.5 ton BLOODHOUND SSC to 300 mph the team have acquired a prototype Eurojet EJ200 jet engine which produces 90 kN / 20,000 lb/f of thrust with the after burner on.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Allegedly the motor was destined for a Museum before getting reassigned to Land Speed Record breaking duties.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Two such motors are usually to be found in the Eurofighter Typhoon.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In order to accelerate another 700 mph this device will pump a ton of High Test Peroxide (HTP), highly concentrated hair dye, at 820 psi in 20 seconds through a silver catalyst which instantly decomposes the HTP into a 600°C stream of steam and oxygen which ignites the rockets fuel grain hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, like rubber pellets which will generate another 111 kN / 25,000 lb/f of thrust.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Already dubbed the most expensive fuel pump on a four wheeled vehicle in the world the pump is powered by a 2.4 litre / 146 cui Cosworth CA 2010 V8 motor which was designed for Formula One applications where the revolutions are restricted to 18,000 rpm.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The 18″ rocket was designed by Manchesters Daniel ‘Rocket Dan’ Jubb a self taught roketeer who has been building rackets since he was 5 years old. The first test of the BLOODHOUND SSC rocket were carried out earlier this year and the results exceeded expectations.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The vehicle shown here is a full scale mock up of the real thing which is being built a few miles down the road for me here in Bristol next to the SS Great Britain.

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The 95 kg / 209 lb , Alimex aluminium wheels have been designed with the help of Lockheed Martin, at 1000 mph they will rotate at 10,000 rpm and the rims will experience 50,000 radial G !

BLOOHOUND SSC, Mock Up, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In order to take the world record over 1,000 mph the car will have to make two runs in opposite directions with a combined average timed speed over the flying mile of over 1,000 mph. With only 19 kms of straight desert on which to play with stopping the car safely and turning it around, with in one hour, is crucial to slow the car down air brakes will be deployed once the car has slowed down to 800 mph and once the car has been slowed to 600 mph parachutes will be deployed with disc brakes available at speeds below 250 mph.

Early next year should see BLOODHOUND SSC being given it’s first test runs in the UK before being shipped to South Africa for a crack at setting a 1000mph Land Speed Record.

psychoontyres BLOODHOUND SSC Certificate

If you’d like to get involved with this Land Speed Record Engineering Adventure check out the BLOODHOUND SSC website linked here, the legend ‘psychoontyres’ will be appearing on the car as part of the Name on the Tail Fin program.

Wishing all GALPOT readers and contributors all the best for the New Year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Engineering Adventure Get Involved” edition of “Gettin a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !