Tag Archives: Winn

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 !


Drive With Care – Dodge Coronet Super Bee

The Dodge Coronet Super Bee owe’s its existence to the intra corporate rivalry between Plymouth and Dodge to become parent company Chrysler’s performance brand. Plymouth took the lead in that rivalry when it introduced the Road Runner in 1968 and under the of Dodge General Manager Robert McCurry Dodge responded with the first Super Bee later the same year.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Senior Designer Harvey J Winn is credited with coming up with the name and Super Bee logo which was also turned into a diecast medallion which identified Dodge’s performance model.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

The face lifted 1969 model, seen here at Shakespeare County Raceway, is powered by the standard 335 hp 6276 cc / 383 cui Magnum V8, which was advertised with the “Cool It” strap line, as being fitted with 440 Magnum heads, valve gear, hot cam and manifolds.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Introduced for the 1969 model was this option, coded N-96, twin “Ramcharger” air induction hood that forces air into the carburetors, unlike the scoops on the “Coyote Duster” option hood for the Road Runner which ‘merely’ acted as vents.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Back in the day the N-96 hood commanded respect at the light’s today it command a premium over Super Bees not carrying this performance enhancing option.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Sitting on a 117 inch wheel base, one inch longer than the Road Runner, the Super Bee was 65 lbs heavier than it’s rival from Plymouth.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Inside the 1969 Coronet Super Bee featured a Dodge Charger Rallye instrument panel, and manual versions had a Hurst Shifter to operate the four speed transmission.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

So far as I know the side vents unlike the bonnet vents are purely decorative, as they were on many contemporary vehicles like the Mustang.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Like the Road Runner the tail featured a wrap around strip, unlike the Plymouth, Dodge did not have to pay Warner Brothers a royalty for their logo.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

Heavy duty features that came standard with the Super Bee included the clutch, suspension, shock absorbers and brakes which ensured that safety was no accident and that owners could drive with care as encouraged in contemporary sales literature.

Dodge Coronet Super Bee, Shakespeare County Raceway

1969 was the zenith of Dodge Coronet Super Bee production with 25,727 ‘383’ units produced, an additional 1,907 1969 models were manufactured with the Magnum 440 Six Pack and 162 with the 426 Hemi motor.

Thanks for joining me on this “Drive With Care” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !