21st July 2015
One of the most iconic events in British motoring history is to be recreated. Blue Bird, the car that broke the world land speed record 90 years ago, is set to return to scene of its victory on the Welsh coastline on July 21st.
The National Motor Museum is staging the event, which saw Sir Malcolm Campbell reach 150.76mph on Pendine Sands, becoming the fastest person ever to travel on four wheels.
Keeping it in the family the 350bhp Sunbeam will be piloted by Don Wales, Sir Malcolm's grandson, a land speed record holder in his own right. He won't however be ploughing the car through the shifting sands, but will be instead working to a more low key agenda which includes demonstration runs and recreating some of the iconic photographs from the original run.
Blue Bird was developed by Sunbeam chief engineer Loius Coatalen, and fitted with an 18.3-litre V12 engine which had been procured from a military aeroplane.
The car went on to successfully claim three world land speed records although it wasn't until Sir Malcolm bought the car, painted it (blue of course) and named it Bluebird that it hit 146.16mph in 1924, before going on to achieve its highest top speed in 1925.
Don Wales remarked: "I am really looking forward to driving the 350hp Sunbeam, which is the car that gave my grandfather his first Land Speed Record. I cannot believe that I will get this fantastic opportunity to drive this iconic machine on Pendine. It will also be fun to dress in costume to look as my grandfather did in the pictures taken 90 years ago.
"My grandfather was a remarkable man and for us to remember him and honour some of his achievements in this way will be very humbling. I really must thank Beaulieu for this opportunity and for all the hard work the restoration team have done on her."
The current land speed record is currently held by Andy Green and was set on October 15th October 1997 in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA. Then he reached a speed of 763.035 miles per hour.
By Tracey McBain