Definitions

Campbell, Malcolm

Campbell-Napier-Railton Bluebird

The Campbell-Napier-Railton Bluebird was a land speed record car driven by Malcolm Campbell.

After Segrave's Golden Arrow, clearly a more powerful engine was required for Bluebird, with a chassis and transmission to handle it. A supercharged Napier Lion VIID was used, with over three times the power of the previous Bluebird and a large premium over Golden Arrow's unsupercharged 900 hp Lion VIIA. This was the first use of supercharging for Land speed record cars. Golden Arrow's innovative vertical aerodynamic stabilising fin was also used, a first for Campbell.

Campbell's nemesis Segrave was killed in an attempt on the water speed record whilst Campbell was scouting for new record courses in South Africa. On his return he set off for Daytona with the new Bluebird, concerned at American challenges to the record. Segrave had, after all, at least been British. On 5th February 1931 he pushed the record to 246 mph, to great popular acclaim. On his return he learned he was to be knighted as Sir Malcolm Campbell. A year later he returned and pushed through to 251 mph. This record stood for another year, until he himself broke it with his next car, the Campbell-Railton Bluebird.

References

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  • Many rare period photos.
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