First Car to go over 600 km/h

First Car to go over 600 km/h (372.82 mph)

The Railton Special

Spare a little time reading this article because it marks an end of an era, this is the last car with an internal combustion engine that will break any land speed records. This is the last speed record of John Cobb.

In 1939 on the 23th of August the Railton Special broke the previous land speed record (Thunderbolt , 575.34 km/h 357.50 mph) getting his car to 594.97 km/h or 369.70 mph ,you can only imagine the frustration of John hearing from the judges that he was almost the first person going 600 kmh in a car and that the difference was only 6.03 seconds .

It took Railton eight years to build a new car and with the help of Mobil Oil they created a new monster named Railton Mobil Special with a total cost of 100.000 dollars. The power came from two supercharged Napier Lion VIID W-12 aircraft engines developing 1,350 bhp at 3,600 rpm per engine (2700 bhp). You could say that’s not much but the whole car weighted just over 3 tons and that means it had a power to weight ratio of 1.11 (almost 1 horse power per kilogram).

Napier Lion

The only limitations the new car was the transmission and tires but Reid Railton found a simple and ingenious solution to this by simply splitting the drive from each engine to a separate axle, giving four wheel drive.

The land speed record was broken at Bonneville Salt Flats, US in September 16, 1947 reaching the amazing speed of 634.397 kmh (394.196 mph) with John Cobb at the wheel.

The car is currently on display at the Thinktank museum in Birmingham, England.




0 # Bunche 2013-05-28 03:33
I would get sick if i was in that car :-x :P
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