1927: Napier Campbell driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell
Napier Campbell (Bluebird)
12 cyl. Napier Lion Aero
502 bhp @ 2200 rpm
The 450 horse-power Napier-Campbell was a masterpiece
of machinery, built without regard to cost, it afforded
no compromise in design or engineering, a car bred
from the single-mindedness and perfection demanded
by Malcolm Campbell.
Fitted with Napier Lion engines,
it would take the land speed record an amazing four
times, and when modified and re-powered as the Rolls-Royce
Campbell, it would take out the record a further
three times, putting the speed up during its reign from
Parry Thomas's 171.02 mph, to a shattering
The chassis was built at the K.L.G. sparking
plug factory with strong and deep side members
made from nickel steel, with four tubular cross-members.
It was an orthodox chassis frame, but bigger and
stronger than others.
Power came from the 12-cylinder
Napier Lion engine, which was in three banks, the
outer ones at 60 degrees to the vertical centre one.
Peak power was 500 horsepower at 2,200 rpm. Each cylinder
had two spark plugs.
had 16 plates driving to an epicyclic gearbox unit
with the rear axle, the final
drive being 1.27 to 1.
A safety factor was that the
steering was duplicated, with a separate steering box
and drop-arm for each front wheel. The body was a
single-seater closely enveloping the mechanical parts.
The gear lever and handbrake were mounted outside