Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Sunbeam Blue Bird

The Blue Bird was the 1924 land speed record holder.  The run was on the beach (Pendine Sands) at Carmarthenshire in South Wales.  Driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell its 18.3 liter (1117 cubic inches) V12 Sunbeam engine carried it to a record speed of 146.16 mph.

Shortly thereafter the car was retired and passed through the hands of several owners before being purchased and restored by Lord Montagu and then displayed at the Montagu Motor Museum.  Montagu ran the car in exhibition runs in 1959 and 1962.

While being test run in 1993 a blocked oil passage caused the engine to seize doing extensive damage including a broken connecting rod and piston exiting the side of the crankcase.  In 2007 a long term engine rebuild by the staff at the National Motor Museum was undertaken.

Read more about the car's history at theoldmotor.com.  Watch a video of the startup here.

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