Just got some super-exciting word from Neil Fretwell at the Vintage Hot Rod Association. On the 7th September 2013, the VHRA will be hosting the very first Amateur Hot Rod Races on Pendine Sands, a 7-mile length of beach at Carmarthen Bay on the south coast of Wales, UK. Pendine was the home of land speed racing back in the 1920’s, so you’ll be following legends like Sir Malcolm Campbell and John Parry-Thomas.
Campbell broke the land speed record for the first time at Pendine Sands – in 1924 at 146.16mph in a 350HP V12 Sunbeam, now on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. He broke three more between 1924 and 1935 at Pendine, including the famous 4 February 1927 outing, covering the Flying Kilometre (in an average of two runs) at 174.883 mph and the Flying Mile at 174.224 mph, in the Napier-Campbell Blue Bird. Our American friends will know, of course, that Campbell was also the first man into the 300mph Club at Bonneville on 3 September 1935, averaging 301.337 mph in two passes. Wonder if he ever got a red cap?
John Godfrey Parry-Thomas’s car, which he bought from Count Zborowski’s estate and christened ‘Babs’, was fitted with a 27,059 cc Liberty aero engine, Benz gearbox and chain drive. In 1926, he twice broke the mile & km WLSR then went on to break another 8 speed records in October. Though sadly, in March 1927, in a further record attempt, the car skidded and rolled. Parry-Thomas didn’t survive and the car was buried on the beach where it stayed until 1969 when it was dug up and restored by another Welshman, Owen Wyn-Owen.
And the coolest part? The VHRA has invited the current owner to run Babs as part of the event, along with a number of vintage dry lakes race cars. Racing is open to VHRA members and their VHRA eligible cars only, so check out the link and mark your diaries! You can read more about the event, accommodation and racing classes at the VHRA website: http://www.vhra.co.uk/VHRA/Pendine_Sands.html