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The Napier-Railton, before a test run at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge.

The Napier-Railton is an aero-engined race car built in 1933, designed by Reid Railton to a commission by John Cobb, and built by Thomson & Taylor. It was driven by Cobb, mainly at Brooklands race track where it holds the all-time lap record (143.44 mph (230.84 km/h)) which was set in 1935 and now stands in perpetuity since the track fell into disuse during the Second World War.

Between 1933 and 1937 the Napier-Railton broke 47 World speed records at Brooklands, Montlhéry and Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. [1 ]

The car is powered by a naturally aspirated Napier Lion, a W12 of 23.944 litres (1,461 cu in) capacity, producing just over 500 brake horse power at 2200 revolutions per minute. The 12 cylinders are in three banks of four, hence the triple exhaust system. The crash gearbox has 3 ratios. The fuel tank has a capacity of 65 gallons and fuel consumption was approximately 5 mpg. Although capable of 168 mph (270 km/h) the car has rear wheel braking only. [2 ]

Postwar owners include Patrick Lindsay and Victor Gauntlett but it was purchased by Brooklands Museum circa 1997 with the support of the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund and other donors. It is maintained in fully-working order and normally on display in one of the museum's 1930s motoring sheds. The car is run regularly and is usually present at the Goodwood Revival motor race meeting every September.

External links

Further reading

  • William Boddy (1966). The 1933 24-litre Napier-Railton. No. 28, Profile cars. Profile Publications.  
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