Blue Bird record breaker on display


Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 350hp record-breaking Sunbeam ‘Blue Bird’ will be one of the main attractions at the Bromyard Speed Festival, which takes place in the Herefordshire town on Sunday 3 April. 

 Campbell’s pioneering record-breaker first captured the Land Speed Record in 1924, registering a speed of 146.16mph at Pendine Sands in Wales. The record was then raised to 150.76mph just a year later, again at Pendine. The 18.3-litre monster produced in excess of 350bhp thanks to its V12 Manitou-derived engine.

 Following record-setting glory, the Sunbeam fell into disrepair, eventually being bought by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu in 1957. The car was a star attraction at the burgeoning Beaulieu Motor Museum for a number of years, becoming a static exhibit after a clogged oil way caused the engine to seize and throw a rod during a start-up attempt in 1993. 

A herculean restoration was recently carried out totalling over 2000 hours, with the famous racer finally bursting into life in January 2014 and touring car shows beginning with Rétromobile in Paris and culminating in it tackling the 2014 Goodwood Hill Climb. 

In addition to seeing the famous car in up close, visitors to the festival will enjoy a rare opportunity to see it being started and driven thanks to planned demonstration laps of the event’s street circuit. 

Former racer Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams will also be on hand throughout the event, while motor manufacturer Morgan – which built its first car in Bromyard – will display a number of its current models in the town’s Market Square.

The event will start at 10am on Sunday 3 April and finish at 4.30pm.

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