“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Andover’s History of Land Speed Records

Let me start by saying that I don't have a fetish for pedestrian underpasses. However, sometimes the art work in pedestrian underpasses needs photographing before it's destroyed by other less able artists.

The first piece of underpass artwork that caught my attention was a mural in Woking, which summarised the destruction of Woking by the Martin Tripods in H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds". My eye was caught again this month whilst I was walking through Andover. Between Junction Road and the town centre there is an underpass that is adorned with pictures of vehicles that have previously held land speed records. The mural was too good to just pass by, so I had to stop and take some pictures.  

Working from the dates and speeds that are shown on the mural I believe the vehicles depicted are those in the below table. However, it should be noted that some of the speeds detailed in the mural differ from those quoted on Wikipedia, also it seems that some records were measured over a mile and some over a kilometre, which gives some variability to the numbers. It is also interesting that the mural depicts a vehicle called “Goldenrod” from 1965, which going by Wikipedia was not a record holder as it was slower than “Green Monster” from 1964!

Name
Power Source
Date
Record (mph)
Jeantaud Duc
Electric
1898
57.65
La Jamais Contente
Electric
1899
65.79
Gardner-Serpollet
Oeuf de Pâques
Steam
1902
75.07
Ford 999 Racer
Internal Combustion
1904
103.5
Stanley Rocket
Steam
1906
127.66
Benz No 3
200 hp (150 kW)
Internal Combustion
1914
124.10
Sunbeam 350HP
Internal Combustion
1925
150.87
Sunbeam
Internal Combustion
1925
152.33
Sunbeam Slug (Mystery) 1000HP
Aeroengine
1927
203.792
Blue Bird
Aeroengine
1928
206.956
Golden Arrow
Aeroengine
1929
231.446
Blue Bird
Internal Combustion
1935
301.129
Railton Mobil Special
Internal Combustion
1947
394.200
Blue Bird CN7
Turboshaft
1964
403.100
Green Monster
Turbojet
1964
434.02
Goldenrod
Internal Combustion
1965
409.277
The Blue Flame
Rocket
1970
622.407
Thrust 2
Turbojet
1983
633.468
Thrust SSC
Turbofan
1997
763.035

So it seems that in the 100 years from 1898 to 1997 man increased his maximum land speed from 57.65 mph to an impressive 763.035 mph. So the question is, how much further can this record be pushed in the next 100 years? It seems that 1000 mph is only just around the corner!

The Underpass.


Blue Bird (1935) & Stanley Rocket (1906).
The Blue Flame (1970) & Goldenrod (1965).
Blue Bird CN7 (1964) & Benz No 3 (1914).
Golden Arrow (1929).
Green Monster (1964), Gardner-Serpollet Oeuf de Pâques (1902) & Blue Bird (1928).
Railton Mobil Special (1947) La Jamais Contente (1899).
Sunbeam Slug (1927), Sunbeam 350HP (1925), Ford 999 Racer (1904) Jeantaud Duc (1898).
Thrust 2 (1983) & Sunbeam (1925).
Thrust SSC (1997) & Unidentified! 
Pictures, Hampshire (April 2014).

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