Speed of the Wind

Infobox Automobile generation

name =Speed of the Wind
manufacturer =C.T Delaney
production =one
body_style = Land speed record car
layout =
platform =
engine = Rolls-Royce Kestrel
transmission =
wheelbase =
length =
width =
height =
weight =
fuel_capacity =
designer =

Speed of the Wind was a record-breaking car of the 1930s, built for and driven by Captain George Eyston.

The car was designed by Eyston and E A D Eldridgecite web
title=Ernest Eldridge
] , then built by the father of Tom Delaney cite web
title=1928 Lea-Francis Hyper
] It was powered by an unsupercharged version of the V-12 Rolls-Royce Kestrel aero engine. cite book
title=Speed On Salt
] The car was too large and heavy for circuit racing and was already underpowered by the standards of the absolute speed record breakers. This car was designed for "endurance", more than peak power. Running a supercharged engine with the fuel and materials technology of the day would never have lasted the duration. This particular engine was obtained second-hand from Roll-Royce, where it had previously powered an airflow fan in an engine test cell.cite book
title=The Fast Set
author=Charles Jennings
] Having always been intended for long-term use at ground level, it had been built without the Kestrel's usual supercharger.

For streamlining, a distinctive feature of the car are the two small "nostrils", headlights and air inlets in the nose. These produced less drag than a typical inlet and flat honeycomb radiator. The engine was cooled instead by a surface radiator wrapped around the top of the bodywork, just in front of the driver.

During testing, the car appears to have run, although not competitively, at either Brooklands or Montlhery. [cite web
title=Speed of the Wind running on an unidentified banked track
publisher=Brooklands photo archive


Speed of the Wind was built for long-duration speed records, which were the domain of Ab Jenkins and the Bonneville salt flats of Utah. Jenkins was fond of competition and was instrumental in encouraging British teams to travel to Bonneville.


In September 1935, shortly after Campbell's 300mph record with Bluebird, Eyston broke Jenkins' 24-hour record and raised it to 140.52 mph cite web
title=Mormon Meteor, Land Speed Record


For the 1936 season, Jenkins created the Mormon Meteor by fitting a Curtiss Conqueror V12 into his previous Duesenberg chassis. Eyston returned, with E A D Eldridge as team manager, and his colleague from Brooklands, John Cobb in the Napier-Railton as another competitor.cite web
title=Bonneville Salt Flats Motorsports multimedia exhibit
publisher= [http://www.lib.utah.edu Marriott Library, University of Utah]
(photo of the Napier-Railton at Bonneville)]

Eyston set the first records, averaging 149.096 mph for 24 hours and 136.34 mph over 48 hours.

The Mormon Meteor made its first attempt, beating the average speed to 12 hours at 152.84 mph, but retiring with a driveshaft failure. John Cobb then took Eyston’s 24 hour record at 150.163 mph, but didn't attempt 48.

The Meteor made a second attempt, and this time remained reliable. Its two co-drivers set times of 153.823 mph for 24 hours and 148.641 mph for 48.


The remains of the car were destroyed by bombing during World War II.


Dinky Toys produced a model of the car, both pre- and post-war.

External links

Two photographs in the Brooklands photo archivecite web
title=Brooklands photo archive
] show it outside Delaney & Sons. garage, a popular location for racing in this era. cite web
title=Outside the Delaney & Sons Sunbeam-Talbot garage
publisher=Brooklands photo archive
] cite web
title=Outside the Delaney & Sons Sunbeam-Talbot garage
publisher=Brooklands photo archive
] In both photographs, George Eyston is standing at the far left.

cite web
title=Rear view
publisher=Brooklands photo archive

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