The World Land Speed Records

Pendine and the World Land Speed Record

For a short period in its history Pendine was at the centre of attempts at the World Land Speed Record. Between 1924 and 1927, the record was chased, won and held here. The sands were seven miles long. They were hard and flat. They could support large vehicles. Then Pendine and Southport Sands were the only suitable places in the country to try for the record.

Even so, it was still dangerous to travel on them at high speeds. Malcolm Campbell was the first to try Pendine. In September 1924 in he succeeded in his Sunbeam Bluebird with a new record of 146.16 mph for the measured mile. He returned in July 1925 and with the same car set the record at 150.766 mph.

In October 1925 John Godfrey Parry Thomas came with his car Babs. The car had a 27 litre Liberty aeroplane engine under the bonnet. The weather was against him and he left frustrated. He returned with Babs in April 1926. He took the record at 168.07 mph on Tuesday 27th April. The following day after adjusting the carburettors he pushed the record to 170.624 mph for the mile.

Then it was Campbell’s turn again. He came back with his new car, the Napier Campbell Bluebird. In February 1927 he regained the record with a speed of 174.223 mph. Thomas returned with Babs. He died when Babs crashed on 3rd March 1927, while trying to get the record back. Days later Segrave reached over 200mph at Daytona. Pendine was not suitable for these speeds and the competitors moved on.