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Join Date: Aug 2006
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 the Brooklands race track where it holds the all-time lap record (143.44 mph (230.84 km/h)) which was set in 1935. This stands in perpetuity as the circuit was repurposed for military purposes during the Second World War and was never used as a racing track again.
Between 1933 and 1937 the Napier-Railton broke 47 World speed records at Brooklands, Montlhéry and Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
The car is powered by the high compression version (6.1:1) (RAF specification) of the naturally aspirated Napier Lion, a W12 of 23.944 litres (1,461 cu in) capacity, producing 580 brake horse power at 2585 rpm.
The 12 cylinders are in three banks of four (broad-arrow configuration), hence the triple exhaust system, and the engine has standard aerospace features such as dual ignition (magneto type) . The non-syncromesh crash gearbox (aptly named for the horrible noises caused by a mis-shift) has 3 ratios. The fuel tank, located in the boat-tail behind the driver, 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.