“The land-speed records have longstanding ties to Rolls-Royce“–Paul Ebeling
Breaking the landspeed record is an extraordinary pursuit defined by courageous ingenuity. Few individuals personify this notion better than Captain George E.T. Eyston, a 3X record breaker who mastered the Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1930s all powered by twin Rolls-Royce R V-12 engines.
Captain Eyston’s tremendous audacity lives and is an inspiration to the firm today.
The yr was 1937 when Captain George Eyston’s Thunderbolt reached a record land speed of 312 mph, powered by 2 Rolls-Royce R V12 aero engines. The British racer was not new to the world of racing as 2 yrs prior, he had already set new 24 and 48-hr endurance speed records held at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA.
For his outstanding achievements, he was presented with the Segrave Trophy an award to “British national who demonstrates Outstanding Skill, Courage and Initiative on Land, Water and in the Air”.
While the world is acquainted with Sir Malcolm Campbell and his car, Blue Bird, he was bettered by Captain Eyston and the new record timing would stay in place till Y 1939. More than 80 yrs later, Captain Eyston’s accomplishments still hold a special place in the chronicles of Rolls-Royce.
Determined to proclaim to the world the inspiring feat, the British marque built 2 special versions of the Wraith and Dawn in a Black Badge finish called the Landspeed Collection. Rolls-Royce manufactured 25 Dawn Black Badge and 35 Wraith Black Badge.
The Landspeed Collection cars are not equipped with the V12 engines seen in the Thunderbolt. Only about 19 of these engines were made and those in the Eyston’s are preserved at the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon and the Science Museum in London.
Motor enthusiasts be sure to mark down these places and make a pit stop when visiting the UK. In replacement, Rolls-Royce has fitted the well-known 6.6-litre twin turbo engine, which also provides the same horsepower as the V12.
In designing the marque’s Landspeed Collection, the allure of the Bonneville Salt Flats has been irresistible to dismiss. Aside from being the prime location for famous motor events, stunning views at night also warrants attention. The Star-filled sky is meticulously captured in the Wraith Landspeed’s Starlight Headliner, which calls to mind the heavens of 16 September 1938, the date that Captain Eyston and Thunderbolt sealed their last land-speed record. Using exactly 2,117 fibre-optic ‘stars’, they are fastidiously placed to resemble the constellations of that date and the largest number of Stars ever fitted in a Roll-Royce Wraith Starlight Headliner.
Elsewhere on the car, identical Grosgrain weave silk and colors as with Captain Eyston’s accolades he had received during his lifetime can be found on the driver’s door: Military Cross for serving in the Great War, a Chevalier Légion d’honneur and the Order of the British Empire. Reminiscence of the Thunderbolt could be seen with the occasional splashes of yellow and black, a combination pertinent in allowing the day’s timing equipment to accurately record the results. The colors are translated subtly onto the clock, which also resembles closely to the instrument dials of the Thunderbolt.
The Landspeed Collection cars are very rare!
Rolls-Royce is a unit of BMW
Have a happy, prosperous weekend, Keep the Faith!