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Napier-Railton

The award-winning Napier-Railton is away until Monday 15th July, on display at The Peninsula Hotel and at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

We are thrilled to announce that the Napier-Railton has won Best Car at Montlhéry, France this May 2024! The Napier-Railton returns on the 14th May, from the trip celebrating the tracks 100th year anniversary.

Commissioned by the Brooklands driver John Cobb, and designed by Reid Railton, the Napier-Railton was built by Thomson and Taylor at their engineering works within the Brooklands Track.

The car was completed in 1933 and first appeared in a race at Brooklands in August of that year. Designed specifically to break endurance records and race at Brooklands, the Napier-Railton excelled at both. It won several high-profile races at Brooklands, broke numerous world endurance records, and set the ultimate Brooklands lap record.

The Napier-Railton’s racing days at Brooklands came to an end in 1937 as it became too heavily penalised by the handicapper to win races, but the story didn’t end there. In 1949, the car was hired from John Cobb by the Romulus Film Company and was used in ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’, a film about a racing car driver starring James Mason. Then in 1951, the car was sold to the GQ Parachute Company of Woking, who had the car modified for testing aircraft braking parachute on the runway at Dunsfold airfield. The car then passed through many private owners before Brooklands Museum returned it to its rightful home with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

 

We’re delighted to announce that the Napier-Railton will be going to Montlhéry, France for the 100th anniversary of the track. It will depart tomorrow, 9th May and returning on Tuesday 14th May.

Official sponsor: Longstone Tyres

For attempts on the World 24-hour record Cobb took the Napier-Railton to Montlhéry in France in 1933 and in 1934, achieving multiple world records:

Six World Records in 1933: 200 miles at 125.64mph, 500km at 123.63mph, 500 miles at 123.27mph, 1,000km at 122.05mph, Three Hours at 124.33mph, Six Hours at 122.62mph and six Class A Records including One Hour at 126.83mph.

Five World Records in 1934; 1,000km at 122.82mph, Six Hours at 123.01mph, 12 Hours at 121.19mph, 2,000km at 120.71mph and 3,000km at 120.71mph

Collection Data

Date Built
1933

Location
ERA Shed

Category
Cars

Technical 
Specifications

  • 24-litre, 12 cylinder, Napier Lion aero engine
  • 535 bhp at 2550 rpm
  • 1300 ft/lbs torque
  • Top speed c.170mph
  • Three speed Moss gearbox without reverse

Races & Records

  • 21/9/1935, Winner of the BRDC 500 Miles Race at Brooklands
  • 7/10/1935, Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record by John Cobb of 143.44mph (a record never beaten).
  • 12/9/1936, World 24-hour record at an average speed of 150.6 mph on Bonneville Salt Flats
  • 18/9/1937, Winner of the BRDC 500 Kilometre Race at Brooklands