The 1920 Sunbeam 350hp – a Land Speed Record breaker…
A Brief History
- Construction of the Sunbeam begins in Wolverhampton during 1919 and early 1920.
- The Sunbeam is scheduled to compete in its first race but a burst tyre causes it to crash during a practice lap.
- Harry Hawker drives the Sunbeam on its first Land Speed Record attempt on 11 December 1920.
- Kenelm Lee Guinness drives the Sunbeam for the first time at the Brooklands Easter Meeting. Second gear breaks during the Lightning Short Handicap but this doesn’t stop Guinness achieving second place in the Long Handicap event.
- On 17 May, Guinness achieves a flying kilometre speed of 133.75mph in the Sunbeam – qualified as a new Land Speed Record.
- Malcolm Campbell borrows the Sunbeam to compete in the Saltburn Speed Trials. Being only a one-way run, his speed of 138mph is not recognised as an official World Record, so Campbell decides to purchase the car in 1923 to undertake a serious record attempt.
- Official Land Speed Record at Pendine, achieving a new record speed of 146.16mph.
- Intent on achieving even greater speeds, Campbell advertised the car for sale with a price tag of £1,500 and made plans to build a new record breaking car.
- July 21 1925 – Campbell decides to make one further land speed record attempt with the Sunbeam and achieves a new Land Speed Record of 150.76mph.
- The vehicle passes through various owners after 1925.
- Purchased by Edward Lord Montagu.
- Fired up in January 2014 following a complete mechanical rebuild. The first time it has been heard in public in over 50 years.
- Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, drives the Sunbeam at Pendine for the 90th anniversary of its 150mph World Land Speed Record on 21 July.