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Old 06-23-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Railton Special



I just finished reading an old MotorTrend article that explored the design of modern race cars. More specifically, they were trying to pick the most beautiful shapes created in the past ten years (I believe the article was published in 1994). Most of...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
Russco
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Default Re: Railton Special

Now thats cool and pretty impressive for such an early design
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Railton Special

Ryan,
Agreed that the Railton is one of the most gorgeous shapes for a competition vehicle ever. As you described the criteria, would it have been left out due to age?

Not to nudge the topic, but I'm curious what was on the list?
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Railton Special

The list was made up mostly of 60's era GP cars, 80's CANAM cars, etc... It did, however, include one of my favorites:

Stutz-Lockhart Special

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Old 06-23-2010, 10:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Railton Special

Don't know if that was the first "pumpkin seed" car but if so it paved the way for a lot of others in all the streamliner classes.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Railton Special

What an awesome vehicle! Powered by a pretty amazing engine with a long proud history powering aircraft and racing cars.

The Supermarine S.5 was powered by a Napier Lion, and is as stunning an aircraft as the Railton Special is a car!



Thanks for some more great history, Ryan!
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Railton Special

Great read! I can only imagine the people watching him run at that speed at the time, hell I'd love to see it now!! What a cool engineered vehicle.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Railton Special

Like to see one with a 100 inch wheelbase. What a beautiful car.
The Supermarine S.5 is too cool.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Railton Special

Imagine what those guys could have done with the technology we have available today.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Railton Special

WOW! Amazing that this is a little known vehicle. Very advanced, IMO, for the era.

Out of curiosity, what diameter are those wheels?!
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Railton Special

They really didn't give a shit about driver safety back then, did they?

Right at the front, no hint of a roll cage or any kind of collision protection. Imagine the uproar today!

Is there any link to this Railton bloke and a Railton car I saw at the Blackhawk Museum outside of SF. From memory it was FWD and had odd looking headlights, c.1929 or thereabouts.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Railton Special

The thing that gets me is that the gentleman racer was sitting out in front on a lawn chair, with no structure at all. Hurts to think about it.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Railton Special

That vehicle is just unreal.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Railton Special

There are more photos from the Brooklands Society page. Near the bottom. I picked it out from the Wikipedia page Ryan linked to.

Just do not click on the logo or the mail title, it will take you to a 'site sitter' a page that holds the link and starts a bunch of pop-ups. If you want to see more, and there are a bunch 5000 or so, use the Archive Index Page link

I really should not have found this at work over lunch hour... I may not get much done the rest of the day.


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Old 06-23-2010, 12:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Railton Special

There was something magic about the days when designers thought making a car a beautiful shape also made it fast. Until Jim Hall came along and screwed it all up...

Haha.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Railton Special

Thank you Ryan; I knew the name but not the details. Very impressive.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Railton Special

I had to get a better look at a Napier Lion W12 engine. I'm not sure of the year or version this one is, but it gives you an idea of what they look like.


3 tons indeed!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: Railton Special

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDhotrod View Post
I had to get a better look at a Napier Lion W12 engine. I'm not sure of the year or version this one is, but it gives you an idea of what they look like.
That is one funky looking engine. It looks like it has 3 banks of cylinders. How odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDhotrod View Post
3 tons indeed!
Several things leap out to me when I look at that photo. First, yeah, the thing is FRICKIN' HUGE!

Second, it appears to have independent front suspension with double A arms, and am I right that it's also 4 wheel drive with one engine driving each of the axles? If that's what I am seeing, then I can see how the driver wound up shoved way out in front of the rest of the car. There was just no room for him in the middle with those mechanical monsters and the huge tanks (Didja see that frickin' tank back over his left shoulder?!) taking up all the space.

I wonder what that thing sounded like blowing past you at full speed. Hell, I wonder what it sounded like inside the cockpit at any speed!



One last observation. Isn't it interesting that he's wearing a dress shirt and a tie? And are those pin stripes on his trousers?

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Old 06-23-2010, 03:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: Railton Special

I think this has been discussed before on the HAMB but there was also the Napier-Railton racer from the '30s...

Shown airborne at Brooklands. Same driver, John Cobb.

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Old 06-23-2010, 03:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Railton Special

Much smaller, but just as pretty, was the MG EX 181 driven by Sir Stirling Moss.
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