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Old 04-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
Jive-Bomber
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Default Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)



My post on the Sunbeam Slug reminds me of another Brit Record Car that didn't fair so well... And there was a dangerous component that both the Slug and "Babs" shared, that was fatal for the latter c...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
koth
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Great story, thanks for sharing it. I just keep thinking about the chain drive and going 170mph... Cahones!!!
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

170mph......chain drive! That's just crazy!!! Great read,Jive...
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Great story- I'd never heard that one. Funny, after all those years under the damp sand it still looked better than that Belvedere they unearthed in Tulsa.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Babs was dug up from Pendyne Sands and restored during the 1970's and early 1980's by Owen Wyn Owen, now retired, then an engineering lecturer at the Gwynedd Technical College, North Wales.

They were a familiar sight at most of the local Vintage Rallies, quite often as just a bare chassis engine before the body was finished.


Mr Owen is a great guy and a wealth of information on vintage racing machinery, he and his son used to campaign a JAP engined Austin 7 in vintage hillclimb/ racing events, so who says bike engines in cars are new?

I used to attend that college in the early 80's as a day release student and although I was never one of his students he was always willing to talk about the progress made on his beloved BABS project.

Babs in motion is an awesome sight and sound.

Some clips of Babs are available on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekiAsPfyr3k&feature=fvsr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3jcw...eature=related

Babs is now displayed at the Pendyne Museum in South Wales, and here is a link to the original builder, J G Parry Thomas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._G._Parry-Thomas
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Babs was dug up from Pendyne Sands and restored during the 1970's and early 1980's by Owen Wyn Owen, now retired, then an engineering lecturer at the Gwynedd Technical College, North Wales.

They were a familiar sight at most of the local Vintage Rallies, quite often as just a bare chassis engine before the body was finished.


Mr Owen is a great guy and a wealth of information on vintage racing machinery, he and his son used to campaign a JAP engined Austin 7 in vintage hillclimb/ racing events, so who says bike engines in cars are new?

I used to attend that college in the early 80's as a day release student and although I was never one of his students he was always willing to talk about the progress made on his beloved BABS project.

Babs in motion is an awesome sight and sound.

Some clips of Babs are available on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekiAsPfyr3k&feature=fvsr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3jcw...eature=related

Babs is now displayed at the Pendyne Museum in South Wales, and here is a link to the original builder, J G Parry Thomas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._G._Parry-Thomas
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Sorry about the double posting, don't know what happened there.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Yet another BABS video on you tube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3TUt...eature=related
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

I remember going to North Wales many years ago and spotting a '29 Bentley on a cottage drive..we stopped for a look see, when this fella came out and said we could take a look arround...couldnt believe my eyes when he opened his garage and there was 'Babs', The fella was Owen Wyn Owen. He restored the car and told us he loved to haul the car out onto the road (public road) very early in the morning and have a blast up and down, very nice guy, he also had about seven Austin 7's in his garage too...great fella!
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Love the sound of it, Can't imagine holding the throttle open at 170+ ... in the sand
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

The pictures don't show any indication of a need to lean over to see. The drivers are looking straight ahead. Lack of a rollbar could lead to severe head injuries if he flipped it due to a broken wheel. Plenty of fast motorcycles run at Bonneville with chain drive.

Jerome
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Awesome story. I can't believe it was still that intact, and that nobody else dug it up and pilfered parts off it prior to it being brought out of the sand. I would love to see more pics of the recovery of it.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Love the HAMB

Keep this kinda stuff coming, please.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jguff View Post
The pictures don't show any indication of a need to lean over to see. The drivers are looking straight ahead. Lack of a rollbar could lead to severe head injuries if he flipped it due to a broken wheel. Plenty of fast motorcycles run at Bonneville with chain drive.

Jerome
I was told he was leaning out the side to see because of the sand and spray being kicked up over the aero-screen
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Here are a couple of pics from the recovery, you can see the intact chain on the left, but no chain on the right...
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

I posted this on the 'who are your Land Speed racing heroes' thread thought it deserved to be seen again..........


John Godfrey ParryThomas - BABS

The car was originally built in 1923 by Count Louis Zborowski as the fourth of his Aero engined Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang cars. Being the last and the largest he named it the Higham Special.
The car was named 'Babs' and after carrying out a considerable amount of work he took it to Pendine for a crack at the landspeed record. This was in October 1925 but the weather precluded any chance of a record breaking run. To cap it all Henry Segrave posted a speed of 152.33 mph. In April 1926 Babs was transported back to Pendine at Shell-Mex's expense for another attempt. After a couple of warm-up runs Parry-Thomas achieved a speed of 169.30. A day later he pushed the record over the 170 mph mark. Campbell was among those who sportingly congratulated Parry-Thomas and, in the nature of the challenge, he prepared his own car for another attempt on the record. In January 1927 he achieved a top speed of 174.883 mph.
As the competition for the record increased Parry-Thomas wanted another crack at it; he knew Henry Segrave was to attempt a run for 200 mph, in Florida. He arrived back in Pendine, unwell with 'Flu', in March 1927 and with the assistance of Shell and Dunlop staff began to prepare the car for a run on the beach. After the usual start and warm up procedures had been followed he set off up the beach on a timed run. The car skidded, turned over and over and then slewed round to face the sea. The scene for those first to arrive was not pretty, Parry-Thomas was still in the car, partially decapitated and burned. the car was on fire and in order to retrieve the body from the blazing wreck two of Parry-Thomas's crew had the unpleasant task of breaking the legs of the corpse before the fire prevented them reaching it. The car was buried in a big hole on the beach and that was thought to be the end of the story.
>>
However, in March 1969, 42 years after the car was buried, the car was dug up by Owen Wyn Owen, a Technical College lecturer for North Wales. Having restored other cars he thought it would be nice to get some pieces of the car to display in a museum as a tribute to Thomas. The car was, however, more complete than imagined, but was badly damaged as a result of the accident and 42 years of salt water had corroded all the aluminium. The car is now restored and on display at Pendine.
>>
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Quote:
Originally Posted by koth View Post
Great story, thanks for sharing it. I just keep thinking about the chain drive and going 170mph... Cahones!!!
It is a great story! Good input from those of you that share.

Maybe poor Parry-Thomas did what I did, many a time, when I was a kid, on my bike. GOT HIS PANTLEG CAUGHT IN THE CHAIN! I caution a racing friend of mine of that very same problem. And, that he should get one of those pants clips, or roll up the cuff. He's got a chain driven Frazier-Nash.

Seriously, it backs up one of the things I'd often lecture a co-pilot: "Son, ya put 'nuf power and speed on anything (like a barn door); it'll fly"
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #18
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Thank God he dug her up and restored it.It seems a pity to let something go to waste.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

Speaking of digging old things up around the UK:

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...13/nazi-bomber
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: Chitty Bang Bang (aka Babs)

There was also a great link on here about Donald Campbell's bluebird boat that was retrieved from the bottom of a lake (along with Mr. Campbell's remains). It is also getting a restoration.
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