National Motor Museum starts restoring Sunbeam 1000hp

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7 hours ago

Image source, National Motor Museum

Image caption, Ian Stanfield with machined parts which passed crack testing

Work is under way to restore a British car that broke the land speed record almost 100 years ago.

Restoration to the Sunbeam 1000hp is being carried out at The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

Nicknamed The Slug, it was the first car to exceed 200mph in 1927 along Daytona beach in Florida, USA, with Maj Henry Seagrave at the wheel.

The car, which was built in Wolverhampton, has not been run since the 1930s.

It is powered by two aircraft engines, but over time oil in the engines, brakes and chains have hardened and formed a glue-like substance that now needs to be removed by laser. 

Image source, National Motor Museum

Image caption, Engineers at the motor museum sprayed a solution with magnetic particles onto the metal which, when viewed in ultraviolet light, reveals any cracks

Senior engineer Ian Stanfield said: “Oils of this period were vegetable-based, rather than mineral-based.

“Once they’ve gone through a heat cycle, they tend to solidify, very much like cooking fat.

“The oils in this engine and gearbox have been left for 80-odd years. So they’re not only solid, they’re almost like glue.”

Engineers at the motor museum sprayed a solution with magnetic particles onto the metal which, when viewed in ultraviolet light, reveals any cracks. 

They also found a spanner which had been “glued” to the chassis by oil since the world record run. 

Image source, National Motor Museum

Image caption, Major Henry Segrave with Sunbeam 1000hp at Daytona Beach in Florida

Mr Stanfield said the car has completed fewer than 70 miles in its 97 years.

The National Motor Museum is now campaigning to raise £300,000 to complete the work, with £50,000 raised so far.

Chief engineer Doug Hill said: “The best way to preserve a motor vehicle is to have it in running order.

“The ambition is to take this car to Daytona three years from now, and run it down the same part of the beach, 100 years to the day after Seagrave took it and won the land speed record at 203 miles an hour.”

The car’s chassis is currently on display in the Beaulieu museum, with only the wooden steering wheel still in place.



This article was originally published by a www.bbc.com

Read it HERE

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