Could you go over 200mph in 1927 ? Sunbeam 1000HP had the answer
This is a very interesting story about a brand not expected to produce fast cars, left alone the fastest car on earth at the time. Remember as well the British Empire was not at its best when it happened so it was certainly used as a national pride and example of British engineering.
Let me introduce the Sunbeam 1000 HP Mystery, or "The Slug". She is a land speed record-breaking car built by the Sunbeam car company of Wolverhampton in 1926 that was powered by two aircraft engines. It was the first car in history to travel at over 200 mph.
The Sunbeam 1000 HP was the first non-American car to run on Daytona Beach for a land speed record attempt. On 29 March 1927 Henry Segrave drove the car to a new land speed record of 203.79 miles per hour (327.97 km/h), it was the first car to reach a speed over 200 mph (320 km/h). WOW !!
The engines were a pair of Sunbeam Matabele 22.4 litre aircraft engines, previously used in a powerboat. Although best known as the "1000 HP" car, its actual power was closer to 900 hp (670 kW). One engine was mounted ahead of the driver and the other one behind him. The rear engine was started first by using compressed air, then the front engine was started through a mechanical friction clutch. Once synchronised, they were locked together with a dog clutch for the record attempt.
Captain Jack Irving designed the car. The car had new features such as all-enveloping bodywork that assisted aerodynamics and a set of specially-made tyres capable of withstanding 200 mph (although they couldn't last for longer than 3.5 minutes over that speed).
The car's last run was made on a demonstration in the circuit of Brooklands in Surry, UK. The car was just running at a slow speed on only one engine though.
Only one car was produced. She is on display at the Heritage Motor Center at Gaydon in Warwickshire, United Kingdom and is part of British Heritage.