Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Railton Mobil Special, is a one-off motor vehicle designed by Reid Railton and built for John Cobb's successful attempts at the land speed record in 1938.

On 15 September 1938, the Railton Special took the land speed record from Thunderbolt at 353.30 mph (568.58 km/h), also being the first to break the 350 mph (560 km/h) barrier. Eyston re-took the record within 24 hours (357.50 mph / 575.34 km/h), holding it again until Cobb took it a year later on 23 August 1939 at a speed of 369.70 mph (594.97 km/h).

After the Second World War further development and sponsorship by Mobil Oil led to renaming as the Railton Mobil Special. It was the first ground vehicle to break 400 mph (640 km/h) in a measured test. On 16 September 1947 John Cobb averaged 394.19 mph (634.39 km/h) (385.6 & 403.1) over the measured mile in both directions to take the world land speed record, before the American Goldenrod set a new mark for piston-engined, wheel-driven LSR cars eighteen years later.


  1. Amazing to realize that a wheel-driven vehicle could have reached over 350 MPH in those days. I would like to know why the engines are mounted sideways a bit. Undoubtedly something to do with the connections to the driveline?

    1. Dunno, maybe a way to handle the torque? And that driving position, talk about being right in front of everything. God help you if the thing spun out of control! I'd also wager that one big challenge in those years was to engineer tires that could handle the speed and not fly apart.

    2. One engine drove the front wheels, the other the rear due to transmissions couldn't handle both engines. The cant was probably to simplify each drivetrain. See: