“I AM DEFINITELY DETERMINED, IF IT IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, TO ACHIEVE A SPEED OF THREE MILES A MINUTE OR MORE”
(Sir Malcolm, 1885-1949, Holder of World Land & Sea Speed Records)
Excellent Long Typed Letter Signed marked ‘Private and Confidential’ to Major R. O. Skeggs at Vickers,
referring to their “correspondence concerning the Napier Lion car which we are now building. I note that you state the question of the Napier Lion is a very unpopular topic there with some of your people, and should be very greatly obliged if you would let me know why... As far as I know I have done nothing whatever to upset your people. In fact, I went out of my way to place an order with your people for a chassis frame for the 1½-litre on cost basis, solely due to the fact that I appreciated what they had done for me... I rather gathered recently that I was not at all popular with your firm from what Mr Maina has told me... but I could not for the life of me understand why I had upset your people, as I always make a point of never doing this. It is most unfortunate that the frame needs alteration, but this is solely due to lack of foresight on Mr Villier’s part. I am spending so much money on this car, and I am so determined to have the thing right that it is a great pity the proposition which I put forward recently to your Directors will not meet with approval...” continuing that he is “definitely determined, if it is humanly possible, to achieve a speed of three miles a minute or more, and I shall not drop my resolve until I have achieved this, or unless I find that the proposition is impossible. I fully appreciate all you have done in the matter, and I therefore await definitely to hear from your Directors concerning this matter...” with an autograph note by the recipient “Ref. to shareholder meeting the financial posit. Financial risk unpop. He popular...”, 2 sides A4 with fine heading including a picture of the Blue Bird and matching envelope, 42/43 Sussex Place, South Kensington, 7th December
Campbell broke the land speed record for the first time in 1924 at 146.16 mph at Pendine Sands near Carmarthen Bay in a 350HP V12 Sunbeam, now on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. He broke nine land speed records between 1924 and 1935, with three at Pendine Sands and five at Daytona Beach. His first two records were accomplished whilst driving a racing car built by Sunbeam. In 1925 Campbell set a new lap record of 100 mph at Brooklands in a streamlined Chrysler Six. On 4th February 1927, Campbell set the land speed record at Pendine Sands, covering the Flying Kilometre (in an average of two runs) at 174.883 mph and the Flying Mile in 174.224 mph, in the Napier-Campbell Blue Bird.
The Napier Lion is a 12-cylinder, petrol-fueled 'broad arrow' W12 configuration aircraft engine built by D. Napier & Son from 1917 until the 1930s. A number of advanced features made it the most powerful engine of its day and kept it in production long after other contemporary designs had been superseded. It is particularly well known for its use in a number of racing designs, for aircraft, boats and cars.