Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2

Between the absent Turbinator and the Speed Demon it feels like a matter of time before we see a wheel driven record over 500 mph.

Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2
Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2
Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2
Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2
Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2
Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2
Worlds Fastest Jensen Part 2

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More images in the slider above

 Despite the ongoing pandemic situation the South California Timing Association and Bonneville Nationals Incorporated (SCTA-BNI) decided to run Speed Week in August as close to usual as possible.

As you would expect in the year that not many people were able to attend, the salt was as near perfect as a natural surface gets and the stage was set for a truly spectacular year.

The lines were short and the only thing stopping the competitors taking multiple runs was mechanical or electrical breakdowns.

There was also a fair number of motorcycles

The gentleman in the last image is 90 years old and has been competing at Bonneville for the last 14 years. He achieved well in excess of 120 mph.

Very much the spirit of a certain Mr Munro eh?

There were also some familiar faces and vehicles. For various reasons, not all Covid related, only a few of the 'Bend in the Road Gang' were able to attend, but that certainly didn't stop them from having their usual fantastic time.

The undoubted star of the show was the Speed Demon, driven by 74 year old George Poteet. He managed to set a new single engined piston driven record of 469.298 completely destroying the existing record.

Between the absent Turbinator and the Speed Demon it feels like a matter of time before we see a wheel driven record over 500 mph.

A brilliant and spectacular speed week ended on a sour note when Ralph Hudson lost control of his machine whilst trying to better his record of 269.458. He was airlifted to Salt Lake City hospital and at time of writing was in a critical but stable condition.

Ralph is a very experienced competitor and is currently the fastest man in the world on an unstreamlined motorcycle.

We of course send him, his family and friends our best wishes.

Back home things have also been progressing.

Following on from our last missive, you may remember that our engine tuner (Dave at Emerald) had cast doubt, quite correctly, about the strength of the rear end of our chassis.

The images we showed last time were of just one side of the car, it is obvious that when the car was built the strength of the rear end was created using channeling.

All of the corroded channelling has now been removed and replaced with a far sturdier box section, thanks to our wonderful fabricator Harry.

This added strength has allowed us to fit our 'new and improved' 4 link rear suspension set up.

One of the issues with high powered motors is the amount of pressure they put through the leaf springs of a standard car. This is not very friendly to the springs themselves but also takes a bit of the power away before it can be transferred to the tyres.

The 4 link system however has very little in the way of 'give' and so all of the power goes straight to the ground.

The removal of the leaf springs does create the question of where the suspension is coming from. The solution is a thing called a coilover. These are springs over the dampers, far more commonly used on motorcycles.

However as with everything on this project you can't just fit any old spring and damper arrangement.

Yet again the draw of an unusual project has allowed us to make another interesting and exciting connection.

Whilst researching springs and dampers we were recommended to talk to Nigel at GSD Racedyn. Nigel has been working on race car dynamics and suspension since 1982. After a brief telephone call Nigel offered to come over to the car and take some measurements to calculate the optimum spring rates and damping.

The car is currently in Harry's garden, as opposed to Ian's shed, and on a very hot Monday Nigel met up with us. We were expecting a quick measure up all round, a chat as to what we were planning and then an email some time in a week or two with some ideas on them.

On the contrary we had the pleasure of Nigel's incredibly informed company for five hours. As well as taking the figures he required, he gave us a lesson on how to set the car up, toe-in, camber and castor adjustment, even some aerodynamic pointers. A wonderful chap who really couldn't have been more helpful.

Whilst this is his first land speed car he has worked on both Le Mans and Formula 1 cars with many other classes in between.

As we have said before an expert that can explain complicated ideas in simple language is worth his weight in gold.

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