1933 Napier-Railton Specifications

The Napier-Railton Special was commissioned by John Cobb with the object of setting lap records at the Brooklands race track in the UK, as well as establishing endurance records up to 24 hours. The goal was sustained speeds in excess of 150 mph (241 km/h) which was unheard of at that time.

 

Cobb had made a small fortune as a fur broker which, in the 1920s, allowed him to pursue his passion of auto racing. In the early thirties, Tim Birkin, Cobb´s great rival, was beating him with his supercharged Bentley Special. A more powerful car was needed. The task was given to Thomson & Taylor and, more specifically, Reid Railton their chief engineer.

Their starting point was the Napier Lion XIA aircraft engine, a compact, but very powerful, 12 cylinder 'W' design capable of delivering in excess of 500 bhp without supercharging.

Specifications

ENGINE

Napier Lion Type E89 Series XIA

24-litre W12

DOC, four valves per cylinder

Dual Magneto ignition

 

ENGINE MANAGEMENT/ELECTRONICS

Claudel-Hobson carburettors

Champion D16 Sparking Plugs

 

TRANSMISSION

Walker steel flywheel

Open Borg & Beck single-plate clutch

Three-speed non-synchromesh Moss gearbox

No reverse

Hardy Spicer prop shaft

Fully floating back axle with differential

ENV final drive with a ratio of 1.66:1

 

SUSPENSION/CHASSIS

Ladder chassis; 10” high rails

Underslung axles

Front: Semi-elliptical Woodhead leaf springs

Two Hartford friction dampers per side

Rear: Dual cantilever, Luvax hydraulic dampers

One longitudinal, one transverse Hartford damper each side

 

BRAKES

16” drums, rear wheels only, Ferodo linings

Transmission-operated handbrake

STEERING

Bentley worm and peg

Vane type hydraulic damper

WHEELS / TIRES

Rudge-Whitworth wheels

Dunlop 35×6″ to 20×7.5″ (period)

Blockley 21×6.75/7 (current)

 

FLUIDS

65-gal (Imp) fuel tank (Shell 95 Octane unleaded plus Castrol additive)

15-gal (Imp) oil tank (Castrol GP50)

Dry-sump lubrication

Rear-axle oil sump

12-gallon cooling system

 

CABIN

Bluemel steering wheel

Jaeger instruments

 

BODY

Gurney Nutting built bare aluminum body

 

PERFORMANCE

564bhp@2,350rpm

1,184lb-ft of torque

Weight 4,518lb (2,054kg )

Overall length: 16’3″

Wheelbase 10’10″

Track 5’0"

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