Golden Arrow (car)

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For the contemporary racing seaplane, see Gloster VI.
Golden Arrow
1929 Golden Arrow.JPG
Production one-off (1928)
Designer J.S. Irving
Body and chassis
Body style front-engined land speed record car.
Engine 925 hp, 23.9 litre naturally aspirated Napier Lion W12 aero engine,
ice cooling, no radiator
Transmission 3-speed, final drive through twin driveshafts running either side of driver

Golden Arrow was a land speed record racer. Built for Major Henry Segrave to take the LSR from Ray Keech, Golden Arrow was one of the first streamlined land speed racers, with a pointed nose and tight cowling. Power was provided by a 23.9 litre (1462 ci) W12 Napier Lion VIIA aeroengine,[1] specially prepared by Napiers and originally intended for the Schneider Trophy, producing 925 hp (690 kW) at 3300 rpm.[2] The Thrupp and Maberly aluminium bodywork was designed by ex-Sunbeam engineer J.S. Irving, and featured ice chests in the sides through which coolant ran and a telescopic sight on the cowl to help avoid running diagonally.[1]

The Golden Arrow in 1929.

In March 1929, Segrave went to Daytona, and after a sole practice run, on 11 March, in front of 120,000 spectators,[2] set a new flying mile at 231.45 mph (372.46 km/h), easily beating Keech's old speed of 207.55 mph (334.00 km/h). Two days later, Lee Bible's White Triplex crashed and killed a photographer, leading Segrave to quit land speed racing briefly, only to be killed attempting a water speed record the next year. Golden Arrow never ran again. She is now on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.


  1. ^ a b "Golden Arrow". World of Automobiles. Volume 7. London: Orbis Publishing Ltd. 1974. p. 799. 
  2. ^ a b Tom Northey. (1974). "Land Speed Record". World Of Automobiles. Volume 10. London: Orbis Publishing Ltd. pp. 1161–66. 
  3. ^ "National Motor Museum collection". National Motor Museum. 

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