At Brooklands Museum on Tuesday 24 April 2018 Evro Publishing launched Karl Ludvigsen’s magnificent new two-volume book Reid Railton: Man of Speed in the company of some special guests and the awe-inspiring Napier-Railton, pictured above.
Richard Noble OBE, Land Speed Record holder of 1983–97 and project director of supersonic cars Thrust SSC and Bloodhound SSC, attended and said: ‘I can only describe this book as absolutely magnificent. Karl Ludvigsen charts the life and times of Reid Railton in extraordinary detail and the confidence and scale of his research and knowledge is nothing short of astounding. As land speed record enthusiasts we know all about the Campbells and Segraves, but very little about Cobb and almost nothing about Railton, the engineer in the margins of history who made so many of the great British records possible. Not any more. This very special book for every motor racing enthusiast gets pride of place in my library. It is a brilliant read.’
Pictured above at a photo call are, from left, Allan Winn (recently retired as Director of Brooklands Museum), Mark Hughes (Evro’s Publishing Director), Simon Loxley (the book’s designer), Ronald Ayres MBE (Chief Aerodynamicist for Bloodhound SSC and writer of the book’s foreword), Eric Verdon-Roe (Evro’s Chairman), Sally Joslin (Reid Railton’s daughter) and, last but certainly not least, Karl Ludvigsen (author).
Sally Joslin, who flew over from her home in Boston, Massachusetts for the occasion, discusses one of her father’s finest creations with Allan Winn. The Napier-Railton was built for John Cobb and famously is the perpetual holder of the Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record of 143.33mph.
Members of the Railton Owners Club brought along road cars for the occasion. Such was the allure of Reid Railton’s name that it was used for prestigious sporting cars made near Brooklands, at Cobham, from 1933 to 1940.
During the evening Karl Ludvigsen gave an illustrated talk about the unique life of engineering genius Reid Railton to a full-house audience of over 200. The image on which Karl is commenting in our picture above shows Reid in the cockpit of the Railton Special, the Land Speed Record car he designed for John Cobb. Cobb set a new record of 350.2mph in 1938 and in subsequent years went faster still, reaching 369.74mph in 1939 and 394.196mph in 1947.
Proceedings concluded with Karl and Sally signing books.