Babs

Built as the Higham Special by Clive Gallop for Count Zborowski in 1923, the car was rebuilt by J.G. Parry Thomas following a fatal crash in 1925-26. The car broke the Land Speed Record on Pendine Sands on 29th April 1926 with a speed of 171.02 mph over the measured mile.

Parry Thomas was killed in 1927 while attempting to regain the record. The car was restored by Owen Wyn Owen from 1969.

It is currently on show at the Pendine Museum of Speed

Babs is powered by a 27,059 cc Liberty aeroplane engine developing 500 bhp. Compare this to the engine of the MG SV-R that develops 400 bhp from less than one fifth the capacity

 

 


"This beast of a car looked as though it could kill you twice before even reaching second gear."
 

The Higham Special features in Jasper Fforde's great book "The Well of Lost Plots", in which Miss Haversham from "Great Expectations" uses a speed camera to record 152.76 mph on the A419 just North of Swindon - a disappointing result as the Police had previously clocked her at 171.5 mph on the M4 and on the same speed camera her great rival Mr Toad from "The Wind in the Willows" had recorded over 180 mph in his Merlin-engined special. Although he claimed his car had over 1000 hp at the back axle, knowing Mr Toad, this was probably an exaggeration.

Hint: If you want to understand the plot, I really recommend reading the first two books in the series, "The Eyre Affair" and "Lost in a Good Book", first.

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