John Cobb honoured
Britain’s forgotten speed king, John Cobb, is being honoured in his home town of Esher in Surrey. A memorial plaque will be unveiled on 21 February at Cranmere Primary School – the site today of a house where he lived for 40 years – by fellow land speed record holder Richard Noble. Brooklands Museum will also bring Cobb’s Napier Railton to the ceremony.
Cobb, born in 1899, first hit the headlines in 1938 when he set a new World Land Speed Record in his Railton Mobil Special at 350mph. By 1947, he’d raised it to 394mph and became the first man to travel on land at 400mph in a one-way run – the average of two runs provides the official record.
‘He was serious and committed,’ says Diana Hatfield, of the Esher Residents’ Association Blue Plaque scheme. ‘For noone to remember him seems wrong.’
He set the 143.33mph Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record in 1935 and died in 1952 trying to break the Water Speed Record on Loch Ness.