John Cobb hon­oured

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Giles Chapman

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.

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