Reid Railton: Man of Speed


Engineering proficiency reveals itself in many forms, but rarely does it articulate itself so profoundly that a lifetime of work achieves legendary status and near cult-like following among peers and enthusiasts alike. Such is the case with Reid Railton, an extraordinarily competent engineer whose breadth of accomplishments have left an indelible mark on automotive design and, land speed and water speed racing records. It is therefore only fitting that celebrating Railton’s life’s work in a biography should be undertaken by perhaps the world’s most prolific author, Karl Ludvigsen. Clearly a labor of love done in concert with Railton's daughter and many contributors Reid Railton Man of Speed is a stunning production detailing all the cars Railton either designed or consulted on. Railton remains the world's most prolific designer of land speed and water speed machines and the author has brought him to life with a fully illustrated and beautifully written tome that is a fantastic, albeit lengthy read. Seen below are sample pages of a book that will delight readers for years to come.
Goldie Gardner's EX.135 land speed record car set multiple records with Gardner's driving ability and a superbly designed advanced racing car by Reid Railton.
Railton designs for Arab Motors included the Arab and the Arab super Sport model, both of which proved high successful road cars and racing vehicles.
With Railton's coaching, Donald Campbell returned his fathers K4 raceboat to its original configuration incorporating Railtons V-drive and gearbox design.
Railton worked for and designed his own motor cars including the Railton Terraplane and numerous other cars with Railton designed chassis and bodies by various period coach builders.
An Arthur Benjamin painting of  the Railton specced Bluebird IV competing in the Ortanza Cup. Benjamin entitled it, "And to hell with you to."
Railton's contribution to the war effort included marine consulting activities that brought him great satisfaction and a long standing relationship with Hall Scott manufacturers of high performance marine engines.
Record breaker John Cobb sits proudly in his Railton Special. the accompanying chart show speeds and acceleration rates for the car when exceeding 400 mph at Bonneville.
John Cobb and Reid Railton with the Hudson 8 record breakers support car at Bonneville where Cobb set his last land speed record at 394 mph. Railton was a consulting engineer for Hudson.
Another of Railton's Thompson and Taylor design is the 1935 Bluebird in which Malcolm Campbell put the land speed record north of 300 mph to cap his land speed career.
John Cobb's 400 mph Railton Special on the salt flats. Inset shows how Railtion always supervised the body installation by manning the front locating pin himself.
Railton was responsible for the design of many of Malcolm Campbell's record breaking cars while working at Thompson and Taylor's engineering and design firm at Brooklands.
Ludvigsen's amazing two-volume set comes in a beautiful matching slipcase with identical dust jackets.It exudes quality and invites readers inside to view Railton's amazing life and works.
The quality of this publication is beyond superb. Two volumes come in a protective slipcase with the cover image on the front. They are tied together with a soft ribbon for shipping. Each volume has its own dust cover and they indicate Vol.1 and Vol 2 on the spines. Together they comprise 848 fully indexed pages jam packed with the life and mechanical creations of an engineering genius. Karl Ludvigsen has created a beautiful and fitting tribute to Reid Railton that anyone remotely interested in boats, automobile and racing vehicles can appreciate. This book belongs in everyone's collection. The author is seen here standing next to John Cobb's Railton Special, one of Railton's greatest triumphs, having exceeded 400 mph on land in 1947.
  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Evro Publishing Limited (July 10, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910505250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910505250
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 2.8 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.8 pounds
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