Friday 27th October 1933
A world speed record for a diesel-engined car (104.86 mph) was established by George Eyston at the Brooklands circuit driving an AEC. No doubt with bonuses in mind, Eyston specified BP fuel-oil, Castrol lubricating oil, Rudge wheels with Ewart wheel discs, Dunlop tyres, Jaeger instruments, a Dover steering wheel, a Laminex windscreen, Andre Tele-control shock-absorbers, and he sat on a Moseley “Floaton-Air” cushion. It was a pouring wet day, people watching under a sea of umbrellas. The AEC was timed officially over the two-way flying-start km and mile after the racing tyres had been changed for ribbed ones. Though he had difficulties when one wiper blade blew off and the other lifted, he averaged 104.86mph for the km, 101.98 mph for the mile. The publicity handout told us that at 100 mph the AEC gave about 20 mpg of diesel fuel. The FIA did not recognize the records until 1935, but in 1934 Eyston took the AEC to Montlhery and did a lap at 115.41 mph and 10 km at 115.07 mph. In 1936 the AEC was set to establish long-distance records, with co-drivers Albert Denly and Tommy Wisdom. All went well for three hours (97.64 mph), with lanterns put round the track. Then, in the dark, Denly had a very narrow escape when a front wheel came off. But in 1927 the 24-hour target was achieved, at 97.05 mph. Eyston, the supreme record man, then had a Ricardo-converted Rolls-Royce Kestrel aeroengine put into his special long-distance ‘Speed of the Wind’, also built by Delaney’s, and renamed ‘Hying Spray’. After an abortive winter test on Pendine Sands, he took the km and mile CI records at Utah in 1936, the former at 159 mph. At the Paris track he and Denly raised 14 such records with the AEC saloon, which did over 97 mph for 2330 miles, its nose-cowl cut back for better cooling.