The Flying Celt
J. G. Parry Thomas: Engineer Designer Driver. Land Speed Record Attempt at Pendine, March 3rd 1927
In 1927, some years after its inception, the quest for Land Speed Record supremacy claimed the life of J G Parry Thomas, on the sands at Pendine, South Wales, with the death of the great Welsh engineer driver in his giant LSR car 'Babs'.
'Babs' was developed by Thomas from the Higham Special, originally constructed by Count L.Zborowski and purchased after his death at Monza in 1924. The Highham, a rather crude behemoth, was powered by a 26.9 litre, V12 Liberty aero engine, with transmission through a 4 speed Benz gearbox to side chains, all within a chassis by Rubery Owen.
In its first 'Thomas Special' form, the car, now christened 'Babs', made several runs at Pendine in October 1925, all proving unsuccessful.
After further development, 1926 saw Thomas and 'Babs' again at Pendine. On April 26th they raised the record by almost 17 mph to 169.30 mph, and then, the following day, to 171.02 mph.
In February 1927, Malcolm Campbell in 'Bluebird' raised the record to 174.88 mph, spurring Thomas, having further developed 'Babs' with more streamlined bodywork, wheel fairings, and better engine performance, to return to Pendine once more, and on 3rd March, to make his bid. Just passed the measured mile on the return record run, 'Babs' slewed, rolled, righted herself, and after cutting a huge arc came to rest facing out to sea and on fire.
Thomas had been killed instantly. The great engineer driver sportsman was gone, as was his beloved 'Babs', which was buried beneath the sands of Pendine a few days later, and there to rest for the next 42 years.
In 1969, Mr. Owen Wyn Owen, an engineering lecturer at a Bangor College, negotiated permission to exhume 'Babs' from the sands. After lengthy restoration by Mr. Owen, 'Babs' now relives as a tribute to his engineering skill and enthusiasm, and to that of her creator, John Godfrey Parry Thomas.width 670 mm
height 480 mm
The prints are packed in a sturdy 114mm postal tube to ensure delivery in pristine condition.
There are no additional shipping charges for multiple prints
BABS Dedicationwidth 550 mm
height 350 mm