this is how the speed record was broken in 1957



It was August 1957 and the world was preparing for a goal that had not been surpassed since 1939: reaching a new speed record. The legendary racing driver Stirling Moss y MG Motors they traveled until Bonneville Salt Flats from Utah, USA, to meet the 326.69 mark set by Goldie Gardner nearly twenty years earlier.

The car had been handcrafted and designed for just this purpose: the MG EX 181. The 395.32 km / h that Moss achieved at the wheel of the MG racing car served to set a new world ground speed record for Class vehicles. F, with engines between 1.1 and 1.5 liters.

To achieve the new world record, the British rider had to complete two laps of the one-kilometer straight-line course located on the surface of the salt desert of the North American region. The Moss mark was the average maximum speed reached in each of them, and easily surpassed the previous record of 326.69 km / h set by Goldie Gardner in 1939.

The MG EX 181 was a unique car not only because of the records it achieved, but also because of its aesthetics and its production process. And it is that, the project initially devised by MG, became a vehicle capable of exceeding all expectations.

After undergoing rigorous tests in the Armstrong Whitworth wind tunnel to determine the vehicle’s shape based on its aerodynamic behavior, MG engineers began artisanal production to give the MG EX 181 its final look.

The low height above the asphalt was the main characteristic of the vehicle, which used a custom made tubular chassis, with a front suspension derived from the MG MGA and a De Dion axle as a rear suspension. All this wrapped by a teardrop-shaped body that offered hardly any aerodynamic resistance. The engine was housed in the central part of the car, with the cabin just ahead to provide the exact gap for the driver, who was driving in a reclined position.

The MG EX 181 was powered by a 1.5-liter twin-chamber supercharged engine that had been tuned to run on a mixture of methanol with nitrobenzene, acetone, and sulfuric ether. The unit developed a maximum power of 290 hp at 7,300 rpm with a maximum torque of 699 Nm at 5,600 rpm. Two years later, the MG EX 181 got an improved version of its engine to reach 300 hp, allowing Phil Hill to set a new speed record by reaching 410.23 km/h.

Some legendary data that made the MG EX 181 a historical vehicle for the brand and for all motorsport lovers, who can discover it today in the exhibition of the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, England.

Currently, the absolute speed record is held by the Thrust SSC, a hybrid between car and fighter plane,
which in 1997 reached a speed of 1,227,985 kilometers per hour

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