Something special for Mexican Salties

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Something special for Mexican Salties

Post by DLRA » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:32 pm

This Sunday Let's Go Cruisin' are having a Texas Hold'em Poker run, start points are Bradford Badges at Mordialloc and Hoppers Stoppers in Hoppers Crossing. They will all meet at Sea Works, a Maritime museum at Williamstown. We did it for the first time last year and it was a fantastic day.

Big Deal I hear you say, what's it got to do with us?

Well I'll just been told that this old bloke has rung up wanting to display his Land Speed Car at Sea Works. The bit's of the story I have is that it's a 3 wheeler, was built at the time or shortly after Donald Campbell set his World Record at Lake Eyre and was intended to give the World Record a shake, but never ran, it's been sitting in a garage all that time ever since.

I haven't seen it, I dunno what it's like but I do know you would all shoot me if I piped up here on Monday saying gee you should'a seen what I saw! So don't say you haven't been told.

The guy that owns it won't be there on Sunday, but he does have some display boards that will be shown with the car and I will be following this up with an article in the next DLRA newsletter.[/img]
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Post by DLRA 112 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:41 am

Thanks Greg, I will not be there but will look forward to reading the news letter. I hope you can post some photos here.
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Post by DLRA » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:50 am

Project 500
Local Williamstown identity Terry O'Hare saw one of the many posters advertising the Texas Hold'em cruise at Seaworks Williamstown and contacted LGC Pres Alan Newton with a view to displaying his car. It took a little while for the story to come out, but this was no ordinary car and we are extremely grateful to Terry for contacting us and a huge thanks to him for allowing us to display this amazing vehicle.

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History

Australians Terry O'Hare and Jack McDonald designed and developed the Project 500 car for an attempt on the Australian Land Speed Record in 1973, which at that time was held by Sir Donald Campbell.

Powered by a Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine with custom designed afterburner. Braking is assisted by two specially designed slotted parachutes fitted to ejection tubes at the rear of the fuselage.

Build cost in 1972 was estimated to be $150 000. Engine has 2750lbs of thrust and 4125lbs of thrust when the afterburner was engaged. Although tested for a recorded 378mph, Project 500 was wind tunnel tested at 500mph plus during the design phase of the project.

Designed to break the 500 mph (804 km/h) barrier, the Project 500 car unfortunately never confirmed its potential due to the unseasonal rains that flooded Lake Eyre that year, causing the attempt to be postponed.

Further attempts were planned in subsequent years but, apart from a test run at Lake Hindmarsh in northern Victoria in 1974 where the car reached 378 mph (608.3 km/h), the Project 500 car never completed a competitive run to challenge Campbell's record.

The Project 500 Jet Car has been fully restored in recent years by apprentices at the Kangan Batman TAFE College. It went on display at the Ford Discovery Centre in November 2004 till January 2005. This seems to be the only other time the car has gone on display in its 35 year history.

Project 500 Jet Car specifications

Power Plant: Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine with custom designed afterburner, developing 2750lbs of thrust or 4125lbs when the afterburner is engaged
Top Speed: Wind tunnel tested to in excess of 500 mph (804km/h)
Frame: Custom designed two-part monocoque construction space frame with shear-pin detachable front cockpit
Body: Hand wheeled alloy outer skin designed for maximum aerodynamic effect
Wheels: Specially designed chrome alloy wheels with expanding segmented brake discs
Parachutes: Two specially designed slotted parachutes fitted to ejection tubes at the rear of the fuselage
Build Cost: $150,000 (1972)

Well there you go, an amazing piece of the long forgotten Australian Land Speed history, unfortunately Terry who still owns the car, wasn't available for me to speak to him on the Sunday, but I will be following him up with a view for a story in the Dry Lakes Racers Australia newsletter.

Does anybody remember this car from 1974 or have any photos or news/magazine articles from that time? I'd be very interested in tracking down some more information. You can contact me direct at gregwapling@hotmail.com

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Post by w3stie » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:07 pm

Wow! Thunderbirds are go :D

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Post by DLRA 112 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:27 pm

Thanks Greg,

Well that is interesting about Lake Hindmarsh. That lake would be dry now as it is out of Jeparit or north west of Horsham Vic and part of the currently dry Wimmera river.

I am sure the news papers of the time would have something of it then.

http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_dis ... m?park=126

and this one will show you a map

http://www.dmsc.vic.edu.au/community.html
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Post by Reverend Hedgash » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:31 pm

Wow!! What a pity it didn't get a shot, "I coulda been a contender..." status would be well justified.

Great looking vehicle too.

I wonder what other LSR barnfinds are out there...

It would be good to have a DLRA night where we get blokes like this to tell their story, I am sure there would be plenty of empathy and a good deal of respect given.

Has this been mooted previously?

Thanks Greg for posting.

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