• Short Summary

    Parry Thomas' famous racing car 'Babs' had a trial run on Sunday (June 24) - after being buried in Pendine sands, Carmarthen, South Wales for more than 40 years.

    41 year old J.

  • Description

    Parry Thomas' famous racing car 'Babs' had a trial run on Sunday (June 24) - after being buried in Pendine sands, Carmarthen, South Wales for more than 40 years.

    41 year old J. G. Parry Thomas, crashed in 'Babs' in March 1927 while attempting to recapture the world land speed record, which than stood at 174 mph (280 kph). A driving chain on the monster 27 litre car broke and de-capitated Thomas at a speed of around 180 mph (288 kph).

    Local villagers buried the car in the sand where she had crashed - and there she lay until 1969 when efforts to dig her up started, amidst considerable local controversy. The recover effort was lead by Owen Wyn Owen an engineering lecturer at Bangor (North Wales) Technical college. It was he who took the restored Babs on a trial run round a partly disused airfield at Mona on he isle of Anglesay last weekend.

    Powered by her original Liberty aero engine, (27,059 cc) 'Babs' managed approximately 60 mph while in first gear. Each of her 12 enormous cylinders is designed to receive two sparking plugs - to make sure that the vast quantities of petrol/air mixture are all burnt. As yet, only the chassis and mechanical parts of Babs have ben fully restored - her bodywork has yet to be restored.

    SYNOPSIS: At Mona Airfield, in North Wales on Sunday, lecturer Owe Wyn Owen climbs into the driving seat of the famous racing car 'Babs'.

    The 27 litre engine ticks over....
    ....passing the power to the wheels via this chain.

    A gentle little trip for car enthusiast Mr Owen:- nothing remarkable - except that 'Babs' had spent 42 years buried under sand and concrete.....

    She'd lain there since the day in March 1927 when Welsh' speed king' J.G. Parry Thomas crashed here at Pendine Sands, while attempting to break the land speed record of 174 miles per hour, The driving chain which linked the massive aero engine to the wheels snapped, Parry Thomas was de-capitated, and horrified villagers buried 'Babs' in the sands where she had crashed. There she lay.....

    Until 1969 when, after considerable local protest, Mr Owen Wyn Owen announced his plan to raise her from the grave, and restore her. She was in remarkably good condition.

    One tyre was still t full pressure, and the chassis still sound, although her body work had long since corroded.

    It was a three year labour of love for Mr Owen until 'Babs' - missing her bodywork, but mechanically sound - was taken out for her first run in 46 years.

    Once again the 'Liberty' aero engine roared into life - al 27, litres and twelve cylinders of it.

    It was a cautious enough re-birth for the monster car. Mr Owen took her to around 60 m.p.h. staying in first gear. Mr Owen is reticent about future plans for 'Babs' - more spare parts have still to be fitted when they arrive from the United State, but it's thought she may become the main exhibit at a motor museum in the village of Pendine - where Parry Thomas died, and where 'Babs found new life.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAAVF88IEUUHZPVM6HDDRZF0WY5
    Media URN:
    VLVAAVF88IEUUHZPVM6HDDRZF0WY5
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/06/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:55:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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