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Aston Martin Halford Special

1923-25, Jackson Shed, On long term display

1500cc 6 cylinders, twin overhead camshaft, the world's first turbo-charged car.

In 1923 Major Frank Halford realised that aero-engine design was far ahead of racing car engine design. He bought a crashed short chassis Aston Martin and built an engine specially for this car.

The car first appeared at Brooklands as the AM-Halford but, after fitting a new radiator to reduce cooling problems, it was renamed the Halford Special.

The design was very advanced for its day - 1,500 cc. with a turbo supercharger mounted on the exhaust. The turbo did not work well in practice and it was soon replaced by a Roots type supercharger. The engine has six cylinders, twin overhead camshafts, two plugs per cylinder supplied by two magnetos mounted behind the engine - aircraft practice of the time to reduce frontal area.

It ran in the JCC 200 mile race at Brooklands in 1925 and the following year it won two Brooklands Outer Circuit races. It made a fastest lap at 109.94 mph.

Major Frank Halford raced this car at least 12 times at Brooklands during 1926 where he achieved three 1st placings, three 2nd placings, three 3rd placings, two 4th placings and a 10th placing. He only had to retire from one Brooklands race: after 270 miles of the British Grand Prix while lying 4th.

In 1927 George Eyston drove it at the French Grand Prix where it came 4th.

The car was broken up in about 1930 but the present owner tracked down all the parts of this famous car and re-assembled it back to its original condition.

It is still used regularly in races, hill climbs and sprint events.

Loaned by Mr. James Cheyne.

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