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Fundraising milestone for first 200mph record-breaking car Sunbeam 1000hp, currently on display at Beaulieu National Motor Museum

A FUNDRAISING campaign to restore a car once the fastest in the world, and currently on display at Beaulieu, has reached a milestone.

The historic Sunbeam, designed and built solely to break the 200mph land speed barrier, is undergoing painstaking rebuilding by engineers at the National Motor Museum using specialist knowledge and bespoke parts.

The Sunbeam 1000hp restoration campaign, launched with Hampshire-based Brookspeed Automotive in March, has now reached £50,000 of its £300,000 target.

The Sunbeam 1000hp record car
The Sunbeam 1000hp record car

Once complete, the plan is to take it back to Daytona Beach in Florida in 2027 for the centenary of its record-breaking run.

As reported in the A&T, visitors to Beaulieu can currently see the exposed chassis on display in the museum.

Work so far has included soda blasting to remove loose paint, dirt and rust from the historic car’s chassis, ahead of painting.

The Sunbeam's chassis ahead of soda blasting
The Sunbeam's chassis ahead of soda blasting

When bodywork was removed to expose the chassis it revealed a time capsule of original mechanics’ tools and a preserved shilling with a 1921 stamp found in solidified oil on top of the rear suspension spring. They had remained hidden since legendary racing driver Major Henry Segrave made motoring history in 1927.

Other work includes laser rust removal on axles and non-painted metal.

The Sunbeam’s two 22.5-litre engines, which each produced 435bhp, have not run since before the Second World War more than 80 years ago, due to corrosion.

Its rear V12 aero engine is being reassembled by the museum’s team of mechanics, with funds needed to complete the second engine ahead of the full restoration.

For more information on the project or to donate to the campaign visit www.nationalmotormuseum.org.uk

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