The champion without a crown who achieved a speed record

In the late 50s, Stirling Moss flew into the Bonneville Salt Flat at 395,32 km / h.

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Unlike what happens today with the pilots who compete in the F1, which concentrate their activity one hundred percent in the highest category, in earlier times runners used to participate in other specialties and even sign up for unusual challenges. One case was that of the English Stirling Moss, known as the champion without crown for the four F.1 runners-up that he achieved between 1955 and 1958.

El August 23st, 1957, Moss became a record holder behind the wheel of a MG EX 181. That day, the British mechanics of MG Motors They moved to the salt flat of Bonneville, in Utah, United States, to break the current brand 326,69 km / h set by Goldie gardner en 1939.

Stirling Moss
Stirling Moss having a soda after setting the record at Bonneville.

Each 395,32 km/h achieved by Moss at the wheel of the MG racing car served to set a new world ground speed record for the vehicles of the Class f, with engines between 1.1 and 1.5 liters.

To achieve the record, the British pilot 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. Moss's mark was the average maximum speed reached in each of them.

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.

MG EX 181
The MG EX 181 in detail.

After undergoing rigorous testing in the wind tunnel of Armstrong whitworth To determine the shape of the vehicle based on its aerodynamic behavior, MG engineers began artisan production to give the MG EX 181 its final look.

The low ground clearance was the main feature 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 it offered hardly any aerodynamic drag. 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 CV to 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 the 300 CV, allowing the American Phil Hill, champion of the F.1 in 1961, set a new speed record by reaching the 410,23 km / h.

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

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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