Conquering the land speed record may not be the goal of every automaker, yet with every attempt it means we have a chance to appreciate a project using the most advanced technology. Nowadays MG Cars is available in limited markets and owned by foreign group, but back in 1950s the British automaker was in the forefront of taking up the land speed record challenge.
In 1957, the MG EX 181 was entered into the Class F land-speed series for its first attempt on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The streamlined body was just 39 inches tall, while the engine is a mere 1,489cc supercharged MGA twin-cam producing 290 hp at 7,000 rpm. The strategy and engineering were completely different from building a hypercar these days, which relies on equipping a powerful engine. Driven by racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, the MG EX 181 reached the speed of 395.31 km/h. The previous record was just 326.70 km/h.
This did not stop MG from going further. The automaker continued to develop the car, and the engine of the MG EX181 was increased to 1,506cc, making it to be classified as Class E with a 1.5 to 2 litre engine. The beefed up engine was able to generate over 300 hp at 7,300 rpm, and was running on 86% methanol laced with nitrobenzene, acetone and sulphuric ether. In 3 Oct 1959, American driver Phil Hill took up the driving seat this time and broke the previous record with a new speed of 410.23 km/h, making it the fastest MG vehicle ever.
Check out the video created by DriveTribe for a detailed account of this amazing record breaker.