LandSpeed Louise comments: “Keen kudos to Karl for his exceptionally complete and correct contribution to the historical record of land speed racing. His book has garnered the attention and respect of not only very appreciative readers, but that of colleagues. Until Karl dug in, most motorsports people today had no idea what Railton did, had forgotten, or that he ever existed. Readers have but to scan but a few pages to realize what a void has been filled. All should be prepared to be absorbed into yesterday. “

LONDON (Oct. 19, 2019) – Karl Ludvigsen’s book, “Reid Railton: Man of Speed,”has won the coveted Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (English) for 2019. Presented by the Society of Automotive Historians in the United States, this award is made each year to the book that best advances the understanding of the history of the automobile.
 
Supported by Railton’s daughter Sally Railton Joslin, “Reid Railton: Man of Speed”is the first book dedicated to the life and career of Reid Antony Railton, automotive engineer par excellence and the creator of an extraordinary range of cars. He rose to renown during the 1930s as chief engineer at Thomson & Taylor, Brooklands-based racing-car builders. There he realized the dreams of that era’s top men of speed, including Tim Birkin, Malcolm Campbell, Whitney Straight, John Cobb, Raymond Mays and Goldie Gardner. His great cars powered them all to sensational racing and record-breaking success.
 
“It was the joy of a lifetime to have the opportunity to write about Reid Railton, whose work I have admired for many years,” said Ludvigsen. “I was especially happy for my work to be honored this year, when the SAH celebrates its 50th anniversary. It is also significant for readers to be reminded of Railton at a time when the Bloodhound, another great British land-speed venture, is nearing its first major trial in South Africa. Its aerodynamicist wrote the book’s Foreword!
 
“I was lucky in finding revealing Railton vignettes such as his solving of a mysterious noise in a Hudson prototype. For a 21st-century audience I endeavored to set Railton’s work within the context of his times so it could be better understood by the modern reader. I hope this contributes to a better appreciation of the career of an engineer who deserves to be ranked among the greats of Britain and the world.”
 
Published by Evro Publishing in April 2018, this magisterial two-volume work by one of the world’s foremost automotive historians tells Reid Railton’s personal and professional story in superb detail and fascinating depth. Set against the turbulent background of the 1930s and 1940s, its special focus is on Ludvigsen’s interpretation of Reid’s unique insights – amounting to genius – and technical accomplishments. All are illuminated in 1,000 images in this superbly designed and beautifully produced book.
 
The Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (English) is this book’s fifth award and its second in the United States. Its other awards are the Mercedes-Benz Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy (presented by the Guild of Motoring Writers), the Royal Automobile Club’s Specialist Motoring Book of the Year, the Michael Sedgwick Award (presented by Society of Automotive Historians in Britain) and Best Automotive Heritage Book (presented by the Automotive Heritage Awards).
 
About the author:
Karl Ludvigsen is respected as a close and knowledgeable observer of, and participant in, the world motor industry. In addition to his activities as an executive with GM, Fiat and Ford and head of a consulting company, he has been active for over 60 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some six dozen books to his credit, most concerning cars, drivers, racing and technology, his life-long passion. Many have been garlanded for their high standard of writing and research. The 2019 SAH award is Ludvigsen’s fifth Cugnot prize. He and his wife Annette live in Suffolk, UK.

“Save The Salt”, the volunteer land speed racing group formed to protect the famed international speedway, recently hosted a CBS Network News crew at the Bonneville Salt Flats – at least what is left of it. . .

For those who missed the live broadcast, the show is available using the hot link below.
The Bonneville segment is just over eight minutes in length.
CBS NEWS: Debate Rages Over the Future of the Bonneville Salt Flats

On Saturday, October 5th, 2019, CBS This Morning aired a report on conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The CBS network news crew spent two days on the salt in mid-September observing the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s “World of Speed” event where they spoke with more than a dozen racers, officials and spectators about the unchecked decline in salt crust thickness — essential to safe land speed racing and record setting for amateur motorsports.

I was grateful for the high level of professional journalism demonstrated by CBS This Morning co-host Jeff Glor, producer Dan Ruetenik and cameraman Roger Masterton who conducted interviews with USFRA President Dennis Sullivan and Veteran land speed racer Rick Vesco, both of whom have donated countless hours to the effort to restore Bonneville.

It is my firm belief that restoring Bonneville will require the support of the American public and America won’t support something it doesn’t care about. America can’t care about something it doesn’t know about. That where CBS helped change the conversation and this report was the first national news report about the decline salt crust conditions essential to same amateur motorsports.

Historical racing footage was provided by Pete Farnsworth, builder of the Blue Flame Rocket Car, Danny Thompson shared clips of his father Mickey’s original Challenger runs, Al and Jane Teague’s Spirit of 76 streamliner, and TEAM Vesco of the 500MPH Turbinator along with film clips going back to the 1950s.

Save the Salt is working with local, state and federal government officials and the mine lease holder to implement a 10-year Restore Bonneville program. It will dramatically increase the amount of salt being pumped onto Bonneville after potash is removed. The current pumping program has helped stabilize Bonneville, but the infrastructure must be upgraded in order to restore this historic landmark. In early 2019, the State of Utah appropriated $5 million to the restoration process, contingent upon receiving $45 million from the federal government and other sources. The program will be administered by the State of Utah in coordination with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

For more details: www.savethesalt.org

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