THE WAKEFIELD TROPHY - H.O.D. SEGRAVE 1929
FOR THE WORLD'S LAND SPEED RECORD
A fine and large silver trophy in the form of the "God of Speed"; beautifully sculpted and crafted in classic Art-Deco style by Phoebe Stabler; hallmarked stamps London 1929, stamped with the artist's name to base of figure, mounted upon a carved polished marble base, having applied silver plaques engraved and inscribed "The Sir Charles Wakefield Trophy for Maximum Speed - Winner Major Sir Henry Segrave - The Golden Arrow, speed 231.362mph attained at Daytona Beach March 11th 1929": it is presented complete with its original velvet-lined, polished oak, portable display-cabinet. Height 24ins (60cm)
For the manufacturers of motor cars and for the racing motorist during the period following the Great War, there was felt a world-wide need for recognition via engineering development and technology, coupled with the ability and skill of the individual, to go where no man had gone before in terms of personal achievement. To this end in various fields of motor-powered speed-sport the wealthy industrialist & philanthropist Sir Charles, later Lord Wakefield provided sponsorship and prize-funding to support and encourage endeavour to attain the fastest speeds on land, sea and in the air. To Englishmen in particular this kind of heroic daredevil pursuit was highly attractive and in the mid 1920s two individuals stood out as the principal rivals and contenders for the crown of 'fastest man on earth'. Captain Malcolm Campbell and Major de Hane Segrave, both having distinguished war records, both having gravitated to motor-racing, in which this peacetime pursuit provided further challenges of courage and daring to enhance their reputations. Campbell had started the ball rolling with his famous 'Bluebird' nicknamed Sunbeam-engined cars from 1922-1926 during which time he held sway, until Segrave driving the mighty 1,000hp Sunbeam, specially built by the Wolverhampton-based company for record-breaking purposes, achieved a new record in 1927, taking the limelight away from Campbell. The following year Campbell retook it with a new 'Bluebird' machine, and competition was fierce in order to capture the Blue Riband of Speed with the record briefly being held by an American challenger. Working on a completely new project for Segrave, in conjunction with Napier Aero engine company, a modified aero racing engine from the Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine S5 seaplane was developed and installed in a special chassis by the chief engineer Irving. It was known as the broad-arrow after its configuration with three banks of cylinders on a common crankcase, and the whole was enclothed with a body styling of stunningly beautiful functionality - a shape so distinctive that it still conjures up a truly evocative era in engineering to this day. When painted gold and emblazoned with the Union flags on its distinctive tail-fin, released to the public gaze in 1929 it was greeted with rapture and awe and was christened "The Golden Arrow". With Henry Segrave at the wheel it shattered the previous record, and was the first car to be driven at over 230 miles an hour. In honour of this achievement, Segrave, already awarded a knighthood for his previous successful attempt, was acclaimed a hero and received in recognition of this stupendous feat, the handsome trophy which is herewith offered for sale.