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Bluebird reunited with original nose panel

Dec 2013 - The famous Bluebird CN7 has been reunited with its original damaged nose panel, thanks to a donation from Stadco to the Campbell family.

The original front nose panel from Donald Campbell’s famous World Land Speed Record Breaker, the Bluebird CN7, was returned to and replaced at the Coventry site after being damaged during the land speed record attempt in 1960, where it has remained ever since.

The handover to the Malcolm Campbell Heritage Trust took place at an event at The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, where the nose panel will join four iconic World Land Speed Record cars, including the Bluebird CN7 and Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird 350hp, for a brand new Land Speed Record Breakers display.

Following the failed land speed attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1960, the damaged Bluebird was shipped back to the site in the Midlands. While the design updates were made, including the addition of the tail fin to stabilise the vehicle at speed, Motor Panels, now Stadco, set to work repairing the Bluebird. The nose panel had been creased in the crash at Bonneville and was removed and replaced.

The old hood panel displaying the Union Jack and US flags was set aside and spent the next 50 years at the Coventry site. Following the discovery of other artefacts, including detailed original records and correspondence between the Campbells and the Stadco project team, and 26 reels of unique 16mm film footage from 1960-1963, Stadco decided that a new home should be sought for the nose panel to properly reflect its historic significance.

Stadco’s Product Development Director, Paul Jaggers, said: “We are very proud of our historic link to Bluebird and these artefacts were a very exciting find for us. We were keen to ensure they found the right home and are very pleased to donate them to the family trust.”

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