Friday, April 13, 2018

Rollie Free's Eggshell bike and record attempt

 In the Duke's 2014 post on Rollie Free's fully streamlined Vincent he mentions he did not find any evidence that this configuration was used to run a record attempt. I did a bit more looking and found these pictures from Jerry Hatfield's excellent 2007 book on Rollie Free; Flat Out!
A whole chapter is devoted to the 1950 speed record attempt. Several runs were made, but apparently the setup became unstable at speed. A 140plus mph crash and subsequent crash and 1000 foot slide on its left side damaged the mounting points of the fibreglass shell. Rollie was not hurt but the damage was not easily repairable and Rollie chose to make some runs without it. He achieved a new speed record of speed of 156.58 mph over a mile and 152.33 over 10 miles! This time he was fully clothed. No mention is made of what might have happened to the shell.

Compare this photo to the similar Popular Mechanics photo in the It looks like this photo may have been flipped and background manipulated to a Salt Lake setting for the article!
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