1934 Railton

The Collection’s exhibit

The Railton was the result of collaboration between British car constructor Noel Macklin and the Hudson Motor Company of the USA. Macklin’s Fairmile Engineering manufactured the Invicta car at their works at Cobham, Surrey, but in 1933 he sold Invicta and looked for another automotive project.

With its four-litre, straight-eight, engine the Hudson Terraplane had been well accepted in Britain the previous year, and so Macklin decided to take the chassis and engine, and add a lightweight body. The result was the Railton-Terraplane, a reasonably priced and powerful (100bhp) two-seat tourer that offered exceptional performance.

The Railton name was taken from British designer and engineer Reid Railton who had been responsible for record breaking cars for John Cobb and Malcolm Campbell. It is not known how much input Reid had to the Macklin project but we do know he took a royalty for each car made.

Following an approach from Macklin in 1933, Richard Shuttleworth bought a one-third share in Fairmile Engineering and was appointed chairman. The Collection’s Railton was acquired by Richard in 1934 as a bare engine and chassis, and reputedly using for ‘farming duties’ on the Shuttleworth estate before, in 1939, he started to re-build it as a two-seater sports car. After his death in 1940 his mother, Dorothy Shuttleworth, had the work completed by Blanchflowers, of Kettering.

The car was first registered JNM700 in 1950 and was then sold in 1952, passing through several Railton Club owners before in 1975 it was purchased by Richard’s niece, then Princess Charlotte Hohenlohe von Langenberg, who had the car repainted in ‘Shuttleworth’ blue and exhibited in her husband`s motor museum at Schloss Langenberg in Germany. The car was returned to Old Warden by Princess Charlotte in late 1998.

During its’ time in Germany the Railton lost its original registration. With assistance from the Railton Owner’s Club this was re-instated by the DVLA two years ago.


Manufacturer: Fairmile Engineering Company, Cobham, Surrey, England
Model: Two seat ‘Light Sports’ (on Hudson Terraplane chassis), bodywork by Blanchflowers, Kettering
Engine: 4168cc Hudson straight-eight, side-valve
Top Speed: 90 mph


This exhibit is part of the Richard Shuttleworth trail.

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