In 1957 the MG Car Company arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats with an unusually shaped vehicle and legendary racing driver Stirling Moss. The car was called the MG EX 181 and it was entered into the Class F land-speed series for cars with engines between 1.1 and 1.5 litres.
The EX 181’s unique body was hiding a 1.5 litre twin-cam, supercharged MGA engine that had been tuned to run on 86% methanol laced with nitrobenzene, acetone and sulphuric ether. The engine produced a whopping 290hp at 7,000rpm and on the 23rd of August 1957 Stirling Moss took it up to a top speed of 245.64mph (395.31 kmh), taking the land-speed record easily over the previous record holder who held it at 203mph.
MG wasn’t quite finished with the EX 181 and took the car back to Bonneville in 1959 with racing driver Phil Hill, the engine had been tuned slightly higher and now produced 300hp. Phil Hill took the car to a top speed of 254.91 mph (410.23 kmh), easily breaking MG’s own record from 2 years previously.
Information via MGA Guru