John Parry-Thomas was a man who had loved pushing boundaries and living life to the limit.

Born in Wrexham in 1884 his family moved to Oswestry when he was five years old and he was educated at Oswestry School before studying engineering at The City and Guilds College in London.

After the First World War he designed the Leyland Eight luxury motor car, which was intended to compete with Rolls-Royce.

His experience of driving this car around the track at Brooklands in 1920 persuaded him to become a full-time motor-racing driver and engineer.

He started Thomas Inventions Development Co. based inside the Brooklands circuit and achieved some success, winning 38 races in five seasons and setting numerous records.

By 1925 Parry-Thomas switched his attention to the land speed record.

Border Counties Advertizer:

He acquired the Higham Special from the estate of the deceased Count Zborowski and rebuilt the car with new bodywork for improved aerodynamics.

In April 1926 the car, now named Babs, emerged with another new body

A few days later, despite the poor conditions and soft, wet sand, Parry-Thomas took the record at Pendine Sands in Wales on the same six-mile beach that Malcolm Campbell had used in 1924 and 1925.

The following day, April 28 1926, he raised it to over 170 mph, a record that stood for almost a year.

Border Counties Advertizer:

Parry-Thomas was killed at Pendine Sands on 3 March 1927 while trying to regain his own world land speed record that had been broken just weeks earlier by Campbell on the same beach.

Parry-Thomas was buried in St Mary's Churchyard in Byfleet, Surrey, close to the Brooklands Circuit.

Following the inquest, Babs was buried in the dunes at Pendine Sands.

Some 42 years later it was controversially recovered and over the next 15 years was restored and is now on display at the Pendine Museum of Speed in Carmarthenshire.