Snapshot, 1953: The mad scientist of Goodwood
The potion will give racing drivers a super-power of sorts; in the test tube is high-octane petrol, the hot topic of the Picture Post reporter’s research into new fuels. Following scientific breakthroughs in the 1930s and 1940s, higher octane fuels were introduced to raise the compression rates of aircraft engines, thus improving their performance. Following World War II, such research went into improving the performance of racing cars, instead – today, even super-unleaded fuel for road cars is typically 95 or 98 RON.
Photo: Ronald Startup/Picture Post/Getty Images