The Spirit of Brooklands lives on through the Brooklands Double Twelve. We were blown away by two action-packed days of vintage Motorsport at the Brooklands Museum. The original Double Twelve was run by the Junior Car Club three times between 1929 and 1931. To get around a ban on night racing at Brooklands, the 24 hour race was run in two 12 hour stints in consecutive days. The Double Twelve festival today aims to re-create the past glory of the Brooklands Track at the Museum and the nearby Mercedes Benz World facility.
The Brooklands Museum is located in Weybridge, Surrey. The Museum, established in 1991 takes up a large corner of the original track: it includes a large section of the original Members Banking plus buildings dedicated to the motorsport and aviation history of the site. Restored buildings from the track’s heyday are complimented by aircraft hangars from WWII and subsequent decades.
The remants of this famous track is an eerie and nostalgic sight. Brooklands is the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit and the site of numerous engineering and technological advancements over the 20th century.
The circuit was constructed by wealthy land owner Hugh Locke King in 1907. In the 1920’s and 1930’s this was the best motorsport facility in the world.
What’s left of the banked race track gives an insight into how amazing this circuit would have once been.
The Museum today ensures that the story of Brooklands as the birth place of British Motorsport and aviation is never forgotten.
The motoring village with its original tuning sheds held many record-breaking cars such as Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Birds back in the twenties and thirties. They now house John Cobb’s 24-litre Napier-Railton and the museums varied collection of race cars. The Malcolm Campbell Shed was Campbell’s workshop and showroom and now contains Brooklands racing cars. The original ERA shed from the 1930’s now houses the Speed Record Exhibition.
The Malcolm Campbell Shed was constructed in 1926 and then extended in 1931. This was his office, showroom and workshop; many of the famous Bluebird racing and Landspeed Record cars were built or stored here, and he entered almost 300 races at Brooklands between 1911 and 1935 – nearly twice as many as any other driver.
Iconic models in front of the racing lock-ups- originally built as garages to prepare cars for racing.
Its easy to get lost in the character of the Brooklands buildings.
There is so much to see at Brooklands. When you are tired at looking at the amazing aviation exhibits in the extensive aircraft hangars, the London Bus Museum is also a great way to spend a couple of hours.
But we were mostly interested in the cars displayed at Brooklands Museum, most of which are privately owned. With an ever-rotating display there is always something new to see.
Its literally packed to the brim in here of motor racing stories.
This Formula 1 show car represents a highly susccessful 1991 racing season for McLaren. Powered by a Honda V12 3.5 litre engine the Mp4/6 was driven to victory 8 times- 7 times by Ayrton Senna and once by Gerhard Berger.
This is one of three Olympus Wolf WR7’s made for the 1979 Formula 1 season, in which they were driven by James Hunt and Keke Rosberg. They were then passed on to the Skol Fittipaldi team who entered them into the 1980 championship with Emerson Fittipaldi and Keke Roshberg as drivers.
The Double Twelve, is the biggest event of the year for the Brooklands Museum team. As a result a strong crowd were in attendance and an amazing showcase of cars were on display throughout the hallowed grounds.
Cars which could have competed in events at Brooklands in its heyday, like this menagerie of MG’s were proudly displayed.
This stately 1938 Alvis Speed 25 Type SC three position Drophead Coupe by Charlesworth looked the part against its period backdrop.
We really loved this rakish BMW 319/55 Sports.
Brown and cream the perfect hues for the gorgeous thirties machine.
DB4 or DB6…a tough pick.
A glorious XK 120 with a patina-filled interior.
On Saturday the VSCC Speed Trials took place at the Mercedes Benz World test track facility. The modern Mercedes-Benz World circuit at 880 metres is just a fraction of the grand scale of the original 4.42 km Outer circuit. But the competition brought out some of the finest vintage vehicles.
Like this brilliant 1937 ERA R12C driven by Terry Crabb.
Or this sublime 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750.
There is no doubting the enthusiasm of Vintage racing car enthusiasts. They would have to be some of the most committed car people out there.
This 1980 Ferrari 308 GTB looked to be in tip top shape, and as you will the discover further down its owner was not afraid to put it to good use.
The best thing about the Double Twelve was the variety of cars on display and competing. This wasn’t just a Vintage car event…it was a celebration of motoring.
Local car clubs were out in force. This immaculate Mk2 Golf looked the very clean.
With a cheeky roll cage thrown in.
This VR6 Corrado also drew our attention for the right reasons.
Back to the future anyone?
An unusual body kit fitted to this MX5.
A couple of low-riders came too.
You name a make or model…it was probably there at Brooklands.
The perfect vintage travel case was adorned on this Datsun 2000.
The demonstration by Stunt Drive UK proved popular with the fans.
One of the most entertaining stunts was the parallel park power slide in between the two parked mini’s.
After several attempt the result was millimetre perfect parking.
Fifty years of the Ford Mustang was celebrated along with 100 years of ‘Ford in Black’.
This 1957 Jaguar D Type. Bagging three Lemans wins, the D Type has got to be one of the best looking racing cars ever and this year is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
A perfected presented piece of English engineering.
YM 4037 was originally built as a 3-litre Bentley chassis number 1192 first registered in March 1926 by J Heaton.
At some time it was fitted with a 4½-litre engine and an eye-catchingly beautiful body.
The utterly impressive Napier-Railton, owned by the Brooklands Museum set a record of 143.44mph when it was driven in 1935 by John Cobb.
Commisioned by the Brooklands driver John Cobb, and designed by Reid Railton, the car was built by Thomson and Taylor at their Brooklands works.
The car was built in 1933 and first appeared in a race at Brooklands in August of that year.
The car is fitted with a modified Napier Lion XI aero engine, chosen for its power and reliability. The engine has 12 cylinders arrange in a ‘W’. The horsepower for the engine is 530 bhp at 2350rpm. The car weighs just over 2 tons.
Whistling Billy is faithful rebuild of a steam car built by the White Sewing Machine Company.
The engine is from a 1907 20hp tourer with steam pressure between 600 to 800 psi.
1983 Ford Sierra XR4I looked nimble through the corners.
The driving tests situated around various parts of the grounds and circuit were a real crowd favourite. It appeared that it didn’t matter what car you were driving…ever driver seemed to be having a huge amount of fun.
1965 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage looked very graceful tackling the driving tests.
This 1962 3.8 litre E-type was driven like its makers had intended.
This Riley Brooklands seemed to be the perfect machine to tackle the tight 360.
This Frazer Nash/BMW 328 from 1939 is a gorgeous machine.
The 328 was introduced at the Eifelrennen race at the Nürburgring in 1936, where Ernst Henne drove it to win the 2.0 litre class. The 328 had more than 100 class wins in 1937. In 1938, the 328 won its class at Le Mans, the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Alpine Rally, and the Mille Miglia. Naturally further success followed before the outbreak of War.
Back in the twenties and thirties scores of car manufacturers tested their cars abilities on test hill. Constructed in 1909 for the motor industry to conduct acceleration and braking tests it was put to great use over the weekend. With a 1 to 4 gradient the hill is deceptively steep. It was a thrill to see cars of different eras tackle the challenge. The Morgan Plus 8 proved to be a formidable force with its light weight making for a quick get away off the mark.
The test hill involves driving up the steep 1:4 gradient then stopping up the top. Then stopping once you reach finish line.
This Rolls Royce engined Handlye Special literally stole the show on the test hill- a car that like Brooklands Museum showcases the best of Automotive and Aviation history.
That’s what 27 litres of Rolls Royce grunt can produce!
The 27 litre powerplant started life as a Rolls Royce Merlin 3 fitted to a Hawker Hurricane in 1940.
When the engine was acquired the car was designed and constructed over a 22 year period.
The hand made alloy body is a work of art.
What a thrill it would be to be ‘piloting’ this behemoth.
If you have scrolled this far, we hope you agree with us..when we say the spirit of Brooklands definitely lives on. Brooklands, we will be back! We hope you have enjoyed our extensive coverage of the Brooklands Double Twelve.
DRIVEN TO PERFORM