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Little Classics News: 9 August 2015

History to Come Back to Life at Brooklands Reunion

Classic cars at Brooklands Reunion

This year’s Brooklands Reunion on 16th August will mark the 80th anniversaries of two outstanding records at the famous Surrey circuit: the fastest pre-war 500 mile race anywhere in the world, and the setting of the ultimate Outer Circuit lap record.

The car that triumphed on both of those occasions, John Cobb’s mighty Napier-Railton Special (below), will be joined by many other record-breakers and race-winners, in a day of action celebrating the best and fastest of pre-war racing.

Napier-Railton Special

This will be one of the very few days during the year when the whole Museum site is taken back to the pre-war era, with only pre-1940 cars, motorcycles and even bicycles – many of them the actual vehicles that raced and competed here between 1907 and 1939 - on display and in action on the Finishing Straight and Banking, Test Hill and the circuit at Mercedes-Benz World. All the action will be orchestrated into a series of “races” and “trials”, listed in a traditionally-styled “Race Card”. To add to the pre-war flavor of the day, selected aero engines of the era will be run at lunchtime.

Vintage car on the test Hill, Brooklands

During the day, special attention will be given to those two 80th anniversaries being marked – the BRDC 500-Miles Race of 21st September 1935 (won at an average speed of 121.28mph by the Napier-Railton, faster than for any other pre-war 500-mile race) and the Outer-Circuit Lap Record, set on 7th October 1935 and held in perpetuity by the Napier-Railton at 143.44mph. The silk banner awarded to John Cobb for winning the BRDC 500 will be on public display for the first time since it was acquired by the Museum in 2013.

Classic car on the test hill

Amongst the special Brooklands racing cars already booked to appear on the day are:

  • Tom McWhirter’s ex Tommy Wisdom Jaguar SS100
  • Alastair Pugh’s 1932 TT Replica Frazer Nash
  • Peter Colborne-Baber’s Stafford Special
  • David Hescroff’s AC Acedes
  • The six-cylinder MGs of Mike Allison and David Naylor
  • Clive Warrell’s Essex and Jerry Larke’s Morgan Brooklands Aero.

The Morgan is very special, as it held the Outer Circuit Record for Cyclecars, while Alistair’s Anthony Mottram’s S-Type Invicta was used as a tow car for his racing Lagonda by Brooklands driver Lindsay Eccles and we are also expecting David Ozanne’s 1911 Delage Coupe de l‘Auto to attend. As a reminder of the great history bicycles had at Brooklands, Adam Huddle will be bringing his 1933 Raleigh to the event. In true Brooklands tradition, a clutch of aero-engined specials will feature in the action, including John Dennis’ Berliet-Curtiss and Robin Beech’s spectacular 27-litre Handlye Special.

As well as the racing itself, Brooklands was one of the most popular social destinations for high society in the glamorous heyday 1920s and ‘30s Britain so everyone attending is encouraged to wear appropriate vintage attire to add to the atmosphere! The event runs from 10am – 5pm


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