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Little Classics News: 24 May 2014

Brooklands Reunion to Revive the Track Past

Brooklands Reunion to Revive the Track PastOne of the most evocative days in Brooklands Museum’s 2014 calendar will be 13th July, when the Museum marks 75 years since the World’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit closed for good, at the outbreak of World War 2.

The Brooklands Reunion, which aims to recapture the spirit of a race-day in the Track’s 1930s heyday, will welcome hundreds of pre-war vehicles – including many of the cars and motorcycles which raced at the Track between 1907 and 1939.

The day will feature vintage car displays and demonstrations, while social features of the age – ranging from the Members’ Dining Room in the Clubhouse to “bookies” plying their trade in the Paddock – will add to the flavour of the day.

In the 75 years since 1939, Brooklands has seen tremendous changes in its landscape, suffered from German bombing raids and played a major part in the supersonic age through its unparalleled record of aircraft testing and manufacture.

The last thirty years or so have been kinder to Brooklands; building on efforts by the Brooklands Society to save the track. A dedicated army of volunteers, trustees and staff have worked hard to develop the magnificent Brooklands Museum on the 32 acre site within the original circuit in Weybridge, Surrey.

The Brooklands ReunionThe Brooklands Reunion is one of the very few days during the year when the whole site will be taken back to the pre-War era. Vintage cars, motorcycles and bicycles that raced there from 1907-1939 will be in action at various times during the day, allowing visitors to get a feel for these amazing machines.

Other pre-War vehicles of all types will fill the roles of spectators’ vehicles and these will be parked around the site, just as they would have on a race day. To add to the atmosphere there will be ‘bookies’ pitches in the Paddock selling raffle tickets, and a programme in the form of a race card for the day.

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!

One of the highlights of the proceedings will be the appearance of the Sunbeam 350hp, recently started up at Beaulieu for the first time in 50 years after an extensive mechanical rebuild. The Sunbeam was the last car to set an outright World Land Speed Record on a closed circuit, when K Lee Guinness drove it to a two-way speed of 133.7mph at Brooklands on 17th May 1922. It then became one of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed record breakers, and set a record of 146.16mph in 1924 at Pendine Sands.

Entry forms for pre-War vehicles to attend this very special event are available on the Museum website with further information available from the Events team on 01932 857381.


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