Museum clubhouse and aviation hangar
First World War (1914-18) brought permanent change to Brooklands in many
ways. Motor Racing was discontinued for the duration of the war but
the solid tyres of military lorries played havoc with the Track, and it
was not until 1920 that Locke King had cleaned up sufficiently to enable
the BARC to take over once again.
Brooklands came alive again in 1921. This saw the first of the
Junior Car Club's 200 mile races. Pre-war driver, Malcolm
Campbell, returned to the scene from Army service as a Captain.
The race was a great success. The winner was Major Henry Seagrave,
another famous driver of the day.
Campbell and his Reid
Railton - Bluebird
Then in 1926, the RAC organised the
first-ever British Grand Prix. Special sand chicanes and a
hazardous bridge across the Finishing Straight were constructed.
The same layout was adopted for the Junior Car Club 200 mile race later
that year. Again, the race was won by Major Henry Segrave in a Talbot.
The same year Hugh Locke King died but Ethel, now a Dame of the British
Empire in honour of her work in the Red Cross during the war, continued
active management of the Brooklands Estate. She also regularly attended
The last Land Speed Record achieved at Brooklands was when Kenelm Lee
Guinness, a member of the famous brewing family, drove the 350hp single
seater Sunbeam at a two-way average speed of 135.75mph. This car,
powered by a V12 Sunbeam 'Manitou' aero engine was soon after acquired
by Malcolm Campbell and became his first 'Blue
Bird' Land Speed Record Car. Count Louis Zborowski was one of
the great personalities of Brooklands and raced a series of monstrous
cars on the Outer Circuit, including the legendary Chitty Bang Bangs, in
the early 1920s.
Based in their Brooklands workshops, Thomson & Taylor went on to
design and build several Land Speed Record cars including three of
Malcolm Campbell's Blue Birds. It was Campbell that called in Reid
Railton to re-design the chassis and transmission of his 1931 Napier
engined Blue Bird. The body shape resulted from testing in the Vickers
aircraft factory's Wind Tunnel at Brooklands supervised by R.K. Pierson,
Vickers' Chief Designer, as he had with Campbell's first scientifically
streamlined Blue Bird in 1928.
In 1933 Thomson & Taylor made
more major changes to accommodate a supercharged Rolls Royce 'R' type 36½
litre V12 engine giving 2,500 brake horse power. Campbell's
ultimate Land Speed Record car was the 1935 Blue Bird using the same
engine but a new chassis designed and built by Thomson & Taylor at
Brooklands. The body was built in the Paddock shed once used by Malcolm
Campbell as his showroom. In this car Campbell took his eighth and final
Land Speed Record on the 3rd September, 1935 on Bonneville Salt Flats
and achieved his longed for target, averaging 301.13mph.
By the end of the 1930s Brooklands was dominating the Land Speed Record
in every way with the exception of actually being the venue itself.
Another Land Speed Record Car simply called 'The Railton' was a
technological masterpiece designed by Reid Railton and built at Thomson
& Taylor's Brooklands workshops. It was commissioned and driven by
the Brooklands ace, John Rhodes Cobb, who took the Land Speed Record in
it in 1938, 1939 and again in 1947 when he became the first man to
exceed 400 mph on land.
The Outer Circuit Record was the most prestigious. In 1930, The Daily
Herald put up a trophy for the fastest driver round the track. Up to
1935, this trophy was won by just 4 drivers, Kaye Don, the first winner,
battled with Tim Birkin to achieve 137.58mph in his Sunbeam 'Tiger'. In
1932, Tim Birkin took the record to 137.96mph in his famous red blower
Birkin and Malcolm Campbell at Brooklands
not visit Brooklands Adults £7, Students & Senior Citizens £6
Children 6-16 £5, 5 & under get in FREE Family ticket £18
(admits 2 adults & 3 children)
Brooklands Museum Trust Limited Brooklands Road,
Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN Tel: 01932 857381 Fax: 01932 855465
songs and poems have been written about this lively little animal.
The Bluebird became immortalized in Maurice
Maeterlinck's play: 'The Bluebird' which first inspired Malcolm
Campbell to adopt the name for his racing vehicles in the 1930's.
This name was carried on by Donald Campbell and in turn by
Kruschandl with Don Wales as the early driver of his
Electric' designs, in turn being similarly inspired.
- Z OF WORLD FAMOUS RACING CIRCUITS
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Speedace plan to run the Ecostar DC50 above on the 17th of June 2015,
from John O'Groats in Scotland to Lands End in Cornwall in an attempt to
beat the current record set in a Tesla
in 2013. Contact Chris or Terry for
Bluebird World Cup Trophy challenge