Racing tracks and events around the world



Brooklands historic banked racing track and museum


Brooklands Museum clubhouse and aviation hangar



The 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.



Captain Malcolm Campbell   Reid Railton's Bluebird desinged for Malcolm Campbell


Captain 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 Race meetings.

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 Bentley.



Tim Birkin and Malcolm Campbell at Brooklands


Tim Birkin and Malcolm Campbell at Brooklands



Why 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  Email:


Many 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 Nelson Kruschandl with Don Wales as the early driver of his 'Bluebird Electric' designs, in turn being similarly inspired.






General Enquiries
01932 857381 ext 221


Educational & Group Visits

Virginia Smith
Education & Visitor Services Manager
01932 857381 ext 248



Donna Hopton
Events Manager
01932 857381 ext 253


Venue Hire: Conferences, parties & weddings

Lorna Robertson
01932 858005


Filming & Commercial Photography

Paul Stewart
Marketing and PR Manager
01932 857381 ext 249


Museum Shop

Tom Legg
Retail Sales Manager
01932 857381 ext 268


Curatorial & Archive Enquiries

Andrew lewis
Museum Curator
01932 857381 ext 246



John Silver
Volunteer Resources Manager
01932 857381 ext 242


Brooklands Trust Members

Tim Morris
BTM Administrator
01932 857381 ext 226


Donations, Legacies and Corporate Sponsorship

Karen McKenna
Financial Controller
01932 857381 ext 241



Paul Stewart
Marketing Manager
01932 857381 ext 249


Estates & Heritage Manager

Julian Temple
01932 857381 ext 240


Museum Director

Allan Winn
01932 857381 ext 243



Jan Knott
Concorde Operations Manager
01932 857381 ext 237


Commercial Manager

Valerie Mills
01932 857381 ext 255


Head of Collections

John Pulford
01932 857381 ext ext 246


Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd
Brooklands Road
Surrey, KT13 0QN

Registered Charity No.296661
Registered Company No. 2109945
VAT No. 584 2633 25
















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