Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN

Brooklands Museum in Weybridge is best known for its 1907 motor racing circuit, pre-war racing cars, Vickers-BAC and Sopwith-Hawker aeroplanes and Concorde

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2010

Brooklands Museum

Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN: 01932 857381Open: Monday to Sunday, 10am-5pm Head of collections: John Pulford

What is the museum best-known for?The 1907 motor racing circuit, pre-war racing cars, Vickers-BAC and Sopwith-Hawker aeroplanes and Concorde.

Tell us your favourite local history story...The building of the track over the winter of 1906-07 by 2,000 workmen in just nine months. It was the idea of landowners Hugh and Ethel Locke King and opened in June 1907 with a grand parade.

Which is your favourite item in the collection? John Cobb’s 1933 Napier Railton. It was built at Brooklands and was the fastest ever to lap Brooklands track at 143.44 mph. It also took world records at Montlh�ry and Utah. John Cobb lived in Esher where he is buried in the churchyard.

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…and the strangest? On the aviation side, I think the story of the rescue of the Weybridge-built Vickers Wellington bomber from Loch Ness is remarkable. When, in 1985, it was hauled from the Loch after being deeply submerged for 45 years, the wiring was connected to a battery and the navigation lights still lit up!

Brooklands torchlight tours 2012

Winter torchlight tours at Brooklands Museum will give visitors the chance to explore a reputedly haunted tunnel below the historic Weybridge track that is not normally open to the public.

Built under the Weybridge track in 1907, the tunnel was used in World War Two by the Vickers aircraft factory as a secret, bomb-proof production workshop, but is now uninhabited – by humans, at least.

Previous ghostly sightings at Brooklands have included that of the record breaking Percy Lambert, who died while attempting to regain his land speed title in 1913 and has reportedly been seen walking on the track on Halloween.

As well as the tunnels, the museum’s expert guides will take visitors on a special two hour after-dark tour of the museum itself, including the motoring village and Wellington Hangar, before ascending Test Hill and walking along the world famous Members’ Banking of the racing circuit.

Visit for the latest torchlight tour dates and details.

Brooklands Double Twelve motorsport festival 2011

Never before seen in the UK, a unique Alfa Romeo is set to be the star of the show at this year’s Brooklands Double Twelve motorsport festival in Weybridge.

Sure to be centre of attention at the driving concours is a 1942 Alfa Romeo Bertone Coup� (pictured) that has won both the Villa d’Este in Italy and its class at Pebble Beach in California.

Visitors to the festival, on Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19, will see a collection of over 200 motorcars, making this year’s competition the biggest at the world’s first purpose-built motor-racing circuit since 1939.

Organised by Brooklands Museum, in association with the Vintage Sports-Car Club, the festival is based on the historic Weybridge site and uses parts of the original race track, built in 1907, and the modern Mercedes-Benz World circuits.

The Brooklands Double Twelve motorsport festival takes its name from the great 24-hour races held at Brooklands some 80 years ago.

It has three main elements: a speed sprint held on the Mercedes-Benz World circuit on the Saturday; a driving concours competition testing both driving ability and car beauty, held over both days; and the test hill challenge, held on the Sunday.

The only three 24-litre Napier Lion engines running in the world today are those fitted to Brooklands Museum’s Napier-Railton and Chris Williams’ Napier-Bentley racing cars, and a third static-running example recently restored by Andy Lloyd.

All 72 litres and 1,600hp of them will run together for the first time on Sunday during the test hill challenge segment of the festival.

Brooklands Double Twelve motorsport festival 2011

at Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN: 01932 857381. Advance adult day tickets are �12 (�15 on the day) and family tickets (two adults and up to three children) are �30 (�37 on the day).

Auto Italia 2010 - Italian Car Day at Brooklands Museum

Italian style came to Brooklands Museum on Saturday May 1, as spectators browsed rare and exotic Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis, Fiats, Lancias, DeTomaso, Iso and a pair of Swiss Monteverdis (by Italian design house Frua) at the famous race track’s Auto Italia car day. The stunning weather enhanced the bright Mediterranean inspired colours on show in the paddock and photographer Ian Hunt was on hand to capture the day. Were you there?

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