Brooklands Reunion 2016 Review
18 August 2016
90th Anniversary of the British Grand Prix Celebrated at the Brooklands Reunion, Sunday 14th August
Scores of pre-war vehicles, plus a wonderful selection of more modern grand prix cars, and some 1,900 visitors descended on the historic Brooklands Museum site in Weybridge for the annual Reunion, which this year celebrated the 90th anniversary of the first ever British Grand Prix, held at Brooklands on 7th August 1926.
The line-up of Grand Prix cars covering more than a century of competition was the star attraction at this year’s Brooklands Reunion, held on Sunday 14th August. Supporting the star cars but by no means in the shadows were stunning examples of pre-war saloons, tourers, coupés, sports cars and motorcycles from the glorious 1920s and ’30s. This provided visitors with a real taste of a typical racing day at the Track, complete with two hours of sessions on the circuit at Mercedes-Benz World for a cavalcade followed by demonstration laps for selected vehicles, and runs up the famous Test Hill. The day finished with a photo-shoot on the historic Banking, headed by cars which took part in the 1926 Grand Prix parked on the start-line for that event.
n a pen in the Paddock, a line-up of more recent Grand Prix cars included Nigel Mansell’s ‘Red Five’ Williams Renault FW14B, a pair of McLaren Mercedes cars driven by Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton and a more recent Mercedes F1 of Nico Roseberg. Nearby, earlier Grand Prix cars included a 1931 Type 51 Bugatti, the 1921 Sunbeam in which famous pre-war British driver Henry Segrave drove his first Grand Prix, the Museum’s big Duesenberg single-seater which ran in the 1933 Monza Grand Prix and a Cooper-Climax representing the late-1950s rear-engined revolution. But the most significant cars from a Brooklands point of view were two cars from that very first British Grand Prix – the Museum’s Delage 15-S-8 and the Halford Special.
The Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register took up residence in the Motoring Village with some eye-watering vehicles. Of particular note was a BI150 Airline from 1935 proudly displaying its art deco coach work and an AM75/90 from 1930 by KC Bodies Ltd. The Campbell area by the Race Bays was festooned with sporting pre-war motorcars and cars typical of those which would have brought spectators to the circuit in period, including Veterans, early Austins, a glorious two-tone Rolls Royce and a beautiful but unusual 1936 Wolseley 12-48 4 door saloon.
Under the balcony of the iconic 1907 motor racing Clubhouse, visitors were treated to Lorne Jacobs starting up his recreation of the 1927 Napier-Campbell Blue Bird land-speed record car. Positioned opposite the Campbell Shed and with plumes of smoke billowing from its stub exhaust pipes, this provided a slice of nostalgia hard to beat, especially as its display neighbours were the Stanley Mann Racing ‘Marker Bentley’ and the Museum’s own monster and multi-record holder 24 litre Napier-Railton Special.
In the afternoon, drivers once again fired up their vehicles but this time in readiness to blast their way up the famous Test Hill, much to the crowd’s enjoyment. Elsewhere, people picnicked on the lawned areas, listened to the period jazz wafting from the Clubhouse or simply explored the site to find classic aircraft, motorcycles, a 4D theatre or the Museum’s own Concorde. Even the sun shone all day on what was once again, a fantastic celebration of unbeatable classic motoring and displays where it all began - at the Birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation.