In 1926 and 1927, the first Grands Prix to be held in Great Britain took place at Brooklands, the world’s first purpose built motor-racing circuit. Both races were won by Delage. Robert Sénéchal and Louis Wagner triumphed in 1926, just ahead of Malcolm Campbell’s Bugatti.
Delage secured a clean sweep of the top three places in 1927, the year in which it won all four of the European Grands Prix and with them the AIACR’s World Manufacturers’ Championship. These victories at Brooklands, at the height of the track’s central role in British motorsport, wrote Delage into the history books and were the start of a successful association with the circuit.
Amongst many successes, Malcolm Campbell drove a Delage to victory in the 1928 200 Miles Race and Earl Howe won the 1932 British Empire Trophy. As well as competing in the Grands Prix and other races, the Brooklands Delage, latterly owned by Campbell and then by W B Scott, set several distance records in its category (Class F, 1500cc). These included the 200 Miles World Record in 1929 and the 500km and 1000km World Records in 1930, all at Brooklands, and the 2000 Miles and 24 Hour World Records at Montlhéry in 1930.
Brooklands Museum, on the site of the original racing circuit, was bequeathed its Delage in 2012 by Alan Burnard, who had spent much of the previous 50 years restoring it to its 1927 specification and who wished to see it return ‘home’. Despite Alan’s work, the car’s engine suffered a major failure at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2012.
We are now undertaking a major project to restore our engine to full working capacity, faithfully recreating one of the most advanced engines of its day. Using the original 1926 drawings, each component must be produced to order so that the 1500cc, straight-eight cylinder engine, revving at up to 8,000 rpm, can be reunited with this extraordinary car bringing it back to life once more.
Once rebuilt, our Delage will once again run at Brooklands and around the world, ensuring the story of this remarkable motorsport manufacturer, and its legendary drivers, can continue to captivate motoring enthusiasts young and old for years to come.