As racing at Brooklands grew in popularity, a community of racing specialists grew around the Clubhouse and Paddock to support racing activities on the track. They included some of the biggest names in the industry who pushed Brooklands to the forefront of automotive development.
Engineers and mechanics, such as Robin Jackson, set up workshops to maintain cars and motorcycles, and fuel, oil and tyre manufacturers, including Shell and Dunlop, provided the supplies to keep the cars running.
The surviving buildings have been preserved and restored to tell the story of Brooklands’ racing and record-breaking history.
Dunlop Mac’s Tyre Depot
Dating from 1921, this is the earliest of the sheds in the motoring village.
Dunlop Mac’s Tyre Depot was the Brooklands headquarters of the Dunlop Tyre Company’s racing manager, Norman Freeman. The Track was used extensively for testing tyres, as it was a unique venue in this country where cars could be driven unhindered and at top speed for as long as necessary. It was tyre-fitter David McDonald who supervised tyre changes at race meetings and was best known among the Brooklands racing community - his name has therefore always been associated with the building which became known as ‘Dunlop Mac’s’.
The leading oil and petrol companies were keen to have a presence at Brooklands, supplying fuel for racing and testing.
In the early 1920s some built their own depots here, each with a manager’s office, store, forecourt and pumps. Fuel was often blended to meet a driver’s own requirements and the companies often sponsored competitors in the hope of publicity on the back of their success. The Shell and BP Petrol ‘Pagodas’, both dating from 1922, have been fully restored to their 1920s or '30s external appearance, as has the Pratts (later Esso) Pagoda.
The Racing Lock-Ups
These garages were rented by drivers and motorcyclists to house their racing machines and prepare them for competition.
Built in 1927, the lock-ups changed hands continually but some of the doors were colourfully painted with names of the businesses that the occupiers ran.
Explore the ‘Raleigh Cycle Exhibition’
The Malcolm Campbell Shed
The World Land Speed Record holder Malcolm Campbell built his first shed here in 1926 and extended it in 1931. The building, surviving today, was used by him as office, workshop and showroom until around 1935. It was here that his successful ‘Blue Bird’ racing and world record-breaking cars were often kept, displayed or even built. The building was later taken over by leading motor engineers Thomson and Taylor as a workshop and showroom for Alfa Romeo and Railton cars.Explore the 'The Great Racing Days of Brooklands' Exhibition
The Jackson ShedThis shed was built in 1931 by Robin Jackson, one of motor racing’s leading engineers and tuners at the time. It became famous as the ‘Robinry’ where drivers could have cars serviced and tuned to the highest possible standards by the small team of engineers that worked there. Robin Jackson, himself a racing driver, specialised in the maintenance of MG cars but was also well known for building ‘specials’ such as the Appleton-Riley and the Bentley-Jackson. Following World War Two, Jackson set up premises locally in Byfleet and continued to work on record-breaking and Grand Prix cars through the 1940s and '50s. Explore the ‘Grand Prix Exhibition’
The ERA Shed
This building is the latest of all the Paddock workshops having been completed in the late 1930s. It was occupied by LBB Motors who needed unusually high external doors to accommodate the double-decker buses that they converted to use diesel. It was also used as a Paddock showroom for the renowned English Racing Automobiles (ERAs). By 1939 it was occupied by the Brooklands Engineering Company, well known for their ‘Martlet’ pistons.Explore the ‘Fastest on Earth’ Speed Record Exhibition