Historic Brooklands land speed record celebration

Posted by Chris Graham on 5th July 2022

We report on a historic land speed record celebration and recreation that took place at the Brooklands Museum recently.

the Brooklands Museum

The Sunbeam stands proud with Kenelm Lee Guinness’s grandson aboard and the Thompson B1 Mayflower lifting its safety valves on the railway track in the background. (Pic: Sam Hart/Brooklands Museum)

On Tuesday, May 17th, Brooklands Museum celebrated the fact that Kenelm Lee Guinness used the works Sunbeam V-12 350hp car on the very same day a century ago to create a new land speed world record of 133.75mph at the Surrey track. That was the last time that the circuit played host to a land speed record attempt on the outer circuit, and the record was recorded by famous motor race artist F Gordon Crosby, who depicted Guinness racing against a steam train above the motor circuit.

This whole scene was recreated a century on with the National Motor Museum’s very same Sunbeam 350hp in fine order, with Lee Guinness’s namesake and grandson aboard and, on the railway line, was none other than LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 locomotive No. 61306 Mayflower and her full load of sold-out coaches. Special guest at this major event was current LSR holder (and Stanley steam car owner) Wing Commander Andy Green OBE, who was seen in the museum’s 24-litre Napier Railton that holds the outright record at Brooklands. There were no less than five record-breaking machines in action on the track.

The famous F Gordon Crosby painting that recorded the new land speed record created at Brooklands on 17th May, 1922.

Some four schools joined the public at the event as part of the museum’s STEM education initiative. Later in the year, 400 schoolchildren are to attend an event hosted at Brooklands by Professor Brian Cox.

Brooklands CEO Tamalie Newbery said: “It was very special having Andy Green here, the World Speed record holder who couldn’t have been more helpful during the day.” She added: “We celebrated the past here today, however, Brooklands is all about the future, and that was also demonstrated here today.”

This news story comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to the magazine simply by clicking HERE


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