By: Touchstone Books .
Prior to 1907, motor sport was banned on public roads within the United Kingdom, forcing drivers to enter races in Europe.To address this situation, Hugh Fortescue Locke-King decided to transform 330 acres of his Brooklands estate near Weybridge in Surrey into the world's first purpose-built race track, the Brooklands Motor Course.
During 1906 construction took place of a huge, banked concrete-surfaced circuit, built on a heroic scale, I 00-feet wide and over two miles in length. From its opening in July 1907 until the outbreak of the Second World War it became the spiritual home of British motor sport, where numerous world speed and endurance records were established on both two and four wheels.
It was not a track for the faint-hearted. Its uneven surface was best suited to large, solidly-built automobiles and motorcycles, driven by fearless men (and women); the exploits of these motor sport pioneers passed into legend.
The large area within the track soon found another purpose — aviation. It was here in 1908 that AlliottVerdon Roe achieved the first flight in a British-built aircraft and, in 1915 Vickers began aircraft production, an industry that would expand and continue into the 1980s.
Motor sport at Brooklands came to an end in 1939 as military aircraft production took precedence, being replaced by civil aviation projects after 1945. Aircraft construction ranged from the Vickers Viscount to Concorde.
Whilst Brooklands' contribution to aviation cannot be over-estimated, it has become synonymous with the automobiles and drivers who became household names during the 1920s and 1930s, as they created their own pages of motoring history.
Conceived and designed by Peter Campbell working in conjunction with top advertising photographer Ron Bambridge and the Brooklands Museum, this profusely illustrated book celebrates the centenary of the world's first custom-built motor racing circuit and home of British aviation.
The award-winning photographs in this book record the design and engineering details of many of the cars, bikes and aircraft that now form part of the famous Brooklands Museum, from the very earliest examples to more recent Formula 1 cars that form part of the collection. Shot in black and white, these images evoke a memory of a unique period in the history of automobile and aircraft development, and the unique race circuit that created its own niche in history.