Brooklands celebrates circuit's centenary

Named after the famous British circuit where bentley had a big succes in the 20s, the Brooklands Coupe and one of the most famous of the vintage Bentley racing cars are reunited at the circuit for the first time to celebrate Brooklands track centenary.

Brooklands celebrates circuit's centenary

The Brooklands wants to bring back to life the style, power and splendour of the 20s and the 30s. During this period, Brooklands was the scene of some of Bentley’s greatest triumphs, as the Bentley Boys raced their machines on the treacherous Members’ Banking.

The most famous racers at Brooklands were Speed Six models with special Vanden Plas bodies, known affectionately as ‘Old Number Two’ and ’Old Number Three’. These were the only cars created by Bentley specifically for competition purposes.

"Old Number Two" was victorious in its first outing, winning the 1930 Brooklands Double Twelve (a 24-hour race run over two days), driven by Bentley Boys Frank Clement and Woolf Barnato at an average speed of over 85 mph. ‘Old Number Three’, driven by Sammy Davis and Jack Dunfee, came second. Old Number Two went on that year to take second place at Le Mans behind another famous Bentley, ‘Old Number One’.

Bentley’s performance at Brooklands was outstanding with its cars placed in the top three in 172 races out of 672 entered. Of these, Bentley achieved 73 outright wins. Speeds on the outer circuit were exceptional, with cars like ‘Tim’ Birkin’s Single Seat Seat Blower Bentley taking the lap record twice, raising it to over 137 mph. Of the 84 drivers earning a ‘120 mph’ badge, 15 drove a Bentley.

Brooklands celebrates circuit's centenary

The highly coveted ‘130 mph’ badge was earned by a mere 16 cars, three of which were Bentleys. In the late 30s, the Barnato-Hassan Bentley driven by Oliver Bertram became one of only three cars to exceed 140 mph when in 1938 it achieved 142.6 mph.

Margaret Allan, driving a Marker Bentley affectionately known as ‘Old Mother Gun’, proved that women were equally courageous and skilled at the wheel, when she achieved 134.97mph at Brooklands in 1938.

In this centenary year, Bentley is celebrating its proud racing history with the introduction of a thoroughly contemporary new coupe, the Bentley Brooklands.

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