Last weekend was the Brooklands Double Twelve, as ‘Regie’ the Renault had been to press day we were asked to take him back to compete in the driving tests and so Mario had to stay at home again.
We only went on Sunday (Saturday had been the sprint part of the event for original Brooklands Cars. First stop was scrutineering, pretty basic and once we got seen it only took a few moments, lots of entrants had forgotten to secure their batteries and were sent off to sort them. We met up with several friends including Walter Heale in an Amilcar. After coffee and a pastry our class – short wheelbase saloon cars – was the first off on the tests on the museum site. First test was the Test Hill, this is the view at the start. Regie had no trouble making the hill and the marshall at the top said we were ‘spirited!’There were four tests in the morning, one after another on the banking and finishing straight. The pics here show the forth test which is the parking test, involving taking the quickest route into five ‘garages’, you can see our marked up and corrected instructions as we decided on the best route, we thought we’d done quite well but a friend said he didn’t think we went far enough into one garage so we might have got a penalty – we wont know until we get the results in the post. Other competitors tried some very odd routes including starting and finishing in reverse.After the tests we parked up to be judged for the concours part of the proceedings, it didn’t seem to serious but then we weren’t a serious contender. After lunch the next three tests were held over at Mercedes Benz World. Test four involved a ‘Le Mans’ start with James having to stand behind a straw bale and then sprint to the car, start the engine and go, Regie was quite good for this with the suicide doors an advantage and we could have the keys turned on in the ignition so all James had to do was press the start button. Not sure he put all that much effort into the sprint though! The final test was called the Rabbit Warren, I’ll say no more but you can see the instructions. As we were out early on the tests we came back and watched some of the vintage competitors doing the museum tests, including a beautiful Alfa Special which had come from Italy for the event, look at the fabulous pedels. We then had a chance to wonder around the museum, including the aircraft and look at some of the other entries before the awards. The results of the individual classes and competitions are not released on the day but the top twelve overall scores are brought into the main paddock and the team of judges debate and award the overall Double Twelve Prizes. The 1935 Aston Martin MK II of David Bracey was victorious following consistently strong performances in the Driving Tests and Concours. Fellow VSCC member, Mark Garfitt took second in his 1937 Frazer Nash/BMW 319/55 Sports, a Brooklands winner in 1937 whilst the 1962 Jaguar E Type of Neil Manley came third. Unfortunately more Mario had to stay at home again but he was cheered up with a present, we found this lovely set of original 60’s unused luggage in a matching shade to Mario’s interior. The two hard cases, lined in quilted and frilled cream fabric (James thought they looked like an italian coffin!), shoebox and wash bags mean that Mario will arrive at Goodwood in style in September.
PS THE RESULTS The results for the event have just been published online and once you manage to decipher them we (well James) and Regie did very well, especially in the driving tests. We won our combined 5/6 class and by my reckoning we were 16th overall in the Driving Tests which is amazing considering the cars we were up against and we did get a penalty on the garages and they only counted 6 of the 7 tests, ignoring the Rabbit Warren which we were very quick on. In the Concours we didn’t do as well but then we’ve never had concours type cars and we were in the Grand Tourer Post War class alongside the Bentley Continental and the overall third placed E-type, we had a score of 66 (HIghest score of the day 89). In the overall competition for the Double Twelve award, we came a very respectable 24th, high up the leader board and only a few points behind the winners, so a result to be proud of.
Today Mario’s ‘brother’ Regie, a 1958 Renault 4cv Convertible was invited for a day out as part of the Brooklands Double Twelve Press Day. Regular readers will remember that Mario had a great day at the Double Twelve event last June. The event is one of Brooklands biggest weekends of the year and a good selection of cars was invited to be on display around the club house and take journalists on a couple of sample tests and to have a go at judging a concours to give them a taster of what was going to be happening in June.
The weather was fairly kind to us, quite bright and not quite as cold as it has been and really rather pleasant as long as one was wrapped up warmly, Regie isn’t really the best car for this time of year being convertible and having no heater, the engine’s in the back so you don’t even get any engine heat.
A couple of lovely Bentleys – a unique R type fastback special and a 1930 4 1/2.
This row were used for journalists to play at being a concours judge – they were given tips for what to look for. The Mini Cooper S won, it was immaculate but has only driven 150 miles since it’s restoration.A beautiful Aston Martin and our friends Vauxhall 30/98, both marques are celebrating centenaries this year and will be represented at the Double Twelve.A Lagonda and the Bentley Pacey Hassan Special which has just returned to the UK and will be competing in the Double Twelve event. Two AC’s, Brooklands is home to AC Heritage and the original AC’s were built locally and raced at the circuit. A special Mini de Ville, this period mod was done by Radford and was a very rare ‘hatchback’ version with lots of extras. Mike getting ready for his test on the hill climb. This is a ‘recreation’ of the famous Mercedes 300 SLR as driven by Sir Stirling Moss on the 1955 Mille Miglia and had been built using original Mercedes parts. James taking Mario on the second test, a mixture of the speed and agility of the car (very good) and the ability of the driver to remember the route! The Barbara Cartland room in the museum. A beautiful Hare mascot on an Alvis. This wonderful 1920’s Rolls Royce had a hidden ‘toy cupboard’ in the running board. All the ‘little’ boys were fascinated and wanted a play. Your author wrapped up against the cold watching James do the Hill Climb test in Regie, picture by our friend Guy Loveridge. Regie outside the clubhouse.
We had a great day and hope we can take some of the cars back to compete in the Double Twelve Event in June, just need to find a class that they are eligible for. Hopefully Mario isn’t too jealous of Regie’s day out, he’ll get his first outing of the year on Sunday at the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of the year.
A few more pics online.
A lovely sunny day for day two, very welcome after the past few weeks, we’ve been very lucky this weekend other than the wind yesterday. Today was a slightly different format, our first task of the day was a few parade laps around the Mercedes Benz world test track. It’s a very tight track so Mario didn’t seem to be too slow and managed to keep up with the rest of the field.
Next up was the concours judging, unfortunately we prefer having fun to polishing and can’t be bothered with the this is/isn’t right, the judges a Frenchman and a Swiss didn’t appear too interested in Mario and his bunting and corgi wasn’t understood at all! If it had been up to the public we would have won hands down, as usual Mario’s fan club was much in attendance.
The final part of the day w four more tests, feeling more confident we found ourselves discussing the fastest route, worryingly competitive. A third run up the hill was successfully completed folded by two simple quick tests performed on the banking and finally parking in a series of five ‘garages’ and a tight circle. We felt we were performing well and certainly didn’t make idiots of ourselves. It was a shame that the link between our class was lady drivers as the cars were the most varied class which unfortunately meant we were in competition with much more powerful vehicles. The winning e-type had an engine eight times larger than Mario so although we tried our best and didn’t make any mistakes we couldn’t get anywhere near their time.
Our final placing was only 9 out of 12 but not really representative of our performance, but never mind, taking part and having a great time was our intention and we certainly achieved that.
The last two pics are others in our class and the top three – the e-type and two Morgans, others including a Bentley, Bristol and MGA.
We should receive the full results in due course so will update with some times later.
Today was the first day of the Brooklands Double Twelve competition. Mario with driver Jane and co-driver Jan were in the Coup des Dames class with an assortment of entries including an e-type, a Bentley and a Bristol. We had never done a driving test before and with the first test of the day being the test hill we were rather nervous. We needn’t have worried and Mario sailed up in first gear to the crowds delight, after that we were in the swing of it all and driving round bales, into boxes and stopping across lines became a great fun experience. We don’t know our times yet but only made one mistake in the two runnings of the four tests so feel we can hold our heads high.
Really enjoyed the day and there was gorgeous cake too! Looking forward to going back tomorrow for another round of tests, some parade laps around Mercedes Benz World track and a concours competition, hoping it might be a little less windy tomorrow so that hats and furs stay in position. Will be back tomorrow to let you know how we got on.
At the bottom of the test hill.
One of the driving tests – one of them was mainly in reverse!