Brooklands Double Twelve
13th and 14th June 2015
The Current Brooklands 12/12 event is somewhat different to the original 12/12
of the 1930s, which basically was the English answer to the Le Mans 24 hour
race. However to keep the local residents happy it was run in two 12 hour
sessions, with the cars being held in a “park ferme” overnight.
The current 12/12 is made up of three events, the Sprint on the Mercedes Benz
test track on the Saturday, and the Driving Tests around the museum site on the
Sunday, with the third event being the Concours, which takes place on both days.
The winner of the overall event is the person who does best in their two chosen
events out of the three. Originally, when this event started five years ago, the
idea was to have 12 classes with 12 cars in each, but this has now been changed
with different classes for each event.
This year I had entered our Jarvis-bodied M-type for the Driving Tests and the
Concours, having hung up my racing overalls at the end of last year. The M-type
is a nippy little car suitable for tight tests. However about five miles from
home, the ammeter went to full charge, and smoke started coming out from behind
the ammeter. I quickly pulled into the next layby and turned everything off.
There was obviously a dead short somewhere, so I needed a tow home.
Unfortunately due to the early start, I had forgotten to collect the essential
mobile phone. I managed to get a passing motorist to stop and lend me his phone
to ring Rosemary up, who duly turned up with the tow rope. We then proceeded to
take it to my tame 84-year old electrician, who was only about two miles away.
We left the MG in his drive with an explanatory note, as he wasn’t at home.
Once we got home, I decided to get our ND out to take instead of the M-type.
This has just had its blower overhauled and hadn’t been out on the road after it
was refitted. Unfortunately the car refused to start, so I ended up taking our
RV8 up to deliver the goods required for our SE Centre stand, being organised by
John Davies. I then came straight home and managed to get the ND going ready for
the driving tests on Sunday. Result at last!
Sunday arrived a bit wet, but soon cleared. We had to get the car scrutineered
on the Finishing Straight before we were allowed to sign on. This involved
checking the battery was secure and that we had a second return throttle spring.
I had arranged for Martyn Phillis (our previous SE Centre webmaster) to act as
my passenger, as required by the regulations, and he and I duly signed in and
collected the relevant wrist bands. There were different colours for drivers and
passengers, which were sometimes checked by the marshals. Another SE Centre
member, Mark Hanson, was entered in his ex-Dick Jacobs Y-type, and collared
Martyn to act as his passenger too. We thought that this would work, as he was
likely to be running in a much later class. As well as Mark Hanson, the SE
Centre was represented by Colin Reynolds (our current webmaster) in his replica
The first test was on the Finishing Straight, which involved going into garages
made out of straw bales. Whilst waiting, we saw Chris Edmondson frantically
hunting for a passenger for his swept-wing J2. Eventually Martyn Phillis helped
him out, and we proceeded round the next five tests in tandem. Fortunately we
had finished our six morning tests before Mark Hanson was called up for his
tests. The tests were quite easy, but needed to be correctly remembered,
otherwise a wrong test produced maximum penalties.
As well as the competitors, there were quite a few car club displays, but none
as impressive as our own SE Centre stand, which boasted 19 cars at one stage,
including a very original MG6R4. This was ably organised by John Davies and Jon
Glover, and created quite a lot of interest, and hopefully we will have some new
members as a result.
During the lunch break, I was approached by a chap who had been told to have a
word with me about the pre-war MG scene. He turned out to be Paul Denley, whose
grandfather was the well-known Bert Denley. Bert was a record breaker on
motorbike and also cars. One of his highlights was taking over EX127, after
George Eyston found he was too big to fit in the car, and breaking many class
records at Montlhery in 1931. He also helped George when he went record breaking
in the Speed of the Wind, as well as helping out Leo Villa preparing Malcolm
Campbell’s record breaker.
I then roped Paul in as my passenger, to free up Martyn Phillis, and so Paul had
a ride on the track where his grandfather had raced all those years ago in the
1930s. Unfortunately, I got so involved in talking to Paul that on the second
afternoon test, I had mental fade and did a wrong test, which immediately put me
out of contention. However Paul and his family who were watching us certainly
had a good day.
Although I had missed out on the Saturday Concours, I managed to get the
substitute ND judged on Sunday, but as I hadn’t had time to clean it up, we
didn’t do well.
The results came through and Colin Reynolds won his class and came 5th overall
out of the sixty two 12/12 competitors. Mark Hanson came a good 35th, whilst I
was well down the list. It was a good event, although it is not a patch on the
earlier days, when our C-type won its class in 2011, and was presented with a
lovely pewter trophy by Prince Michael of Kent. A day I will long cherish.
The following year I
lent our ND to Peter Ross and Chris Nowlan. They ended up also winning their
class as did Colin Reynolds, and getting a slightly muted pewter trophy. The
subsequent years, the class winners, got a lump of the concrete banking – a
truly awful trophy!
John Davies on the S.E. Centre stand
Once again the South East Centre was invited to display fourteen cars per day.
The Brooklands marshalls supplied us with further cars on each day which meant
on Sunday we had a total of nineteen MGs. These included a MG Metro 6R4 and the
unique MGA 'hawk' imported from America and featured in Piers Hubbard's latest
book titled 'Call it MGA'.
Both days saw a brisk trade on the stand for clothing, umbrellas and books.
I am pleased to say we handed out a number of membership packs to potential new
members and information regarding our forthcoming events.
Piers was selling signed copies of his new book which nicely completed our 60th
birthday celebration for the MGA.
Our cars attracted a lot of interest from the general public as well as other
Many thanks to all the members who gave up their time to display their cars and
help manage the stand.
Thanks also to Jon Glover for his efforts on both days and for the supply of the
brilliant birthday banners.
If you would like to join us next year keep up to date for details from the
Newsletter, Website and of course our 2016 Calendar published at the end of the