There's a Garage Hidden Under the Historic Brooklands Circuit: What's In It?

It is not a car. That, I can tell.

Máté Petrány / Road&Track

On a cold, rainy Friday morning, not many of the Brooklands Museum's visitors will choose to wonder around what's left of the circuit over enjoying a nice cup of tea with a full English breakfast inside. That is understandable. But, ignoring a few health-and-safety guidelines by risking a twisted ankle on the wet, mossy concrete banking might just be worth the trouble.

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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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How else would I know that there's a hidden garage just under the circuit itself, accessible only from the far side of what's left of Brooklands today?

In case you don't know the circuit's story, Brooklands was commissioned by a bloke who was annoyed that Britain didn't have a race track. Fortunately, he was also lucky enough to inherit an estate big enough to house one, and so the "world's first purpose-built racing circuit" was opened in 1907.

Three decades of continuous record breaking and motor racing later, the fun came to an end on the rather broken up track when Brooklands' airplane factories called for more ground to fight Germany in WWII. In 1939, the circuit was closed after both the Hawker and Vickers aircraft factories managed to expand right onto the oval's uncoated concrete track. With these new buildings on the inside line, there was no longer a gap for a racing driver.

Today, a small part of the banking remains, complete with the Members' Bridge, an air-raid shelter, and a considerable chunk of the finishing straight, designed to slow down those pre-war cars if their leather brakes decided to call it quits.

Also, when you turn right at the top, only to walk under the bridge and to the far end, there are some steps at the lower side, leading to a garage door.

Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Unfortunately, what's inside is no jet engine, nor car or motorcycle. Hell, it's not even an old bicycle.

Yet the discovery of what I presume must be a rusty sewing machine Drummond Lathe from the time before my parents were born in the place where they built most parts of the Concordes is a triumph nevertheless. A small win you'll take on a rainy English morning, before some baked beans.

My camera wouldn’t fit through the hole, so, blurry phone shots...
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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