Panther Enthusiasts Club UK

Essex/Wessex Areas

Brooklands Museum and Mercedes World Visit

March 14th 2009


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Four cars from the Essex Area and another 3 from the Wessex Area joined the Chelmer Valley car meet (CVCM) and the Charity Classic Car Club (CCVC) on a Day Trip To Brooklands. It was a great success and we look forward to sharing other events with them throughout the season.  As you will see from the photographs it was a real mix of cars that left in convoy from the Thurrock Services to meet up with the 3 Wessex cars that would be meeting us at Brooklands. As you can imagine some travelled quicker than others, but in spite of this by the time we had paid at the gate and been issued with our tickets, we were once again all together. The cars were directed to their parking places in the paddock outside the historic BARC clubhouse by a very helpful and enthusiastic lady who actually seemed to enjoy her job. We were joined here by the 3 Wessex cars.

I was surprised how much there was to see and in fact, many of us didn't manage to see it all. There are exhibitions of Brooklands racing cars, World speed record cars, more modern grand prix cars, early aviation planes, 2nd world war planes, including a whole Wellington bomber that was raised from the depths of Loch Ness, Concorde, Jump Jet, Barnes Wallace bouncing bombs and examples of civil airliners that were built at Brooklands - and that is not the full list!

Having "done" the Brooklands Museum we walked across to the Mercedes World. What a place this is. It's a real showcase. A huge glass building, that not only is the Mercedes car showroom, but also houses historic Mercedes cars. If you go don't miss the 2nd and 3rd floors - we did! If you are prepared to queue you can also go on the Mercedes driving experience. There was a constant stream of powerful Mercedes AMG saloons snarling around the skid pan and handling test tracks just outside the showroom building. Entry to Mercedes World is certainly free, but I'm not sure about the Driving Experience, there may be a charge for that. If you are looking for somewhere to take the kids or grandchildren without spending a lot of money I recommend it.

It was a very enjoyable and interesting day and our thanks go to Richard Shephard of the CCVC and Colin Moles of the CVCM for inviting us. We look forward to sharing other events with them throughout the season. Les and I could definitely have done with more time there. We had missed all the official scheduled tours of Concorde so tried to sneak aboard without paying just before the museum closed (16:15), but got caught and were chased out with smacked wrists and tails between legs.

A few photographs of the day follow:

Some of the cars at Thurrock services waiting for the "off"

and lined up in the paddock outside the BARC Clubhouse

Another 3 very varied cars

The little MGA coupe went well and looked great

Some people made the journey in comfort!

Les's car beside Leigh's SLK sported a red nose and red nose decals

Alec's Kallista flanked by John Edward's S2000. John's trusty old Lima let him down for once (wouldn't start) so he and Pam had to come in something modern

The simulater. I understand from John that the machine simulates 2 cars, an old Napier and a modern racing car. Apparently the difference in the driving technique required is remarkable. I chickened out and didn't try it.

Of all the cars on show, this was my favourite - a chain gang Frazer Nash

However, this Gull Wing Mercedes runs it a close second.

There were 20 cars on show and the following PEC members drove 7 of those. Peter Heales, Leigh Heales and friend Carol, John and Pam Edwards, Les Pratt, Alec Bradshaw, Dave Turner and me (Roy Biddle).



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