Monday, 21 November 2011

Mercedes Benz World

Trip to Mercedes Benz World & Brooklands Museum

 

After a pretty uneventful journey from Grove Green round the M25 towards Brooklands we came across a road closure for the Olympic cycle race trials, no matter which way we tried the road was closed, the only way left open had a low bridge which the coach unfortunately would not fit under.  This resulted in us abandoning the coach and walking the final two or so miles to Mercedes Benz World, finally arriving there just before midday!  We all went our separate ways, some of us looking round Mercedes Benz World, but others of us walked across to the Brooklands Museum which had some very interesting exhibits on display…..

 

 

Ranging from the early 1900's cars that raced at Brooklands up to more modern Formula 1 cars, motorbikes and pedal cycles.  One car of interest on display was a Napier-Railton with a 24 litre aircraft engine built in 1933, which, driven by John Cobb, had recorded an average speed of 143mph around the Brooklands banked circuit in 1935!  

 

 

Personally, after seeing how steep the banking was and the lack of safety in the car, you had to be one brave person to drive round there at those speeds! 

 

Also on display at the museum was a number of aircraft including a Concorde and a passenger jet converted to a palace in the sky for the Sultan of Oman!

 

 

 

And the newly opened Cobham Bus Museum, showing the history of London buses from the horse bus up to relative modern day vehicles, one special vehicle on display was RT1, the prototype of the AEC Regent bus that served London for numerous years.

Wandering round Mercedes Benz world there was lots for us to see, not only the latest range of Mercedes cars, from the Smart car up to the £169000 SLS AMG, but the star cars have to be the classic Mercedes on display including a concept car with no steering wheel, you drive it using a joystick!

 

 

And in one area they had a display of current and recent past Mercedes powered Formula 1 cars, including one that had been broken down to it's components and hung from the ceiling.  Also there was a CLK GTR, a racing car made road legal, one of only 5 ever made! 

 

 

Some of us took advantage of the opportunity to take a ride round the test track driven by one of Mercedes Benz's trained drivers. All I can say is wow! He definitely knew how to handle that car, even if he didn't follow the IAM way of driving, but to do two circuits of the simulated black ice circle sideways whilst steering one handed and managing to change the radio channel with the other showed he did have a little bit of talent, but as Mick Cranfield did point out, he wasn't using the recognised system of driving!!!  On the handling part of the track he demonstrated how fast the car was capable of and it's handling, on the short straight he managed to achieve 100mph before standing on the brakes for very sharp right-handed corner.

 

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Max and everyone else involved for organising the day and Barry, our driver from Brookline, who despite many officials who tried to make our journey as difficult as possible, managed to stay very professional!

Andy Wyles

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