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A famous


Brooklands Road garage by Tony Hutchings


Here and below the garage in Eric Fernihough’s time (Brooklands Museum).


A garage with a history D


riving down the Brooklands Road (B374) from Weybridge Station takes you past the


Campbell Circuit entrance to the Museum and, just beyond the Wellington Way roundabout on the right, a Shell petrol station and car rental office. Although now surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, it dates back to the Brooklands racing era and once backed on to the eastern curve of the Byfleet Banking. Today’s motorists filling up with fuel probably don’t realise it had important connections with motor sport, right up until the 1980s, having been owned and run by Eric Fernihough, Charles Brackenbury and Tony Brooks. Eric Fernihough was a Cambridge graduate –


Master of Arts – road racer, sprinter, tuner, garage proprietor and the breaker during the 1920s and 30s of over 80 world records on two and three wheels. He first appeared at Brooklands driving a Morgan-JAP special at the March 1926 meeting. This was to be the start of a competition career on the Track which lasted some 11 years in which he competed in around 105 races. As well as three-wheelers, he also rode Montgomery, Zenith, HRD, Excelsior, DOT, Douglas, Brough Superior


and Cotton two-wheel machines varying from 173cc to 996cc. Brooklands was not the only venue for the Fernihough team, as appearances were also made at sprints and hill climbs around the country as well as record attempts on the continent. Whilst at university, Fernihough’s professor of engineering allowed him to pursue his motoring projects providing they did not affect his studies. Eric was still an undergraduate when he first appeared on the Weybridge Track, sharing the driving of the 494cc JAP-powered Morgan with his fiancé Kathleen Butler. Many records were taken between March and October. The following year saw Eric racing motorcycles


on the concrete, starting with a 175cc Montgomery and later riding HRD, Zenith and Excelsior machines all powered by JAP engines. The Morgan however still featured in record attempts. Fernihough was a regular competitor in 200-mile solo races towards the end of the 1920s, riding bikes with JAP engines with capacities between 246cc and 490cc. He specialised in working on JAP engines and by this time was gaining a reputation as a tuner. He was running a garage in Southampton and maintaining a Paddock shed at Brooklands, acting as an agent


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