Brooklands Launches Speed Legacy

Filed under: Classic News,Product Reviews |
Reims at breakfast, Brooklands for lunch Peter Golding ensured Donald Campbell’s DB24 attendedThe Unobtainable-a story of blue was officially launched in the Napier room at Brooklands Museum on the 17 July 2014. A most suitable venue just across the courtyard from the original Malcolm Campbell Shed; built in 1926 proudly displaying the dealership sign of Bugatti with signwriting that proclaims this dealer could also supply the new ‘Auburn Straight 8 Itala’. Launch day a rightly proud moment for author David de Lara, portraits by artist Gloria AvilaThe finished book is a triumph for author David de Lara who has managed to hardback 286 pages and the first thing most noticeable is its bulk and quality of finish. With many previously unseen images from a father and son record breaking dynasty, a journey is taken from Malcolm’s earliest days through to Donald’s great achievement of holding both land and water speed records in one year; something that is unlikely to be repeated and took place fifty years ago this year. The publication alone will be the desire of all ‘speed enthusiasts’ but the addition of a superb DVD ‘Remembering Donald’ which offers an 80 minute in depth celebration of Donald Campbell’s life including much previously unseen footage makes it a must for the collector. Finally the book incorporates work by renowned cartoonist Banx that complement the images from yesteryear, whilst Colombian artist Gloria Avila provided great works of both father and son. Don Wales and Tonia Bern-Campbell kindly posed for photographers with the ‘Longines’ displayWhilst expected to remain impartial I make no apologies for emphasizing just how well this publication is written and presented.  Recognising the books quality, David gained support and backing from the ‘Longines’ Brand who were responsible for the all-important calculations for many speed record attempts. Longines Francillon Ltd interest went much further and not only have they produced several hundred copies with their own dust jacket for distribution to their dealer network, they also contributed to the day with a fantastic display of the original precision timing equipment. ‘The Unobtainable’ rare images and footage, a pictorial history of record breaking lifeFamous faces turned out to wish the book well including Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcom Campbell and record breaker himself in steam and electric powered machines. Engineers that worked on Donald’s record machines both on land and water were represented including Bill Vanryne and Donald Stevens. Peter Golding long term owner of Donald Campbell’s Aston Martin DB2/4 left Reims in Northern France very early in the morning and was rewarded with a photograph opportunity with Tonia-Bern Campbell (Donald’s 3rd wife) loving every minute in a special Aston. Lake Eyre salt flats in Australia Donald Campbell reaches 403.1mph speed confirmed by ‘Longines’With such support on the day author David de Lara must be thrilled after achieving his own goal and bringing this book to the masses; copies are being distributed through Motor Books or via record breaking authority Geoff Holden, who can be found at most major events like the NEC or Race Retro with his ‘Bluebird Replica models’. Much has been written about father and son record breakers, luckily they led lives that provided plenty of copy both in and out of the cockpit; with so much opinion and speculation I advise get a copy of David de Lara’s book, enjoy the DVD and make up your own mind. Grant Ford The Unobtainable-a story of blue Author David de Lara ISBN 9780992978808 Motor Books Article and images by Grant Ford.