Brooklands V8 Coupe
2006 Brooklands V8 Coupe

Canadian Corner   (Volume XIV Issue 3, December 2006)

Driving the Brooklands V8 Coupe

by: Martyn Harvey

I can hardly believe I was driving an MGB V8 today! There's good reason for this disbelief. It's January in Canada. I suppose the global warming situation means the Canadians of Southern Ontario will be driving their beloved summer toys all year round. Earlier today Barry Preston was my passenger, and we were driving his shiny red Brooklands V8 coupe.

I first met Barry back in the mid-80s at a dinner party. Parked outside our host's house was a very smart looking sports car that I didn't recognize. I knew it was of British origin and I quickly recognized the classic MGB GT lines. But this car looked more Aston Martin-like, more modern, more up scale and sporty than the stock BGT. The colour was magnificent. It was a classy gun-metal silver that left me weak kneed and drooling. The car was a Brooklands Coupe and belonged to Barry. He was the designer, the builder and the owner. I wished it belonged to me, especially when I heard that it was equipped with a Ford 3-litre V6 motor. Barry is still in business today designing and building Brooklands for discerning customers who want a modern sports car with the classic British feel.

I'll always remember January 2nd, 2007 as one of those rare winter days that felt like spring had returned early. The sun was shining and the temperature was at least 50 degrees (F). The day was perfect for a spin in a Brooklands Coupe. Barry offered me the keys and I fired up the engine. The sound of the Rover V8 was delightful, especially as we pulled out on the street and gave her some gas. The engine was smooth with a nice amount of torque and the gearbox was slick. The brakes felt good and firm. Steering was nicely responsive. The ride was hard but the adjustable coil-overs could be tuned to the driver's needs and body roll was non-existent. I was thinking all these things as I adjusted myself to the car. It felt good and we had only driven a few yards up the road! Gotta love that!

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The Rover V8 powered Brooklands GT
The Rover V8 powered "Brooklands GT"

Brooklands Cars has been featured in several magazine articles over the past few years. It's not surprising that the concept of modernizing the venerable MGB would attract attention, especially when it is done as well as the Brooklands. I'm sure many of us MGB conversion enthusiasts can relate to Barry's passion. Here's a quote from the April 1991 edition of British Car magazine:

"Barry Preston, like many a car enthusiast, spent his spare time thinking about the joys of motoring
and, in particular, of the joys of driving his ideal dream car. Where Barry differs from the majority
of car enthusiasts is in the fact that he has turned his dreams into reality by manufacturing the
Brooklands series of roadsters based upon the MGB body and chassis... the Rover-powered Brooklands
features body styling with headlights blended into the fender lines... Mustang II front suspension...
the Brooklands is undeniably a stylish looking car... in the spirit of the great British sports cars..."

And about ten years ago, MG World magazine wrote:

"...the body panel finish and fit is excellent; it really does look like a production car. The doors,
glass and roof are all pure MG, but that's where the similarity ends. Looking through the windscreen,
you realize that the body is five inches wider and the front wings are lower and flatter. On the road,
the Ford-based suspension gives a smoother and more refined ride. And, of course, the V8 engine puts
the performance in a different league altogether from the standard 1800cc 'B'. The Brooklands Renaissance
is by no means a hi-tech car - it doesn't pretend to be - but it does win you over with the traditional
British sports car virtues of quick steering, sharp cornering, good brakes and addictive acceleration."

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When Barry created his line of Brooklands sports cars he certainly put a lot of time and thought into their design and development. Even the name conjures an exciting image that is linked with the MG marque. The namesake of Barry's cars is the famous Brooklands racetrack in England where several world land speed records were set as well as the breaking of the 100 mph speed barrier. MG played a major role at Brooklands during the early years winning numerous prizes including the 1930 Double Twelve-hour race with works-prepared M-Type Midgets. Brooklands is a fitting name for a car that reflects a fine British heritage. Better yet, it's made in Canada!

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Martyn has produced a new video that captures seven minutes of fun from British V8 2006! See our cars driving the famous "Tail of the Dragon", near Townsend Tennessee. Here's a link the video: (sorry... the link no longer works.)

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