The links between Mercedes Benz and Brooklands grew even stronger this week as the company installed into the Brooklands Museum an external exhibit, in the shape of a 70hp 1907 Simplex-Spider racing car.

The classic Mercedes is on show in a sealed glass case, and stands proudly outside the Brooklands Clubhouse, giving Museum visitors a chance to see the kind of vehicle that competed at the Surrey circuit back in its early heyday. The history of Mercedes Benz at the track is explained on the sides of the case, and it has its own power supply to ensure the car looks its best even on dark winter evenings.

Boxing clever

The “Brooklands Box” was installed to give Museum visitors a relevant link between the Museum and neighbouring Mercedes Benz World, which opens towards the end of summer 2006. The 155-acre site - currently under construction - will include a showroom, conference and meeting space; a series of test tracks; a 10-acre off-road course and 60-acre community park.

Mercedes Benz World will also function as a vehicle retailer for Maybach, Mercedes Benz and smart models. New and used vehicle sales, service and repair, and accessories will all be available alongside a display of every vehicle in the Mercedes Car Group range.

Displays of the company’s most famous models past and present, interactive exhibits and a low pressure ‘no hard sell’ atmosphere will all make Mercedes Benz World the perfect venue for a wide range of users of all ages.

On loan from Stuttgart

The 1907 Simplex-Spider is on loan from the new Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, which is opening its doors in time for next summer’s World Cup, part of which will be played at the stadium adjacent to the new building. It will become the world’s premier car museum, and alongside Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands will give visitors unrivalled access to the proud heritage of the world’s oldest car company.

Even the display box has provenance. It was famously first seen in 2002 as the glass case in which the first Maybach 62 made its world premiere trans-Atlantic voyage on the deck of the QE2 cruise liner, before being winched off by helicopter in New York. It has since made its way back to Europe, and will now reside at the Museum.

In 1907, the Mercedes-Simplex was a state-of-the-art machine, and Brooklands was enjoying its debut season as the world’s first purpose-built race track. Now, almost 99 years on, the two are reunited to continue that proud tradition.

Published : 24/12/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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