The way we were: July 1912

Not only did Percy break the track flying mile record, but also he set ftd beating Barry Baragwanath’s (998cc Winit-JAP) in the process. During the day, Harry Martin (345cc Martin-JAP) broke the Class B (275 – 350cc) flying mile record posting 67.85mph.

Brooklands habitues simply couldn’t accept a newcomer as Brewster could instantly learn to control his bucking machine at such speeds on the bumpy Brooklands track, a surface they’d spent years, in some cases, learning. They left for home in a sombre mood.


Specification of the Norton specially prepared for Brooklands included single speed 4:1 gearing, 1¼in CAP carburettor using 0.680 fuel (watch maker’s cleaning fluid), lengthened frame for improved handling on the rough track, roller big end and Duralumin (a material introduced for aircraft application little over a year earlier) connecting rod. At these record speeds, Brewster held the Norton at over 4000rpm.


Enjoy more The Classic MotorCycle reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.