In 1906, a local landowner, Hugh Locke King, had the idea of a purpose-built motor racing course - the first in the world. Under the design-control of Colonel H.C.L. Holden of the Royal Artillary, the plans eventually realised a track 3.25 miles (5.25 km) long with high-banked corners and two long straights to increase speed. The first official race was held on 6th July 1907, and the course hailed as the "Motor Ascot" by the press.
Alongside the paddock and stands inside the race circuit was built a runway and aerodrome. A.V. Roe carried out his first trials here, and the area became a centre for aeronautical design and construction. During World War I, Vickers and Sopwith increased their production here. By World War II, Vickers-Armstrong was producing the Wellington, and experimental work was being carried out by Barnes Wallis. Wallis continued his work in the post-war years creating a "Stratospheric Chamber" to investigate the effects of altitude and climate in high-level flight in an attempt to save lives in the air. Vickers-Armstrong became part of the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) and sections of Concorde were manufactured here.
The Brooklands Museum houses the London Bus Museum, a number of static aircraft (several open to the public), and a collection of cars, motorcycles and bicycles. Rides in old racing cars up the Test Hill and multi-media 'experiences' are also available.