This is a Pembleton Brooklands, if you’ve never seen one before then I can relate, as up until a couple of days ago neither had I. In short, the Brooklands is a modern cyclecar with classic design cues powered by the unstoppable Citroën 2CV engine.

Incredibly the Pembleton Brooklands weighs in at just 400 kgs or 882 lbs, that’s with a tank of fuel, oil in the sump, and fluid in the brake lines. It may be the second lightest car we’ve ever featured on Silodrome, being beaten out only just by the Light Car Company “Rocket” which weighs 385 kgs (850 lbs).

Fast Facts – The Pembleton Brooklands

  • The Pembleton Brooklands was developed by former British National Hill Climb Champion Phil Gregory in Bayton, Worcestershire. He designed his first three-wheeled cyclecar as a way to get free transport on the Dún Laoghaire ferry that runs between Ireland and the UK.
  • Thanks to his racing background and the fact that he had built many championship-winning vehicles over the course of his racing career, Gregory was well-positioned to design his own classically-styled sports cyclecar, which he completed in 1999 after founding the Pembleton Motor Company.
  • He soon added a four-wheeled cyclecar to the company’s offerings, both designs could be ordered as complete turnkey cars or as kits that you could build yourself in your garage or shed. A variety of engines can be used, with most owners opting for engines from BMW or Moto Guzzi motorcycles, or the horizontally-opposed twin from the Citroën 2CV.
  • The vehicle you see in this article is a Pembleton Brooklands that was built in 2012, it then remained with its first owner for many years, and it’s now being offered for sale. This car has polished alloy bodywork, a red interior, a polish copper cowl, and a Citroën 2CV engine up front.

The Pembleton Motor Company

The Pembleton Brooklands is a great example of the sort of sports car the Brits excel at building – lightweight vehicles with sharp handling, memorable looks, an affordable MSRP, and a mechanical system that can be worked on by a moderately skilled owner with hand tools and access to beer.

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Image DescriptionThe driving experience in a cyclecar like this is unlike anything else. The vehicle is so lightweight that you feel every undulation of the road passing under you, and the steering is very direct.

The Pembleton Motor Company was founded by former British National Hill Climb Champion Phil Gregory in 1999. He first started designing a three-wheeled cyclecar in the 1990s purely out of curiosity, as the ferry from the UK to Dún Laoghaire in Ireland was free for motorcycles and three-wheelers and he wanted to see if he could create something suitable.

This interest quickly turned into a passion, and he was able to roll his decades of experience developing and building his own championship-winning hill climb motorcycles into the new venture. In 1999 he decided to make it official, founding the Pembleton Motor Company and offering kits and turnkey three-wheelers.

He soon developed a four-wheeled cyclecar due to popular demand, called the Pembleton Brooklands, that used the same classic early-20th century design cues as its three-wheeled sibling. In the United Kingdom there are special laws governing three-wheelers that make them cheaper to register, tax, and insure than regular motor cars, and as a result there has long been a booming cottage industry around them.

The Pembleton Brooklands Shown Here

As mentioned further up, the Pembleton Brooklands is essentially the four-wheeled version of the earlier Pembleton three-wheeler design. The version of the car you see here is powered by a 602cc Citroën 2CV engine which sends power to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission.

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Image DescriptionThis car has a body made from gleaming polished aluminum, with matching fenders front and back, a copper cowl over the engine, and oxblood red upholstery inside.

The use of a Citroën 2CV motor makes the car relatively cheap to maintain and run, the engine is a horizontally-opposed twin that relies on air-cooling, it has two overhead valves per cylinder, and it’s famous for being rugged and reliable if looked after by a competent owner.

Further back the car has full polished alloy bodywork that incorporates space for a spare tire in the rear. There is a classic polished copper cowling up front over the engine, polished alloy cycle fenders over the wheels, and two small aero screens – one for the driver and one for the passenger.

The 2CV engine can produce up to 29 bhp in stock trim, though some tuned racing versions of the engine could make as much as 45 bhp and were used in period endurance racing competition. The relatively low power output from the engine isn’t an issue largely due to the fact that the car’s curb weight is only 400 kgs or 882 lbs, and it’s geared for spirited driving on B-roads rather than long highway cruises.

This is a fair weather car and as a result it doesn’t have a folding soft top, this is what many of the cyclecars from the early 20th century were like, and it seems likely that this vehicle would often be mistaken for a car that’s close to 100 years old when seen by passersby on the street.

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Image DescriptionHere you can see the 602cc air-cooled Citroën 2CV engine. It’s a horizontally-opposed twin coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front wheels. These engines are known for being almost bulletproof if given regular maintenance.

This example of the Brooklands has been nicely put together, with a red upholstered interior offering space for two. It’s road-legal in the UK as you can see by the license plates and the owner has made good use of it, racking up a respectable 66,222 miles by the time of cataloguing.

The car is now being offered for sale out of Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom on Car & Classic and the auction is open for pre-bids at the time of writing. If you’d like to read more about it or place a bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Car & Classic

Published by Ben Branch -