BRM was the brainchild of Raymond Mays, whose aim was to build a national Grand Prix car, financed by the British motor industry. The project was delayed and the car's first race was the International Trophy at Silverstone in August 1950.
Throughout 1950 and 1951 BRM struggled to make the V16 cars
reliable, missing race after race because of mechanical problems and, when
they did race, they performed badly.
The BRMs retired in four out of the eight races entered in 1952. Only the most skilful drivers could extract the best from the V16s because of the very high power output developed within a very narrow rev range and because of the difficult handling characteristics.
The great Argentinian driver, Gonzalez, drove the BRMs regularly in l952. In the race seen here he retired after going off the road. He then took over team-mate Ken Wharton's car, but again retired, because of gearbox trouble.
BRM was taken over by the Owen Organisation in late 1952 and the supercharged V16s continued to be raced in both the form seen here and in a lighter, shorter Mark II version until the end of 1955.
BRM V16 Specification (1952)
Engine: V16, twin overhead camshafts per bank of cylinders, 1496 cc (49.53 x 47.83 mm) developing 430 bhp at 11,000 rpm.
Gearbox: 5-speed. Chassis: twin-tubular with front suspension by trailing arms and Lockheed air struts and rear suspension by de Dion axle, single radius rods and Lockheed air struts. Wheelbase: 8ft 2in, Front track: 4ft 4in, Rear track: 4ft 3in. Overall length: 13 ft 2in.
Unladen weight: 14.5 cwt.