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Although the BRM V16s proved dismal failures in Grand Prix racing, in their later years they were spectacular performers in minor races, incredibly fast and very difficult to handle, brutal-looking and almost painfully noisy.

BRM managed to attract some outstanding drivers, including the two great Argentinians, Juan Fangio and Froilan Gonzales. BRM ran in eight races in 1952, but all their entries retired in the first four events.

Then the team's fortunes improved and they scored three wins and a second place. Gonzales drove regularly for the team in 1952 and at Goodwood in September he scored two wins.

He won the 5-lap Woodcote Cup from Giuseppe Farina at the wheel of the 'Thin Wall Special' and later in the day won again in the Goodwood Trophy from other BRMs driven by Reg Parnell and Ken Wharton.

Gonzales was an exceptional driver, and as a member of the works Ferrari team he won the British Grand Prix in both 1951 and 1954 and he co-drove the winning Ferrari in the 1954 Le Mans 24 Hours race. His serious racing career came to an end following a bad crash driving a Ferrari in practice for the 1954 Tourist Trophy.

Late in 1952 BRM was sold to the Owen Organisation, the team's most persistent supporter. The V16 cars were raced until the end of 1955, the year in which a new 4-cylinder 2500 cc car appeared.

Graham Hill won the Drivers Championship with BRMs in 1962 and the team finally withdrew in 1978.

Gonzales - BRM

Goodwood Trophy Race
27th September 1952



BRM V16 Specification (1952)
Engine: V16 with twin overhead camshafts per bank of cylinders, 1496 cc (49.53 x 47.88 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

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Guy Griffiths Collection, 82 Centurion Road, Brighton, BN1 3LN
Tel: 44 (0)1435 813961