We are pleased to publish another progress report on the B.R.M. Grand Prix team, dated December and issued by Mr. A. G. B. Owen, Chairman of the British Motor Racing Research Trust Production Committee. It reads as follows :
Since our last bulletin a month ago, substantial progress can be reported. Whilst every effort is being concentrated on the completion of sub-assemblies for final delivery to Bourne, on the first car set, capacity is also being utilised for the following up of other components on the second and third car, sets for which purposes all raw material is to hand.
The supercharger on the first prototype has now been finally assembled and is undergoing stringent tests closely watched by the development engineers. It is expected to be delivered to Bourne shortly. Another set of assemblies and components for the supercharger on the second car is now available and preparatory assembly work is in progress.
Much progress has been made during the past month (November) on the processing of engine parts. Various items outstanding in our last report have now been delivered, including valve rockers, driving and pressure pump gears, pistons and con.-rods.
There remain approximately thirty items to be completed, mainly small precision components, which will be available this month. The major items outstanding are the upper and lower crankcases and cylinder heads, which has involved hundreds of hours of specialised precision machining. We are reasonably assured that these will be completed, together with crank and camshaft assemblies and all engine parts at Bourne during January for final assembly and subsequent test. Difficulties in the production of gears have now been largely overcome. Many specialised gears have been delivered and one complete set will be ready at the end of this month. This includes all assemblies where gears are used. Material such as gear blanks is to hand for further sets and work has already commenced on machining. Regarding the balance of engines, all castings and raw materials are available and components, ineluding crankshaft, pistons, camshafts, water pumps, etc., have been fully processed.
The second frame has been delivered since our last report and will be followed in early 1949 by the third and fourth frames. Preliminary assembly work is being done on the rear and front suspensions and it is expected to commence assembly of these units to the .No. 1 frame forthwith.
The first set of gearboxes and selectors are now available and gears and shafts are ready for delivery to Bourne. Castings and all materials are to hand for extra units. Machining is continuing for the second and third gear units. The propeller shaft is now entirely cleared and in course of assembly. The second and third seta are in hand for the follow up sequence. The two special clutch assemblies continue to make good progress, the one for the first set having undergone test. The necessary coupling units, pedals and linkage have been finalised and delivery assured to meet the main assembly schedule. Excellent progress can be reported on the steering. Delivery will be made well to time for the assembly programme. In addition, steering control units have been completely finalised and the majority of ancillary equipment is in course of manufacturer. Main design details are complete; these units will be available as and when required for the final building programme. A preliminary prototype model has been made for testing on the many problems that arise under actual racing conditions.
First sets of Lucas ignition distributor units are available. At the test house at Bourne, good progress is being maintained and specially machined tools have been installed for the development of tbe project. A team of highly skilled operators is being kept busy by delivery of components processed in their various stages by over 50 firms co-operating in an all-out effort to make the B.R.M. a worthy example of British engineering. There is every reason to believe that all sub-assemblies on the first car will be complete by the end of January and that Bourne engineers will then be in a position to press on with confidence.