Wheatie's run in a BRM


I first met the late Tom Wheatcroft before he set up his marvellous Grand Prix Collection at Donington Park. He had begun to accumulate some rare Formula 1 cars in a garage behind his Leicester home. A visit there was always fascinating and I recall being able to sit in Graham Hill’s BRM or Dan Gurney’s Porsche. Tom particularly admired the BRMs, especially the fearsome V16 and examples of the Bourne cars which were a feature of the collection.

We met again in 1989 when I directed a tribute video for Rubery Owen, who thanks to BRM’s late chairman, Sir Alfred Owen, was its chief sponsor. Tom generously allowed us to use the Donington track for our filming.

Drivers who descended on the circuit to take part included Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, Richie Ginther, Damon Hill and José Froilán González. Watching the latter pressing on at terrific speed with the outrageous V16 put a broad smile on Tom’s face. He also had a drive in this monster, proving without doubt that he too was no slouch behind the wheel. Tom’s booming laughter was almost as loud as the ear-splitting sound of the mighty V16 BRM.

Paul Foxall, Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire