A Long-Awaited Occasion

The Advent of the B.R.M.

The accompanying article gives details of the B.R.M. Grand Prix car, which have been long-awaited and will be read avidly by every enthusiast in this country. Motor Sport has done its share in the past in pressing for information about this great project, for we realised the tremendous prestige value of a team of British racing cars able to lead the world in the sternly-contested field of International Grand Prix racing.

Now the B.R.M., on which our hopes depend, has been shown to the Press at Bourne and its prospects look most promising, for the design, especially of the engine, is brilliant in the extreme and, at the time of writing, one car is running, another is being completed in the works and parts and components for five cars are in hand.

Raymond Mays conceived the idea of the B.R.M. as long ago as 1939. Peter Berthon, the E.R.A. designer, took over responsibility for technical development. In February, 1947, the British Motor Racing Research Trust was formed to control and co-ordinate the B.R.M. venture. Its broad objects are clear to every one of us, namely:—

“To construct, a team of three 1,500-c.c. racing cars embodying the latest developments in engine, chassis and accessory design.

“To race the team of cars in Britain and abroad at all times in such a way as to promote national prestige and to demonstrate the quality of British engineering as a whole.

“To co-operate technically with manufacturers and to conduct all forms of tests, research and development in the wide field available.

“To enable experiment and research, hitherto conducted principally in the laboratory, to be carried into the field of practice, to completing all the data essential to the furtherance of general research.”

In cash and kind so far, some £150,000 is invested in the project and the Trust is formed or 160 patriotic and sporting British firms who are making a gallant team effort to attain the result we all desire so earnestly, closely surrounded by an imposing body of industrial concerns associated with the motor industry. A full list of these titans was published in Motor Sport for June, 1948. The first car has been developed over the past two years, all the organisations involved working together on this highly technical project in the most praiseworthy manner, while the Ministry of Supply graciously allowed their North Midland Regional Controller, Mr. R. Henderson-Tate, to take an active interest in the work of the Trust. If progress seemed slow, remember that very high demands of quality and accuracy are essential if success is to be achieved. Engine development commenced last June and the first B.R.M. engine has since completed its tests with every satisfaction to its sponsors.

The future would seem to depend on public interest and support being maintained at the present, or an increased strength. Then the possibility of Britain possessing cars able to finish important races with the Alfa-Romeos, Ferraris, Maseratis and Talbots behind them will reach maturity. When this possibility becomes reality I hope that the feeble handclaps with which British spectators have in the past applauded the victor of a hard-fought race will give place to a greater show of enthusiasm—indeed, that we shall scream our delight and jump on our hats! For long after such acclaim has died away the benefit of British successes in Grand Prix racing will be felt throughout the land.

—W. B.