Historic Grand Prix Cars

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

THE whole history of British Racing Motors (BRM) is one fraught with frustration and drama and one could rightly say that “never was so much effort expended for so little result”. After battling with the complexities of the centrifugally supercharged V16 of 1949, finally getting it somewhere near right by the time Grand Prix racing had abandoned supercharged 1 ½-litre cars, BRM went to the other extreme for the 1954 Formula, with a relatively simple car. This was the P25 and it used a 2 ½-litre 4 cylinder engine in the front of a tubular space frame, with unsophisticated ifs and de Dion tube rear suspension. The basic engine design was bought from Stuart Tressillian, but instead of following his concepts of a 4-valve cylinder head, BRM changed it to two valves per cylinder, with simply enormous valve head diameters as the bore was 102.87 mm. used in conjunction with the very short stroke of 74.93 mm. The original P25 was a very small light car, but before it worked properly it grew in size and weight. From 1955 through to 1960 the Bourne concern battled their way from one disaster to another, mostly of their own making, and in all those years they only won one major Grand Prix. Many times they looked the winning, only for mechanical disaster to disrupt their efforts. The engine went through a long period of valve trouble, crankshafts were changed from four bearings to five bearings, while the cars had their fair share of brake and suspension trouble. Over the years the team built eleven as the detail design concepts changed, usually running a team of two cars and occasionally three.

By 1959 it was clear that the future lay in rear-engined single-seaters for Grand Prix racing and BRM wasted no time. They took the existing front-engined P25 cars and literally chopped them up to use the major components to build the P48 rear-engined 2 ½-litre cars. They were about to apply the hacksaw and the oxy-acetylene cutter to the last remaining P25 when a directive arrived at Bourne from Sir Alfred Owen, whose firm Rubery Owen owned BRM, to request that the P25 that had won the Dutch Grand Prix in 1959, their only Grand Prix victory, be kept as a memento of that rare occasion. As luck would have it, car number 258 which Joakim Bonnier had driven to victory at Zandvoort was the last in line for the chop. With a gulp the execution was stayed and 258 was pushed into a corner of the Bourne works. It is this car we are featuring this month. In recent years three P25 BRM cars have been resurrected around new chassis frames and bodies, using original engines and gearboxes and various suspension components, taken from the P48 rear-engined cars, while two more have been made from spare parts. One eminent BRM engineer refers to these cars as the “electric light conduit specials” maintaining that the specification for the steel tubing of the recently-made chassis frames is not correct and not of high enough quality, as called for in the original specification.

The one remaining original P25 BRM stayed in the Bourne works from the day it was saved from the executioner, apart from brief outings to exhibitions and Trade Fairs, until 1981. David Owen, the son of Sir Alfred, decided to liquidate the assets of the now moribund BRM concern and everything was put up for auction by Christie’s of South Kensington last October. In same very spirited bidding Victor Norman bought 258.