A Memorable Occasion - on Cassette

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INn June 1958 there was a memorable happening at the Oulton Park circuit, as I well remember. Through the efforts of the late Laurence Pomeroy, Mercedes-Benz had been persuaded to take out from their Stuttgart Museum their two fabulous pre-war Grand Prix racing cars, a 1937 W.127 and a 1938/9 W.163, so that these, the most powerful road-racing cars of all time, could be demonstrated during the VSCC meeting at the Cheshire circuit.

The problem was who should be entrusted to once again unleash these very potent racers, for the 5.6-litre straight-eight W.125 developed 580 b.h.p. at 5,800 r.p.m. (the hand-out says 646 b.h.p.) on its special methyl-alcohol fuel, being capable of some 195 or more m.p.h., and the smaller V12 3-litre gave 485 b.h.p. at 7,800 r.p.m. and was able to go about as quickly. It was decided that Peter Collins and Tony Brookes should be given the considerable honour of driving the demonstration laps and they exchanged cars in so doing. Both, as I remember vividly, were enormously impressed with the power and acceleration of the pre-war cars, compared to the modern Grand Prix machinery they had been racing. For some time, for example, Brooks was troubled by what he thought was mechanical vibration in the W.125 but it turned out to be the effect of wheelspin on the dry track when he put his foot down in top gear. . . .!

This memorable occasion was recorded by Stanley Schofield and his Chief Recordist Gordon Pitt and these tape-cassettes are still available, to bring back memories of those two fabulous German GP cars running round Oulton Park at “characteristic speeds” with the young drivers entrusted with them being interviewed by Laurence Pomeroy. As an added attraction, the quite characteristic sounds of the 1 1/2-litre V16 BRM that was a controversial sensation when it made its debut, after Raymond Mays’ efforts, in 1950, are also on the tape. This remarkable car is described in sound by Nevil Lloyd, in another crisp commentary. The tape concludes with a sound picture of the development of the later 2 1/2-litre BRM with the voices of Jo Bonnier and Graham Hill lending authority to the commentary. Technical details of both Mercedes-Benz and the V16 and four-cylinder 2 1/2-litre BRMs are included with each cassette, as is a short history of these prominent pre-war and post-war GP contenders. The tape helped me to relive many happy occasions and enthralled some of my grandchildren who were hearing what, up to that moment, had only been a thought put there by verbal description. As there is only a limited number of tapes, orders can only be dealt with in receipt rotation. Mark envelope (Tape Offer).