BRM V16 in Camera #2# A photographic portrait of Britain's glorious Formula 1 failure

ISBN-10: 085733235X

ISBN-13: 9780857332356


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BRM V16 in Camera #2# A photographic portrait of Britain's glorious Formula 1 failure

by Anthony Pritchard

In motor racing history there have been innumerable cars that have failed to live up to their initial hype and the most ignominious of them all must be the illfated BRM V16. Conceived in the aftermath of the Second World War as a "National Grand Prix Car" to take on the world's best, this car was a magnificent folly from start to finish.

Grand Prix racing post-war required eligible cars to be powered by either 1,500cc supercharged or 4,500cc unsupercharged engines and newly created British Racing Motors, funded by contributions from British industry, chose the former route. Led by Raymond Mays and with Peter Berthon heading design, BRM created a highly ambitious car powered by an engine of 16 cylinders in vee formation. The expense and complexity of this incredible engine was to lie at the heart the car's downfall.

The BRM V16's infamy arose above all from its disastrous race debut in August 1950 in the International Trophy at Silverstone, where it arrived at the last minute, lined up at the back of the grid, and expired with a broken driveshaft when the flag fell. As time went by it became clear that the BRM was in no way a potential World Championship winner, and indeed the car only ever took part in one World Championship Formula 1 race, the 1951 British Grand Prix, the two entries finishing fifth and seventh. Instead the BRM V16 found success in club races of short duration - a far cry from what had been intended.

This book presents an outstanding array of over 300 photographs telling the BRM V16's story frorn start to finish. Coverage includes many close-up technical images, while the main body of the book comprises a race-by-race photographic account accompanied by informative commentary. Painstaking sourcing of photographs has resulted in illustration of every single race, including international forays to Spain, France and New Zealand as well as relatively obscure horne events at venues such as Ibsley, Turnberry and Snetterton.


  • English Racing Automobiles
    The inspiration behind BRM
  • Grand Prix racing in the 1930s
    Its influence on the BRM V16
  • The BRM V16 in detail
    The concept of a "National Grand Prix Car"
  • The 1950 season
    A faltering start
  • The 1951 season
    The problems continue
  • The 1952 season
    The beginning of the end - a season of non-championship racing
  • The 1953 season
    The first year with the Owen Racing Organisation
  • The 1954 season
    A year of Formule Libre racing
  • The 1955 season
    The V16's final year of racing
  • Postscript
  • BRM drivers
    BRM V16 specification in detail
  • Summary of the racing record of the BRM V16
  • BRM suppliers
  • "An Engineering Exercise"
  • "Supercharging the 1½-litre V16 BRM Racing Engine"

Buch, Hardcover, 23,5 x 28,5 cm, 336 Seiten, 20 farbige und 300 s/w-Abbildungen, englischer Text