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BRM revs up for 70th anniversary Revival party

MK1 V16 rear

Seventy years have passed since BRM’s Formula 1 debut at the 1951 British GP. To mark this milestone anniversary, the storied British brand is bringing more than 35 of its racing cars to the Revival meeting at Goodwood this weekend. All except one will have been seen pounding away at racetracks around the world at some stage over the years. That one is a brand new P15 V16 completed in the last week or so by long-time BRM specialists Hall and Hall.

And yes, it is completely new. Starting with the original post-war blueprints, the company’s engineers took two years to recreate the entire vehicle which comprises more than 36,000 parts, including its 4,000-part 1.5-litre supercharged V16 engine.

BRM V16 Owen

Above: John Owen fulfills his long-held dream to bring the iconic sound of the 1.5-litre supercharged V16 back to Britain’s racetracks

The car, the first of three ‘new’ P15s BRM plans to build had its first proper shakedown at Blyton Park racetrack last week in the presence of its owner, John Owen. John’s father was BRM’s team principal, Sir Alfred Owen, a leading industrialist and founding member of the consortium charged with building a world-class race car and bringing championship glory to the nation – a vision that was ultimately fulfilled in 1962 when Graham Hill won the World Drivers’ Championship in a mid-engined P57 BRM. 

John was just 10 years old when he first heard the sound of the sixteen-cylinder.  ‘Hearing that V16 engine again after so many years, was an incredible moment, and a dream come true,’ said John Owen.

At the wheel around Blyton Park was Rob Hall, son of Rick Hall and partner in Hall and Hall. ‘The car is fundamentally superb,’ he said. ‘Of course, it still needs a few tweaks and adjustments, but this is to be expected in such a complex package. We took the engine up to 9,000rpm – it’ll do 12,000rpm at full chat – but got a ticking off from the circuit because I think we exceeded their 95dB noise limit!’  

BRM V16 Blyton Shakedown

Above: Rob Hall takes the new P15 through its paces at Blyton Park

Key BRM team members, together with Rob and Rick Hall, will all be at Revival to oversee the largest collection of BRM racing cars ever assembled. And in what will surely be an unmissable event for every British motorsport fan, John Owen will unveil the ‘new’ BRM P15 V16 on Friday 17 September. Get ready for the wail.


By Wayne Batty

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