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Book Reviews: BRM - Racing for Britain

NZ Classic Driver, July-August 2022

'As with the Vanwall book reviewed in the last issue, Porter Press has produced another superb looking publication. With 304 pages and measuring 31 x 31cm, the fabulous photographs can be seen to their full potential. The text is authoritative and eminently readable. As well as the races, cars and drivers, the people behind the scenes get their due too. Sir Alfred Owen quite rightly receives full credit for his unwavering support for the team over means years. Others like Tony Rudd and Tony Southgate and the hardworking mechanics feature, as does Sir Alfred's brother-in-law, Louis T Stanley (a controversial character, although he deserves credit for his crucial support for the GP Medical Service). 

The Owen family took the hard decision to auction the cars and various assets in 1981. Fortunately they retained the intellectual property, archives and other key elements and in 2021 the current generation was able to experience the superb re-creation of a V16 at Goodwood. The moment is captured at the end of the book, rounding out a brilliant marque history.'

Classic and Sports Car, July 2022

'Following the square format of it's superb reworked Vanwall history (Book of the month, April), Porter Press has teamed up with the Owen family for this vivid BRM celebration. Primarily a pictorial history using the extensive family archives, this 300-page title covers the highs and lows of the historic team. Ian Wagstaff's highly readable text and extensive captions complement the photographs, drawings and ephemera, superbly packed by designer Martin Port. Pull-out stories help to break up the text, focusing on the badge design, which Mercedes initially objected to the team's Maserati 250F purchase, and four wheel drive. The Rover-BRM gas-turbine sports cars are extensively covered too, including the banter between the Le Mans team drivers Graham Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart. The images are the highlight of this sumptuous book, particularly the large workshop studies, A shot of Tony Rudd's Rover going through customs with a Grand Prix V8 in the boot contrasts dramatically with modern F1.'

Motorsport News, May 2022

'And BRM's story is an important one. In the 'British invasion' of post-war motorsport - the legacy of which still lives today - BRM is central'

Review by David Tremayne

'But the great news is that Doug has been working with fellow indefatigable author Ian Wagstaff (whose excellent BRP book for Porter Press we reviewed in Issue 321, Saudi Arabia) to create a long-needed stand-alone history of the marque for Porter: BRM - Racing for Britain. It coincides nicely with the 60th anniversary of the Bourne team's World Championship success, and the creation of new V16s.

For all the criticism aimed at it over the years, BRM was a genuine leading contender in the early Sixties, and had Mike not perished in 1968, or Pedro and Seppi and 1971, who knows where things might have led? At a time when those new V16s are coming, and interest in the marque is reviving, tis 300-page tome with its 400 images is packed with stories and complemented with archival material to create a timely and insightful reminder of just what the team did achieve, and not just how some of the lofty dreams of the colourful characters behind it failed to reap their promise. It comes highly recommended.'