More than 35 BRM racing cars spanning 1949 to 1974 will attend the Goodwood Revival including the first ‘new’ P15 V16 race car, built to mark the 70th anniversary of the famous British Racing Motors team.
It was back in November 2020 that BRM (British Racing Motors) announced they would be creating an authentic trio of ‘new’ P15 V16 race cars to be produced in Bourne, Lincolnshire, very close to where the originals were first engineered.
Well, the first of that ‘new’ 16-cylinder P15 V16 BRM racing car trio, built to commemorate the marque’s 70th anniversary has been given a good old workout at Blyton Park racetrack, Lincolnshire, last week in the presence of its new owner, John Owen, ahead of its on-track debut at the Revival.
The dream started for John Owen, 82, the son of the then BRM Formula 1 team principal, with the discovery of three assigned but unbuilt P15 chassis numbers within the original BRM archives and took shape thanks to a shared vision with BRM specialists, Hall and Hall, which has a historic link with the Owen family dating back more than 50 years.
Not since 1953 has a new BRM P15 been built from scratch, but using the original post-war blueprints, specialist engineers from Hall and Hall have, over the past two years, painstakingly recreated the entire vehicle – comprising more than 36,000 individually engineered parts – with a degree of authenticity and excellence rarely, if ever, seen in the world of historic motor racing. The engine alone has more than 4,000 components, many of which had to be individually manufactured by the Hall and Hall team.
John Owen said:
“Hearing that V16 engine again after so many years, was an incredible moment, and a dream come true. It’s a tribute to the tremendous skill, persistence, and attention to detail of the engineering team at Hall and Hall, and I really can’t wait to unveil the car at the Goodwood Revival.”
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.
Thanks to the unique partnership with historic automotive restoration specialists, Hall and Hall, the first of the three ‘new’ P15 V16 MK1 machines have been delivered on schedule, despite the headwinds presented by Brexit and the Covid 19 pandemic.
The car was put through its paces by Rob Hall, son of Rick Hall and partner in Hall and Hall who said:
“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 but got a ticking off from the circuit because I think we exceeded their 95dB noise limit!
“This has been an incredible journey for all of us at Hall and Hall. We have worked closely with BRM ever since I joined the team at the end of ’72, and we needed every bit of that experience to bring this truly awesome racing car to life. It took two years, from the original blueprint right up to shakedown, but there are no shortcuts when you’re working to the level of quality, detail, and authenticity we needed.
“With the first of the three new Mk1 V16 now complete, we will turn our attention to the two remaining chassis numbers,” he added. “With all the technical hurdles now safely overcome, we are supremely confident we can create a truly magnificent, brand new, historically authentic yet entirely raceable 1950s Formula 1 car.”
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