British Racing Motors (BRM) is celebrating its 70th anniversary with the construction of three new Type 15 Mk1 BRM V16s. The cars will be constructed to FIA standards, and therefore will be fully eligible for historic racing. The rights to BRM are still controlled by the family of Sir Alfred Owen, a founding member of the original racing consortium assembled in the 1950s.
The sole surviving original V16 MK 1 is a museum piece, deemed too valuable to race. However, in partnership with historic racing specialists Hall and Hall, the three new cars will be built based on an impressive cache of 20,000 original drawings.
Hall and Hall founder Rick Hall has links to BRM, having been part of the Formula 1 team in the early 1970s. “I have been passionate about BRM since I joined the team at the end of ’72,” explained Hall. “I have spent the last 50 years or so working with these remarkable pieces of British and Formula 1 engineering history and am delighted to be teaming up with the Owen family and BRM to be their official historic racing partner – I only wish I was 20 years younger!”
The project has been gathering momentum for several years, when three of Sir Alfred Owen’s grandsons, Simon, Paul and Nick, and his son, John Owen, first began discussing how BRM should be revived and preserved for future generations. The discovery of several chassis numbers which had been allocated by the BRM team in 1950, but never built due to a change in Formula 1 technical regulations, presented a unique opportunity.
“Without the 20,000 or so original technical drawings, we could not have contemplated such an ambitious project,” said Nick Owen. “But incredibly, that is just the starting point, as these archives tell the story of staggering British innovation and engineering skill. It is hard to imagine just how complex a 16-cylinder engine is but what is clear is that the same care, attention and design detail went into every element of every BRM.
“It was an undeniably British effort – the likes of which we may never see again. Perhaps only now are we beginning to appreciate that this archive has a relevance that goes well beyond the drawings and the cars. This is a story about how BRM and a few men in sheds influenced Formula 1 and the wider motor industry.”
The newly sanctioned cars are already under construction at Hall and Hall in Bourne in Lincolnshire, UK. On-track demonstrations are scheduled to celebrate the 70th anniversary of BRM in 2021. The two sanctioned chassis will be available for sale on application.