Wednesday, September 23, 2009

1949 B.R.M. Grand Prix Racer and Raymond Mays-- Photos

Two photos from the National Archives. BRM was founded by Raymond Mays, who was associated with ERA before WWII. Mays' pre-war successes (and access to German pre-war M-B and Auto Union design documents) led him to build an all-British Grand Prix car for the post-war era as a project that was to reflect a renewal of national prestige in the wake of WWII. With financial and industrial backing from the British motor industry and its suppliers, a trust fund was organized in 1947 -- the British Racing Research Trust.

On December 15, 1949, the new B.R.M. race car was unveiled. It was powered by a 1.5 liter, V- 16 engine, and had a top speed of 200 m.p.h. This engine was supercharged by a Rolls-Royce system that had been developed primarily for aviation applications. consequently, the engine was powerful, but useful only within a limited range of speeds.

The car, driven by Reg Parnell, won the GP at Goodwood in 1950, but the power plant had serious limitations in terms of reliability which limited its future use. Indeed, this version of the B.R.M. would not win again, and a string of embarrassing failures followed.

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