British Racing Motors billed itself as the original British Formula 1 team and the brand is back, intent on building three continuation models of the 1950 Type 15 V16 Formula 1 car that brought it fame.
The team has just released footage of its supercharged 1.5-liter V16 engine firing up and spitting flames in testing.
“We didn’t want to push it too hard on the dyno,” Martin Smith, chief engine technician for the engine rebuild. “But even so we estimate we got about 550 BHP at 10,000 RPM and 2.5 psi – which is a huge step forward as we continue to build our experience and understanding of this astonishing engine.”
The engine will rev to at least 12,000 rpm and put out 591 HP. The one seen in the video is an original and was rebuilt by Hall and Hall, BRM’s technical partners, as a form of research before three new ones are produced to original spec.
See Also: 1950s BRM V16 F1 Runs Up Goodwood Hill
“There is little margin for error with these parts, right down to 1,000th of a millimeter,” said Rick Hall, Hall and Hall founder. “For example, we had some earlier issues with the Rolls Royce supercharger, which we had to rebuild from scratch, so through trial and error we are flushing out these issues and also learning a great deal about how this engine behaves.”
The engine seen here was last run in 1999 at BRM’s 50th-anniversary celebration. It was driven by Jose Froilan Gonzalez, a veteran Formula 1 driver who drove with BRM and Ferrari, among others, between 1950 and 1960. During the demonstration run, though, he accidentally over-revved the engine, damaging it in the process.
The three cars that BRM builds will use original VIN numbers from the ’50s. These were allocated to the racing program in the era, but BRM never built them because of changing regulations in the sport. It’s a similar path to that taken by Jaguar when it built new XKSS continuation models
The first car has been commissioned by John Owen, the 81-year-old son of Sir Alfred Owen, BRM’s original owner, and is expected to be delivered later this year.