1976 Stanley-BRM P207 news, pictures, and information
Chassis Num: 002
Of course BRM was never intended to start out its life as the national joke. Raymond Mays and Peter Berthon had sold many manufacturers on the idea of the ultimate British grand prix car. It wasn't as if the two gentlemen had intended to create a laughing stock. In the days where materials were scarce, the BRM project would be so heavily invested in that it would truly be a case of 'sky's the limit'. And that was the inherent problem. There was nothing, or nobody, to help keep the project grounded.
The new team's first demonstration would be a prime example. Boasting 16-cylinders and an incredible howling sound, the crowd at the International Trophy race expected to have their imaginations redefined. Yet, instead of ground-breaking performance, what everyone would witness was the clutch breaking right at the start and the car left stranded.
For over a decade BRM would fail to live up to what Mays and Berthon promised and the team was anything but the national pride of Britain. But then, from 1962 through 1965, BRM would turn a corner, would think sensibly and would become one of the most dominant teams of the period. Graham Hill would end up earning the World Drivers' Championship in 1962. In that same year, BRM would go on to take the Constructors' Championship as well. The company would have an incredible rise to the top of Formula One, but then…
One thing about success is that it is easy to let it go to your head. Another thing is that national pride still has pride at its core. And as it says in the book of Proverbs, 'Pride goes before destruction'.
Not heeding what had gotten the team to its level of success, BRM would again set off into the woods in search of the ridiculous. The team would again be employing technology and design features that were ahead of its time and that just left their cars unmanageable. A couple of untimely deaths and Louis Stanley's overreaching plans would all set BRM on a course that would eventually come to a head in 1977 and 1978 with the P207.
By 1977, BRM was hanging on by a thread. The Owen Organization had decided to end its association with the team. By this time, the team would become called Stanley-BRM. Instead of admitting defeat and bowing out gracefully, Stanley would hold on to the bitter end. He would put his hope in a new design that was rumored to look like the current chassis employed by Ferrari. However, the car wouldn't much look like the Ferrari, nor would it prove to be the savior the team needed. As a result, BRM would fade away from Formula One in shame and embarrassment. The car that couldn't keep the team's hopes alive was the P207.
Chassis number 207-02 was created for the Stanley-BRM team for the 1977 season. It would be created with its V12 engine and would be entered in four Formula One races during the middle-part of the 1977 season. Driven by the talented Conny Andersson and Teddy Pilette, the car was incapable of enough pace to qualify for either one of the four races in which it attempted to qualify.
The next season, Stanley-BRM would take part in the brand-new British Aurora AFX Formula 1 Championship series. Despite being designed and built for Formula One, the best result the car would earn in the series would be a 4th place at Oulton Park and a 5th at Brands Hatch.
The car would continue to race over the next couple of years earning very little positive results. By the time the car was just five years old it was already beginning to take part in some historic Formula One races. Even then the best the car would be able to do would be a 5th at Brands Hatch and a 4th at Donington Park.
As time passed and the car became a little more removed in memory from BRM's tragic and embarrassing decline, the car would make its way to the United States and would enjoy long-time American ownership.
Under its current owner the car has taken part in a number of historic Formula One events and has competed at circuits like Thunderhill, Sears Point and Laguna Seca. Since coming to the United States the car has undergone a number of revisions and improvements that possible could have made the car much better during its racing career. Some of those improvements have been deemed a 'night and day' improvement and offered its potential buyer a truly special piece of BRM history with a lot of potential.
Although 207-02 represents the darkest side of BRM's existence and disappearance it is still something truly special. Holding onto such a car as this is like clutching onto the memory of BRM itself. Not to remember the darker days, but to long for the days when BRM was dominant and finally began to fulfill the potential Mays and Berthon promised investors so many years prior.
While very much a harbinger of bad memories of BRM's final decline, the P207 is still a car that needs to be loved. Very much the victim of many ill-timed quests, the P207 never had the opportunity to be fully developed and properly designed. Its continued existence is its opportunity to fulfill a purpose it had never been able to fulfill during its short life in Formula One.
Just one look at the car and melancholic feelings begin to erupt. This would be the chariot in which BRM would ride into the expansive abyss of defunct Formula One teams. The once proud British Racing Motors would be no more. All that anybody would have would be this P207. Still, the nostalgia and the sad feelings only make the sad car more valuable to the hearts of BRM and Formula One enthusiasts. This nostalgia and impossible desire to want BRM to come back from oblivion would lead to 207-02 potentially earning between $250,000 and $350,000 at auction.
'Sale 19363: Lot No. 22: 1977 Stanley-BRM 3-Liter P207 Formula 2 Racing Single-Seater', (http://www.bonhams.com/usa/auction/19363/lot/22/). Bonhams. http://www.bonhams.com/usa/auction/19363/lot/22/. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'British Racing Motors', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 September 2011, 13:24 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=British_Racing_Motors&oldid=448037649 accessed 9 September 2011
Diepraam, Mattijs; Snellman, Leif; Muelas, Felix. 'Third Generation of a Racing Family', (http://www.forix.com/8w/pilette.html). 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. http://www.forix.com/8w/pilette.html. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
'Constructors: BRM (British Racing Motors)', (http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-brm.html). GrandPrix.com. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-brm.html. Retrieved 8 September 2011.By Jeremy McMullen
Chassis Num: 002
The company was founded by Raymond Mays. Mays was a notable driver who won the British Hill Climb Championship in 1947 and 1948. Prior to World War II, Mays had built several road racing cars and hillclimb vehicles under the ERA brand.
After World War II, Mays used his pre-War experience in racing, and his many contacts and designs documents gathered while in the sport to form an all-British Grand Prix car of which, he would drive. The team set up shop in Spalding Road, Bourne, Lincolnshire, directly behind Mays' family home. Some individuals involved with ERA prior to War, returned in the post-War era to work for BRM. Those included in this category were Harry Mundy and Eric Richter.
The rules for in the post-War era allowed for engine sizes of 1.5-liters in supercharged form, or 4.5-liter in naturally aspirated condition. The BRM's cars were generally unconventional compared to other teams. Their first entries in the sport were powered by V16 engines enhanced with the help of supercharged. Instead of using the traditional Roots-Type supercharger, Rolls-Royce was tasked with creating the centrifugal supercharger. The engine proved to be very powerful, as expected. Its Achilles heal was its complexity and that its high horsepower output was proved over a very limited range of engine speed. As the years progressed, the teams racers became more traditional, though still fitted with many unique features.
By the time the V16 BRM engine's shortcomings were resolved, the engine was no longer eligible for Grand Prix competition. Instead, it was used in Formula Libre events scoring several victories over its racing career, though all victories were in minor events.
After the V16 project, five years later, BRM began work on a new F1 car. They continued to be true to their founding principles with every major component being designed in-house. Instead of creating a dramatic, bold, and unconventionally vehicle, they chose to go the traditional route. The result was the BRM P25 which was dramatically different from its V16 sibling. It was powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in naturally aspirated guise and designed by Stuart Tresilian. The development of the car took longer than anticipated and upon its racing debut, proved to be unsuccessful. A victory would not be scored by the Type 25 for a long time; the first victory came at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1959. The short-comings of the BRM P25 were many; but mostly due to the large engine valves and rear brakes.
In 1956 Mike Hawthorn and Tony Brooks were hired as team drivers. The team failed to score any major victory. At the conclusion of the season, Brooks left. For the following season, a few improvements were made, but the failed to kindle the desired results.
In 1958, the next iteration of the BRM was introduced, and brought with it an updated suspension. Colin Chapman of Lotus fame had suggested replacing the single leaf spring with a coil spring setup. The change did improve the vehicles handling, but by this point the cars reputation was horribly dismal. Drivers struggling to get into Formula 1 were unwilling to get in its cockpit. Another problem with the car surfaced when alcohol-based fuels were replaced with pumped gas. This caused the engine to overheat, which was corrected in 1959. After years of development and testing, the car was finally becoming a formidable contender. Just as the car was coming into its glory, other marque's, mainly Cooper, had become dominate. Cooper's mid-engined cars were revolutionary, and allowed better weight distribution throughout the vehicle. In response to this, BRM introduced a mid-engined version of the P25, which they dubbed the P48. In almost every respect, the P25 and P48 were identical, except for the layout.
The P48 made its racing debut near the close of 1959. Just as prior cars in BRM history, this car failed to live up to expectations. In 1960, the team scored just four finishes and BRM finished in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. In 1961, in response to rule changes, the cars engine was updated. Again, in BRM fashion, the engine was not ready in time; instead the car was powered by a Coventry-Climax four-cylinder unit.
By the early 1960s, Tony Rudd was in charge of the design teams. Under his care, the cars were fitted with V8 engines which was both traditional and the correct choice. In the hands of Graham Hill, the P57 finally served the BRM team well, securing BRM five Grand Prix wins. Hill secured the Driver's World Championship and BRM was crowed the Constructor Champion.
In 1963, the P57 was modified and improved to keep it competitive. The cars ran well for the next few years, until regulations in 1966 engine the cars career. With the new engine regulations announcement, BRM decided to return to the sixteen-cylinder engine. The engine was complex, just as their prior attempt with an engine of this size had been. The designers tried to keep the engine compact and lightweight; part of their solution in achieving this goal was by laying two eight-cylinder layouts on top of each other, creating a H-16 layout. Just as the sixteen-cylinder engine of prior years had been, this H16 version was complex, heavy and unreliable. Only one victory was scored with the engine, and it was in a Lotus.
For 1967, the team began work on a twelve-cylinder unit that would be powerful, and rectify the shortcomings of the sixteen-cylinder unit. The engine made its racing debut in a McLaren late in 1967. The results were positive, resulting in BRM to abandon its sixteen-cylinder technology in favor of positive prospects with their twelve. The engine was much less complex and more reliable, though lacking in power in comparison. The first BRM car to be powered by the Len Terry designed twelve-cylinder unit was the P126. In total, there were three chassis constructed by Terry, all were given the V12 engine and a Hewland five-speed gearbox.
During the 1968 season, the P126's served the team well, scoring some impressive second place finishes. Mid-way through the season, the team introduced the P133. There were two examples constructed, both were very similar to the P126. One of the chassis was in existence for only a short time before being destroyed; the second was raced with mild success.
At the end of the 1968 season, BRM found themselves fifth in the Constructor's Championship. This was a major improvement from the past two seasons.
For the 1969 season, the P128 and P133 were further developed, resulting in he P138 and later the P139. The engines improvements were ongoing. By the early 1970's, it had been fitted with four-valves per cylinder heads resulting in an increase in power. BRM was one of the few teams at this time using twelve-cylinder units; other teams were having success with engines such as the Cosworth DFV units.
Tony Southgate became chief designer for BRM at the end of the 1969 season. The P153 was introduced for 1970 and was able to achieve a victory at the Spa Grand Prix. This victory ended the teams four-year dry spell.
In 1971, the P160 was introduced. It used a fully-stressed version of the twelve-cylinder engine. The cars were fast, and carried Peter Gethin to a victory at the Monza Grand Prix after averaging over 242 mph. Jo Siffert captured a Grand Prix victory in the P160 during the 1971 season. At the conclusion of the year, BRM was in second place in the Constructors' Championship, right behind Tyrrell.
The P160, in various versions, were used for another three seasons with a total of seven examples being constructed.
In 1972, the P180 was introduced. It was a development of the P160 with only a few minor changes. Radiators were placed on either side of the gearbox, instead of the vehicles nose. This change proved to detrimental, as the vehicles handling was compromised. At the end of the season, the project was abandoned after only two cars had been created.
For 1974, the Mike Pilbeam designed P201 made its racing debut. Power was from the V12 engine, now producing around 450 horsepower. The engines were mated to a BRM five-speed manual gearbox. Drivers Jean Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo had very little success with the cars. The highlight of the P201's career was a second place finish at Kyalami in the hands of Beltoise.
The 1974 season was another low point in the BRM racing career. That low-point would decline further when long-time financial backer, Alfred Owen, passed away. This signaled the demise of the company.
The BRM P 207 was the last F1 car manufactured by British Racing Motors. Two cars were produced for the 1976 F1 season by Stanley - BRM with sponsorship by Rotary Swiss watches. This is the 02 car. The 01 car is currently being completed in the UK. BRM, along with Ferrari, were the only two teams to manufacture all parts of the car.
The car was driven by Larry Perkins, Conny Andersson and Teddy Pilette.
Because of severe lack of financing, the cars were never developed to their full potential. The P207 marked the end of an era for BRM.
The team was run for a short time with support by Louis Stanley and some Bourne personnel until 1977. When the team folded, the assets were acquired by John Jordan, who backed the building of a pair of P230 cars.
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Related Drivers Conny Andersson
Guy Richard Goronwy Edwards
Larry Clifton Perkins
Theodore 'Teddy' Pilette
Related Teams Stanley BRM
1976 Formula One Season
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