In the history of Formula 1 Grand Prix Motor Racing, BRM and Ferrari are the only
constructors to have won the World Championship with a car they built completely
themselves including the chassis, engine and gearbox.
The founder of BRM was Raymond Mays CBE (1899-1980), pre-war racing driver, founder
of English Racing Automobiles (ERA) and pioneer of the commercial motor racing industry.
His vision of a British Grand Prix Car capable of beating the continental factory
teams was achieved, with the backing of Sir Alfred Owen and the Rubery Owen organisation,
from a factory in Spalding Road behind his lifetime home Eastgate House in the market
town of Bourne, Lincolnshire, with a workforce that never exceeded 120 people.
Between 1950 and 1977 the team started in 197 Grand Prix with 17 Victories, 11 Pole
Positions, 15 Fastest Laps, 1 Drivers World Championship and 1 Constructors World
Graham Hill's 1962 World Championship was the first time a British driver had won
the World Championship in a British car .
Peter Gethin's 1971 Italian Grand Prix victory at Monza was the fastest Grand Prix
of the 20th Century at an average speed of 151mph .
Six World Champions drive for BRM: Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill,
Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Niki Lauda.
Other notable drivers included: Froilan Gonzalez, Stirling Moss, Jo Bonnier, Pedro
Rodriguez, Jo Siffert, Peter Gethin, Jean-Pierre Beltoise.
BRM designed, built, developed and raced 4, 8, 12 & 16 cylinder engines, opting for
unconventional 16 cylinders on two occasions. The 1940s designed 1.5-litre V16 produced
more than 600bhp and was the first engine in history to rev above 10,000rpm. Drivers
could spin its wheels effortlessly at speeds in excess of many other cars maximum.
The ear shattering exhaust notes have ensured its reputation as arguably the most
audibly iconic Grand Prix car of all time. The 1960s 3.0-litre H16 which proved over
complex and suffered from a poor power to weight ratio, has since become to be regarded
as a remarkable engineering achievement, particularly as it was designed, built,
developed and raced by such a small company.
In addition to the Grand Prix programme, BRM built a Gas Turbine car in conjunction
with Rover which ran at Le Mans in 1963 & 1965 and completed the 24 hours on both
occasions. In 1970-71 BRM built and entered 8.0-litre prototype sports cars for the
North American Can-Am series and European Interseria series.