Tag Archives: Stanley

Unreliable and Slow – BRM P201/05

At the end of 1974 Rubery Owen pulled the plug on BRM, after initial BRM backer Alfred Owen had died earlier in the year. This should have meant the end of BRM but some how the team former manager Louis Stanley took on ownership and saved the team going into the 1975 season.

BRM P201, John Fenning, BRM Day, Bourne,

After Mike Wilds impressed everyone in the opening two races of the season, except Louis, Bob Evans was taken on as a replacement and the team appeared with today’s featured chassis #P201/05 painted patriotic red, white and blue and with a wide wing on the nose at the non championship International Trophy at Silverstone.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne,

Bob finished 10th on this cars debut event and in four more attempts with this chassis finished a best 13th in the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix.

BRM P201, John Fenning, BRM Day, Bourne,

With a lack of funds Stanley BRM were recycling the best bits of their engines to keep their cars running and predictably this made the cars increasingly slow and unreliable.

BRM P201, John Fenning, BRM Day, Bourne,

After failing to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix, missing the British Grand Prix completing just one lap of the Austrian Grand Prix Bob qualified 20th for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

BRM P201, John Fenning, BRM Day, Bourne,

However #P201/05 never left the grid on it’s final public appearance due to an electrical issue and the BRM’s failed to show up at the last two races of the season.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne,

Louis Stanely entered the older #P201/04 for Ian Ashley at the 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix where the car inevitably retired after qualifying on the back row of the grid and #P201/04 was wheeled out once more at the 1977 South African Grand Prix where Larry Perkins qualified 22nd and finished a surprise 15th.

John Fenning is seen in these photo’s at the wheel of #P201/05, at BRM Day Bourne, which now has a 1974 style shovel nose and airbox and is painted in the 1974 green and silver livery.

Thanks for joining me on this “Unreliable and Slow” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Marcos Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rubery Owens Last Stand – BRM P201/01-R

After a dismal 1973 season in which BRM did not even mange to clock up a non championship victory the team lost their primary sponsor, Philip Morris, to McLaren.

However Louis Stanley who managed the team for longtime BRM backers Rubery Owen managed to put a deal together for Frenchman Jean Pierre Beltoise, Henri Pescarolo and Francois Migault to drive for BRM in 1974 with backing from the French oil company Motul.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

The Motul deal was interesting because all three drivers were also members of Matra’s dominant sports car team which won at Le Mans and the 1974 World Sports Car Championship who were sponsored by rival company Shell.

Not only that but in agreeing to finance three drivers at BRM Motul reneged on a deal that was to have brought Ron Dennis and Niel Trundle into Formula One as team owners of Rondel Racing. The Rondel car was sold on to become first the Token and later the Safir while Dennis and Trundle eventually teamed up to take over McLaren in 1981.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

Plans for the 1974 BRM challenger were started in 1974 when Bourne resident Mike Pilbeam was entrusted with the design of the new car which shows a combination of influences including the triangulated cross section of the monocoque as first seen in Gordon Murray’s 1973 Brabham BT42, side radiators and all round inboard brakes as first seen on the 1970 Lotus 72 and an airbox that might not have looked out of place on the 1973 Championship winning Tyrrell 006.

While in no obvious way original the striking P201 did differ from all of those that influenced it’s design in one important aspect namely in the engine bay where a revamped BRM V12 with new narrow angle 48 valve heads was to be found said to capable of 460hp at 11,000rpm in place of the Cosworth DFV which powered the rest of the field apart from Ferrari.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

Jean Pierre Beltoise was the first to be allowed to dump his aging P160 to give the P201 it’s debut in the 1974 South African Grand Prix where he qualified a respectable 11th and lasted the distance in a race noted for a high rate of attrition to finish a credible 2nd 33 seconds down on Carlos Reutemann who won the first race of his career aboard the Brabham BT44.

BRM went on to score just two more points in it’s long and turbulent history at the Belgian Grand Prix where Beltoise came home 5th. The rest of the year was a disaster for BRM with Pescarolo scoring a best tenth place finish at the German Grand Prix in his 201 which did not appear until Swedish Grand Prix.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

Francois Migault only had two starts in the P201 in Holland and Italy retiring from both races. The Italian Grand Prix the only one in which 3 P201’s started marked a particularly low point for the team as all three cars were out by the end of the fourth lap.

The Italian Grand Prix marked the last appearance for both Henri Pescarolo and Francois Migault for BRM at the season ending Canadian and US Grand Prix they were replaced by Chris Amon who’s own 1974 programme had come to a halt with a failure to qualify in Italy.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

The Canadian Grand Prix neither car covered sufficient distance to be classified with Amon starting from the back of the grid lasting ten laps longer the Beltoise who started 17th and retired on lap 60.

At the US Grand Prix Beltoise disgraced himself in qualifying by trying to go to quickly too soon damaging his car and injuring himself on what proved to be his final run in a World Championship Grand Prix while Chris qualified 12th and finished 9th two laps down on Carlos Reutemann’s winning Brabham BT44.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

At the end of 1974 Rubery Owen pulled the plug on BRM, after initial BRM backer Alfred Owen had died earlier in the year. This should have meant the end of BRM but some how Louis Stanley managed to save the team going into the 1975 season.

Mike Wilds with an independent backer sponsoring him got the single Stanely BRM entry for the two early season South American races but retired his P201 from both.

1974 European Formula 5000 champion Bob Evans was then given the drive achieving a best 6th place finish in the non Championship Race of Champions before the Stanley BRM’s 1975 season fizzled out prematurely at the Italian Grand Prix.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

Not knowing how to disappear gracefully the Stanely BRM P201 appeared at the 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix with 1973 European Formula 5000 champion Ian Ashley at the wheel after qualifying 21st Ashley retired with oil pump failure after 2 laps. Allegedly this entry was made simply to continue BRM’s record of entry each year since 1950.

For 1977 the Stanely BRM fiasco continued with a new model the P207 which was packed into a crate to big to be air freighted to the Argentinian Grand Prix, after retiring from the Brazilian Grand Prix in the new P207 Larry Perkins was given a run a P201 for the 1977 South African Grand Prix qualifying 22nd Larry brought the P201 in 15th on what would be the models final World Championship Grand Prix appearance.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

Stanley BRM soldiered on for the remainder for the remainder of the season until disappearing for good from the World Championship circuit at the Italian Grand Prix.

Most of Stanley BRM were acquired by cereal millionaire John Jordan in 1978, and a new car the Jordan BRM P230 was built for British Championship events with the P207 also appearing in the same series.

BRM P201, BRM Day, Bourne

Today’s featured car BRM P201/1 seen at BRM Day in Bourne a couple of years ago is owned by Bruce McCaw, the driver was listed as TBA and his identity has yet to be established though we can say it is definitely not Bruce.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rubery Owens Last Stand” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Maserati 250F. Don’t forget to come back now !


Finest, Fiercest Yet – Chevrolet Corvette C1

The 1962 Chevrolet Corvette, like this one seen in the Malta Classic Car Collection in Qwara was the last of four variations known collectively as the C1 models and was advertised with the strap line ” Finest, Fiercest Yet – ’62 Corvette by Chevrolet“.

Chevrolet Corvette C1, Malta Classic Car Collection, Qwara

The front end styling was similar to that first seen in 1958 with four head lights, however the trade mark baroque tooth grill which had been a feature of Corvettes since their inception in 1953 was removed in 1961.

Chevrolet Corvette C1, Malta Classic Car Collection, Qwara

The engine displacement was increased from 4.6 litres / 283 cui to 5.4 litres / 327 cui which gave from 250 hp to 340 dependent of the carburetors and lifters specified or 360 hp when fitted with fuel injection. Two tone paintwork was no longer an option in 1962.

Chevrolet Corvette C1, Malta Classic Car Collection, Qwara

The instrumentation of the ’62 ‘vette remained largely unchanged from 1959 when the engine revolution counter first appeared in the centre of the drivers view below the outsize speedometer.

Chevrolet Corvette C1, Malta Classic Car Collection, Qwara

Among the rosta of winners driving ’62 Corvettes out on the race track were Dick Thompson, Delmo Thompson, Joe Freitas , Dave MacDonald, Everett Hatch, Mack Yates, Bob Moore, Dan McMahnon, Tom Robinson, Don Meline, Bob Paul, Joe Weiter, Jerry Grant, David Stanley, Martin Krinner, Paul Reinhart, Norman Namerow, Ralph Salyer, Nate Karras, Scott Briley, Mike Gammino, Lew Draper, Bob Brown, Roy Kumnick, Red Faris, Jim Collipriest, Roy Tuerke, Hank Mergner, John McVeigh and Mike Stephens.

Chevrolet Corvette C1, Malta Classic Car Collection, Qwara

The 120 mph 250 hp ’62 Corvette seen here was restored over a period of three years and has won numerous awards at classic car shows.

Thanks for joining me on this “Finest, Fiercest Yet” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again, for Ferrari Friday, tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Brotherly love – Riley 9

The chassis of the Riley 9 was designed by Stanley Riley while the hemi head 1087 cc 66 cui was designed by his brother Percy. Riley 9s were produced from 1926 – 1938 with a variety of body styles.

The twin cam engine with short push rods operating the 45 degree inclined valves proved particularly suitable for tuning and Riley 9s were raced with great success into the mid 1950’s. This version, seen at Prescott top and Loton Park bottom, is owned by B Wildsmith and driven in VSCC events by Tim Hopkinson is a Special dating from 1929/34.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s brotherly love edition of Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me tomorrow for a look at another quintessentially British motor car. Don’t forget to come back now !


2 miles a minute – 1905 Darracq 200hp

Using the profits from the sale of his Gladiator cycle factory, Alexandre Darracq founded Automobiles Darracq S.A.in 1896.

In 1905 he built a 200hp V8 specifically for setting Land Speed Records.

Straight out of the box Victor Hemery set an LSR on the V8 Darracq at 109 mph at Aries in France.

The Darracq was then shipped to Ormond – Daytona where Hemery’s belligerent behaviour did not go down well with officials so Louis Chevrolet was drafted in to drive the car to a 1 mile petrol powered LSR of 117.65 mph only 10 mph slower than Frank Marriott on his Stanley Steamer ! Finally Victor Demogeot set a 2 mile LSR beating the Stanley Steamer with an average speed of 122.5 mph becoming the first vehicle to cover 2 miles in less than 1 minute.

Sir Algernon Lee Guiness of the famous Brewing company became the next owner of the Darracq and he used it to set many records in the UK and France until 1909.

The car then fell into the hands of someone who scrapped the axles for no particularly obvious reason and somehow Sir Algernon retrieved the remaining car which was kept stored until 1956 when his widow sold the car to Gerald Firkins who recreated the vehicle as we see it today.

When the pistons were replaced it was found that the engine volume was 25400 cc / 1495.1 cui not 22.5 litres as had been thought for nearly 100 years !

Mark Walker purchased the vehicle in 2006 and has campaigned it regularly in hill climbs and races ever since. Notice anything missing from the front axle ? This vehicle has never had brakes acting on the front wheels yet still gets driven competitively in the rain !

Despite having no front brakes, or reverse gear, a rear axle recreated from a drawing in a 90 year old book and being well known for spitting flames the Darracq is road legal and Mark drives it to and from competitive events.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Edwardian edition of Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, looking forward to Ferrari Friday when I’ll be presenting a Ferrari that allegedly served time as a mini van on the dark side of the moon ! Don’t forget to come back now !


The father of BMW, Jaguar, Bristol and Lotus cars – Austin 7 Part 2/2.

Today I’ll be looking at the legacy left by the humble little Austin 7 on the European Automotive industry, if you missed my introduction to the Austin 7 here is a link to yesterdays post.

The Austin 7 deserves it’s place in British automotive history simply for being it’s first mass produced car, but it’s real standing becomes clear when one considers the Austin 7 was manufactured under licence by the Automobilwerk Eisenbach car factory.

Above Joe Tisdall, 1930, Austin 7 Ulster, VSCC Prescott,

Their Dixi variant of the Austin 7 supplied in kit form initially in 1927 was so successful that within a year BMW bought the company after its own primogenitor vehicles proved less than viable. So the Ausitn 7 saved BMW from ruin as its aeroplane engine manufacturing business began to fail after shady dealings with the USSR came to light.

Above Mark Groves, 1930, Austin 7 Ulster, VSCC Loton Park.

This next bit traces the development of engines if you stick with it you’ll see the blood line from Austin 7 through BMW to Bristol.

In 1932 BMW used the 4 cylinder 747 cc / 45 cui Austin 7/ Dixi engine as the starting point for their own 4 cylinder 788cc / 48 cui motor used in their first all in house designed BMW 3/20

By 1933 BMW built a 1182 cc / 72 cui six cylinder version of the 3/20 engine called the M78 for their 303 model.

In 1934 a larger 1,490 cc 90.9 CUI six cylinder engine was developed from the M78 for use in the BMW 315/319 series of vehicles, which was superseded in 1936 by the hemi head 1971 cc / 120.3 cui six cylinder engine for the 328 model of 1936.

Above Miss Katherine Everett, 1930, Austin 7 Ulster, Prescott.

The plans for the 328’s engine first built in 1936 were appropriated as war reparations by HJ Adlington who was both in the British Army and Managing director of BAC Cars in 1947. The 328 engines designer Fritz Fiedler was also persuaded to move to England where he continued to develop the engine for the Bristol Aeroplane Company cars sold under the new ‘Bristol’ brand, thus the Austin 7 747 cc / 45 cui engine can be seen to be of the great, great, grand father of the Bristol marque which used hemi head 6 cylinder engines derived from the 1936 BMW 328 from 1947 to 1961.

I hope that wasn’t too convoluted or painful.

Above Edward Williams, 1930 Austin 7 Rolt Ulster, Supercharged, VSCC Prescott.

Rewinding back to 1927, Sir William Lyons took the basic Austin 7 and made a high end body for it which sold as the Austin Seven Swallow, moving the Swallow Sidecar Company from side car manufacture into motor car manufacture. In 1945 the Swallow Sidecar Company was renamed the Jaguar Car Company.

Mark Lance, 1930 Austin 7 Ulster TT Replica, VSCC Loton Park.

After WW2 many Austin 7’s were converted into specials as there were not enough new cars to meet demand in England. One of those converting an Austin 7 into a special was Colin Chapman who gave his special a now popular and familiar name Lotus Mk1.

Above Ms Penny Jones, 1931, Austin 7 Ulster Replica, VSCC Loton Park.

The Austin 7 leant it’s name to another influential vehicle the original Austin Mini in 1959 which was originally marketed as the ‘Austin Seven’ and ‘Morris Mini Minor’.

Above Benjamin MARCHANT, 1928 Austin 7 Chummy, supercharged, VSCC Loton Park.

I respectfully suggest that the humble little Austin Seven, which the Austin board only reluctantly agreed to back, became, through it’s role in the development of four prestige automotive manufacturers, one of the most influential vehicles of all time.

Thanks to Roger French and Julian Hunt at TNF for their help identifying a couple of these vehicles, to Tim Murray for his assistance identifying the Chummy and to everyone else for their time and patience, tomorrow I have the first instalment of another two part blog about an absolutely stunning replica of a vehicle which shines in one of my favourite stories about Le Mans, debutantes & underdogs, wishing everyone a fabulous Friday, don’t forget to come back now ! Class Dismissed 🙂


The father of BMW, Jaguar, Bristol and Lotus cars – Austin 7 Part 1/2.

The father of BMW, Jaguar, Bristol and Lotus cars – Austin 7 Part 1/2.

Above, Chris Smith, 1925 Austin Brooklands Replica, Loton Park.

Today I’d like to introduce a very special little vehicle, the Austin 7 in my humble opinion the influence of this vehicle is so far reaching that I am going to make this my very first two part blog, I hope you’ll bear with me and consider the time and space I have dedicated to this model well spent. I’ll start today by introducing the model and tomorrow I’ll consider it’s bewilderingly far reaching legacy on European automotive history

Above, Ms Hannah Enticknap, 1928, Austin 7 Ulster Special, Loton Park.

The truth is so much stranger than fiction. Consider the humble little Austin 7 with a 6’ft 3″ wheel base and track of 3’6″ powered by a 10hp 747 cc / 45 cui sidevalve engine that complete weighed less than half that of a Model T Ford when it hit the streets in 1922 with rear brakes operated by foot and front brakes operated by hand !

Above, Frank Hernandez, 1928 Austin 7 Brooklands Streamline, Loton Park.

Sir Herbert Austin acting against the wishes of his own board threatened to take the ‘7’ concept to rivals Wolseley before putting his own money into the development of the ‘7’ which was completed with draughts man Stanley Edge at Sir Herberts home Lickey Grange.

Above Matt Johnson, 1928, Austin 7 Ulster Supercharged Special, Loton Park, 2010.

Investment repayments and royalties on Sir Austin’s patents arising from the Austin 7’s innovations amounted to £ 2.10 on every vehicle sold on what emerged to be Britain’s first mass production car.

Above Doug Bukin, 1929 – 1932, Austin 7 Ulster Special, Prescott, 2010.

Over the 14 years the Austin 7 was in production 40 different body styles were introduced including 2 and 4 seaters using aluminium, fabric and steel in tourer, saloon, cabriolet. sports, vans and a Coupe style.

Above Tom Hardman, 1929, Austin 7 Ulster B & Q Special, Loton Park, 2010.

In 1923 2500 Austin 7’s were built, small fry in terms of the numbers of Model T’s built and when production ceased in 1939 the 290,000 units built was hardly hot potatoes in terms of numbers against Detroit’s finest yet the Austin 7 deserves it’s place in British motoring history for being Britain’s first mass production car.

Above Gary Bishop, 1929, Austin 7, Blaue Maus Special, Prescott, 2010.

Thanks for popping by, look forward to sharing Part 2 on the Austin 7’s legacy and it’s tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !