British Racing Motors (BRM) was a British Formula 1 motor racing team. Founded in 1945, it raced from 1950 to 1977, competing in 197 Grands Prix and winning 17. While BRM certainly created more successful F1 cars, the most astonishing has to be the BRM Type 15 with its inconceivable 1.5 litre V16 engine.
The first post-war set of rules for Formula One allowed 1.5 litre supercharged or 4.5 litre naturally aspirated engines so BRM’s first engine design was an extremely ambitious 1.5 litre supercharged V16. The design concept of the V16 had not been used extensively on automobiles before so that design problems were many and the engine did not fire for the first time until June 1949. While it proved to be outstandingly powerful, its output was produced over a very limited range of engine speed and it was ultimately unreliable and difficult to develop.
The BRM V16 reportedly produced an amazing 600 hp, or 400 hp per liter, with pistons smaller than two inches in diameter! We’d love to get our hands (or two fingers) on a minuscule piston.
The Type 15, which was the designation for the V16 car, won the first two races it actually started, the Formula Libre and Formula One events at Goodwood in September 1950, driven by Reg Parnell. However, it was never to be so successful again and the team’s development efforts were not up to the task of improving the situation. A string of failures caused much embarrassment, and the problems were still unsolved when the governing CSI announced that for 1954, a new engine formula of 2.5 litres naturally aspirated or 750 cc supercharged would take effect.
While the video does contain a picture gallery, it is audio only with no footage of the BRM V16 on the track. The reverberation was obviously recorded while on a track, as the racket comes and goes depending upon its proximity to the recording device. What a sound…enjoy!