Thursday 22 December 2016

Dyno Test Results

We ran the BRM on the brand new, just calibrated Dyno at Superior Automotive Services today. Rodney and Andrew operated the dyno with Bradley assisting with various tuning changes to fuel mixture etc etc. 

BRM V12 Engine 009 achieved 513 HP at 10,500 RPM

It is very very loud, very smooth and the 12 little short stroke 250cc pistons (combined with a very small flywheel) rev up very fast. From 8,000 rpm to 10,500 rpm is the sweet zone.

The power of this particular engine (009) has increased compared to the recorded power of these V12 motors in the early 1970's (around 440 to 450 HP as tested by BRM) when they were being used in F1 events. The reason this particular engine performs so well is primarily due to a couple of factors, including:

  • The cylinder heads are the very rare big valve, 4 valve per cylinder versions. As Rick Hall explained to Rodney and myself, only a few of these big valve heads were made in period. The heads on this car are original. 
  • Porting and polishing of the inlet and exhaust ports on the heads. Rodney and Bradley spent quite a bit of time on the porting as the ports were very rough on the original castings.
  • New valves have formed heads with a cross section that better flows the mix into the head.
  • The head of the new pistons was given a lot of attention in terms of shaping to maximize not only mix flow but to ensure the flame front progresses evenly.
  • Good quality cylinder head springs (perhaps a better quality than was available in period)
  • Time spent on engine setup and alignment of moving parts during the rebuild. A lot of time was spent on this and the engine rotates very smoothly.
  • Extremely accurate boring and alignment of the new cylinder liners.
  • Slightly higher compression - running 12.3 to 1

The new Superior Automotive Services dyno room

Rodney and Bradley (who jointly rebuilt the motor) checking spark plugs in between runs.

A couple of the Dyno Runs below 
The second video is the final run recording 513 HP at 10,500 RPM

The Finished Product

First, a reminder what it was - the photo below is of Niki Lauda driving BRM P160E - Chassis 10 at it's first race at the Monza Grand Prix on 9 September 1973

The car underwent only a a few subtle modifications between this first race at Monza Grand Prix and it's final race at the French Grand Prix on 7 July 1974.

Rick Hall has kindly provided me with test results for the car in it's day (Hall and Hall own a majority of the original engineering drawings and records for BRM). A notable event was the test session that BRM ran at the Paul Ricard circuit from 11th to 14th December 1973 with three cars, Chassis 160-10 (my car) plus cars 160-09 and 160-05. They still had Marlboro funding at this point.

The BRM records (formal correspondence to Mr Louis T. Stanley of B.R.M. Ltd) state the drivers for this test session being team drivers Beltoise and Lauda, plus Pescarolo and Migault, the latter two drivers requiring cover insurance. Each car was separately tested by different drivers.

The correspondence records that Chassis 160-10 was tested at Paul Ricard for:
  • new engine oil system (oil tank moved from under wing to RH side)
  • new rear wing 
  • new rear uprights
  • new airbox
  • gear ratios to pull 11,000 rpm
  • metering unit and throttle response (new engine)
When this car (as well as all other remaining B.R.M. owned racecars, records, drawings, spares and various engines) was sold at 'The BRM Collection' auction at Earls Court by Christie's Auctioneers on Thursday 22 October 1981, the P160 Chassis 10 was one of very few 'going' cars. It was painted in it's Marlboro livery and was complete and all assembled. It was in this condition and equipped with the minor tweaks listed above when the Donington Museum purchased it at the auction. And there it sat on display until I was lucky enough to purchased it from the Museum in early 2015. 


A few photos for posterity.
I have wherever possible sought to retain the patina, no parts have been re-dichromated, the main body and side pods, airbox etc are the original paint, it looks a bit worn and that was the intention. The wheels in the photos below are new however, supplied by Hall and Hall and made to the original pattern and drawings.


A number of very skilled people have worked on this car and in particular I would like to thank:

Rodney, Bradley and Andrew of Superior Automotive Services (engine), Rick Hall and Dean Mason of Hall and Hall (parts parts and more parts), Garry Simkin (gearbox), Crawford Hall (fine engineering machinist who worked on so many components), Elwyn Bickley (suspension components), Mike Trueman (rear wing), Rick Kemp (shocks) and Michael Stillone (painting).

There were also many suppliers who often went out of their way to assist, including EARLS (Jack), David Mawer (Mawer Engineering), Stephen Hooker (MT&C Engineers - crack testing), Bryan Miller (Eastern Race Parts) and Swift Electroplating to name a few. 

I will admit to putting in well over a thousand hours over the past 18 months. 

Future Posts

I will do perhaps one or two more posts in the coming months, some footage of the car at a race meeting perhaps.

Many thanks for those of you who have followed this restoration and there are several hundred regular viewers of this blog, from a range of countries including Australia, Spain, NZ, USA, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic and Russia to name a few. Thank you for being part of the journey. 

I was very lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to acquire such a lovely beast and one that had not been 'got at' and over restored (to my way of thinking) which is so often the case, and it having genuine originality and a bulletproof provenance. Once patina has gone it cannot be replaced. 

I view myself as merely a custodian of this car for a period of time (hopefully many years to come) and I hope that examples of beautiful early 1970's Formula 1 cars (the era I think represents the most exciting and wildly creative period of F1 development) such as this BRM P160E -10 are regularly used either competitively or on demonstration or at least put on display for racing enthusiasts to enjoy for many many years to come.

Some cars with certain tobacco livery (such as mine having the Marlboro name plastered all over it) are restricted from competing at some events, such as support races to the modern F1 events for example, however thankfully there are still historic race events in Australia and in Europe / USA where there is an appreciation of originality and my car may compete. 
I hope you come to some of them.   


John Gale