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BRM V16


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#1 Magoo

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 15:05

In my opinion this is the most beautiful Tony Matthews cutaway we have had the privilege to feature at Mac's Motor City Garage: the BRM V16. Here is fine art.

The BRM V16 ia race car of near-mythical status and one of the most intriguing mechanical devices ever devised. That it wasn't successful only adds to the legend. Most of us will never have the opportunity to take apart one of these fabulous machines and inspect it piece by piece, but here Tony has provided us with the next best thing. LINK:

Tony Matthews Cutaway: BRM V16 | Mac's Motor City Garage.com

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#2 Allan Lupton

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 15:41

The BRM V16 ia race car of near-mythical status

I can assure you that it is/was not mythical. I've seen them, heard them and even had my hat blown off by the stub exhausts of one. :D

#3 kayemod

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 16:25

I can assure you that it is/was not mythical. I've seen them, heard them and even had my hat blown off by the stub exhausts of one. :D


This thread got off to a good start with a fairly harmless misuse of 'mythical', how long before someone compounds crime against the English language with a carelessly tossed in 'iconic'?


#4 Magoo

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 17:02

This thread got off to a good start with a fairly harmless misuse of 'mythical', how long before someone compounds crime against the English language with a carelessly tossed in 'iconic'?



I didn't use the word "mythical" at all, let alone misuse it. You two must be pretty bored to be picking apart copy without even reading it first. I hope things start picking up for you soon. :D

#5 P.Dron

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 17:14

I didn't use the word "mythical" at all...


Well, you nearly did...

#6 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 17:44

Well, you nearly did...


Perhaps a bit hit or myth?

DCN

#7 kayemod

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 17:46

Perhaps a bit hit or myth?

DCN


I can feel my Blood Pressure rising...


#8 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 17:48

Mind you don't mythfire... :smoking:

DCN

#9 Henri Greuter

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 18:08

Well, I dare to ask for a myth.


Is there anyone out here who knows how powerful that engine really was and dares to post it here?

And then I talk about genuine power, not about the rumored values of horses, including the missing ones, "slill sleeping somehwere in the stable"

Henri


#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 19:45

More powerful than a Novi...

DCN

#11 kayemod

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 19:46

More powerful than a Novi...

DCN


But only when it wasn't mythfiring.


#12 AAGR

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 20:51

Reminds me that I was working at Beaulieu one Bank Holiday weekend two years ago, when the NMM's Doug Hill had got the V16 out of storage, had fired it up, and was driving it up and down the avenue to Palace House.

When he got back, one of his colleagues rather whimsically said 'Doug, it sounds odd. What's wrong ...?'

Doug just grinned, and said - 'It sounds odd because all sixteen cylinders are firing - for once !'



#13 275 GTB-4

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 22:02

This thread got off to a good start with a fairly harmless misuse of 'mythical', how long before someone compounds crime against the English language with a carelessly tossed in 'iconic'?


But shirley you would agree that this vehicle was very unique....

#14 David Birchall

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 22:07

Magoo, I hope you can see through this lot.

Bored? Us?

#15 elansprint72

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 22:26

definatelly ?



#16 RCH

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 23:49

BRM V16, mythical? Must be, every time I've been anywhere where a BRM has been present it has remained broodingly silent. Even when someone lent me a record of its sound it just refused to play properly. So when it comes to mythical, iconic, almost unique engine sounds I'll stick to the Matra V12 or a Mazda for an almost entire lap of Le Mans.

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 00:37

Raymond Mays gave the horsepower figure at 585 @ 11,000rpm in his book...

I've seen that repeated in other places, I think the '600 @ 12,000' was more of an estimate. The impact of the centrifugal supercharger is seen in the progression of the figures:

100 @ 5,000 (105 ft/lbs)
175 @ 6,000 (153 ft/lbs)
250 @ 7,000 (187 ft/lbs)
335 @ 8,000 (220 ft/lbs)
412 @ 9,000 (241 ft/lbs)
525 @ 10,000 (262 ft/lbs)
585 @ 11,000 (278 ft/lbs)
600 @ 12,000 (262 ft/lbs)

The engine suffered some horrendous development problems, some of which I'm sure should have been identified earlier than they were.

But you've simply got to love the optimism of the whole project, the desire to make something so incredible work properly.

#18 arttidesco

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:01

Theems like the hath been a bith of methin abouth wegarding the mythical thtatuth of the BWRMTHs

Posted Image

Here is one of two I saw last year at the BRM day which makes them less than unique.

My Dad was telling me yesterday that BRM were heavily "hyped" in a lad mag called Eagle at the time, may be this had something to do with the unique, legendry, mythical, iconic status of these fabulous machines in the minds of some ?

#19 RogerFrench

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:44

All who were young boys when it was in development and who were at all interested in Racing Cars must have been thrilled by the BRM. I know I was, even clinging on as a fan after failure followed failure, and even when the formula changed and its day was over, the appearances of the MkII were much appreciated.
Yes, I read Eagle too, though I don't think they were just BRM promoters. I remember Cooper and Lotus cutaway drawings, as well as DH Comet, the Royal yacht Britannia, Hawker Hunter and almost anything else British being celebrated.

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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:49

Hah - that was the part of the plan that worked perfectly. Putting PR hype before adequate race development hit the BRM project where it hurt. The misled media reacted as savagely as only a bunch of journos made to look silly will do. As in the famous 'BRM' headline - 'Blooming Rotten Motor'. Together with The Groundnut Scheme and the Bristol Brabazon, hidebound, bureaucratic, broke Britain hungered to establish an elusive (and in fact already lost) concept of national prestige postwar - and struck out almost every time...

The V16 could only compete in Libre racing by the time it was adequately sorted out. And by that time it really was sensationally noisy, powerful and fast...along the straight bits. The prudent BRM driver just waited for lateral load to come off the car out of a corner, spotted the end of the straight ahead, and then pulled the trigger...or rather, toed the throttle. But by that time certain others had found a quicker way around a full lap.

DCN


#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:00

Raymond Mays gave the horsepower figure at 585 @ 11,000rpm in his book...

I've seen that repeated in other places, I think the '600 @ 12,000' was more of an estimate. The impact of the centrifugal supercharger is seen in the progression of the figures:

100 @ 5,000 (105 ft/lbs)
175 @ 6,000 (153 ft/lbs)
250 @ 7,000 (187 ft/lbs)
335 @ 8,000 (220 ft/lbs)
412 @ 9,000 (241 ft/lbs)
525 @ 10,000 (262 ft/lbs)
585 @ 11,000 (278 ft/lbs)
600 @ 12,000 (262 ft/lbs)

The engine suffered some horrendous development problems, some of which I'm sure should have been identified earlier than they were.

But you've simply got to love the optimism of the whole project, the desire to make something so incredible work properly.

So the engine had a useable 3000rpm, though if Mays said 585@ 11000 that probably where the safe limit was making a 2000 rpm power band with what? a 4 speed gearbox. That would have been very hard to keep on the boil.
A more constant volume of supercharging may have increased the power band and increased the torque too, possibly at the expense of absolute hosepower.

#22 wenoopy

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:27

My Dad was telling me yesterday that BRM were heavily "hyped" in a lad mag called Eagle at the time, may be this had something to do with the unique, legendry, mythical, iconic status of these fabulous machines in the minds of some ?


Most of the "hype" came from the likes of Raymond Mays, I suspect. BRM was not the only impractical and complicated GP car born in the late 1940's. Don't forget the flat-12 4-wheel drive rear-engined Cisitalia, or the hopeless CTA-Arsenal.

Perhaps BRM's problem was that they didn't run out of money, and they did appeal to the English "gallant valiant loser" mentality.
I and my Scottish and Welsh ancestors accept no responsibility for BRM.

Stu Buchanan


#23 Roger Clark

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:01

A more constant volume of supercharging may have increased the power band and increased the torque too, possibly at the expense of absolute hosepower.

The vortex throttling system for the supercharger, designed by Rolls-Royce but never raced, may have achieved that.

#24 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:11

A lot of (hopefully!) good natured sniping going on here, but as probably one of the few people here who actually saw, and heard the MK1 V16's being raced in anger by Fangio, Gonzalez, Wharton and Parnell I can assure you that they made a wonderful sight and sound. I have yet to see anything to match Gonzalez and the V16 at Silverstone in 1952. :stoned:

#25 Tony Matthews

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:26

I and my Scottish and Welsh ancestors accept no responsibility for BRM.

Well, we are all praying that you get the independence that you so richly deserve.

#26 larryd

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:09

Raymond Mays gave the horsepower figure at 585 @ 11,000rpm in his book...

I've seen that repeated in other places, I think the '600 @ 12,000' was more of an estimate. The impact of the centrifugal supercharger is seen in the progression of the figures:

100 @ 5,000 (105 ft/lbs)
175 @ 6,000 (153 ft/lbs)
250 @ 7,000 (187 ft/lbs)
335 @ 8,000 (220 ft/lbs)
412 @ 9,000 (241 ft/lbs)
525 @ 10,000 (262 ft/lbs)
585 @ 11,000 (278 ft/lbs)
600 @ 12,000 (262 ft/lbs)

The engine suffered some horrendous development problems, some of which I'm sure should have been identified earlier than they were.

But you've simply got to love the optimism of the whole project, the desire to make something so incredible work properly.


Did not Moss, writing with Pomeroy Jnr in "The Design and Development of the Grand Prix Car", record that the (my paraphrase) hugely steep power curve made the car virtually undriveable??

#27 Henri Greuter

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:20

More powerful than a Novi...

DCN




Depends on which Novi you select to compare with Doug.....

I think there is a decent chance that some of the engines in the 60s gave more than 600 hp. Unless of course you don't want to rate the Grantelli prepared engines of the 60s as being genuine Novis. A feeling I can understand.

But let me make this clear. I do have my doubts about some of the power figures released about the Novi, specially for the years 1958-1960. And I shall never proclaim that any Novi by definition was more powerful than the BRM V16. I simply don't know enough about the V16. But I admire all what you've done on the history of these cars, though I haven't read it all (yet).
And don't get me wrong, the BRM V16 interests me for sure but even in my two years at Goodwood I was denied the opportunity to hear one in real. While I could hear a Novi in real twice on both occasions that I saw one on a meeting.

But for people who are no fans of either the Novi or the BRM V16, they might rate the discussion about which engine was more powerful and which was the more legendary nothing more than `two boys in a piss contest who can reach the furthest`. In what really mattered (race wins) they achieved so little....

Henri



#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:18

Originally posed by larryd
Did not Moss, writing with Pomeroy Jnr in "The Design and Development of the Grand Prix Car", record that the (my paraphrase) hugely steep power curve made the car virtually undriveable?


In The Design and Behaviour of the Racing Car Moss does explain the difficulties involved with driving with that dramatic rate of power increase.

He muses that they weren't used to the frequent gearchanges of later eras, but which would have been necessary to take advantage of the available engine performance. He stated also about the need to be busy with so many other things in these cars that there would be no chance to do all this gearchanging... but at the same time, the car only had a 4-speed box!

The description of Wharton's great slide at Albi where he crashed in one of these cars also shows the uncontrolable nature of the car with this power curve.

The Design and Behaviour also gives the power as 530hp, but this was as it was when Moss drove it in 1952. The greater power readings must have been achieved during later development.

#29 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:57

In The Design and Behaviour of the Racing Car Moss does explain the difficulties involved with driving with that dramatic rate of power increase.

He muses that they weren't used to the frequent gearchanges of later eras, but which would have been necessary to take advantage of the available engine performance. He stated also about the need to be busy with so many other things in these cars that there would be no chance to do all this gearchanging... but at the same time, the car only had a 4-speed box!

The description of Wharton's great slide at Albi where he crashed in one of these cars also shows the uncontrolable nature of the car with this power curve.

The Design and Behaviour also gives the power as 530hp, but this was as it was when Moss drove it in 1952. The greater power readings must have been achieved during later development.

A 6 0r 7 speed box would have made the engine more useable, but they were 10-20 years down the road. And I dare say that the cars would be lot harder to hang onto than even something 3-5 years down the track, so all those extra gearchanges would probably have been impossible.
Hindsight can be a wonderfull thing. Driving those cars would have required immense bravery with [in hindsight] lousy chassis, lousy brakes and no tyres.
This is where the modern cars totally have lost the plot. A very fast slot car with all the electronic marvels. And yes the drivers are good but they are almost a passenger in many respects. Wheras those 50s cars were all about the driver and the engine,, and too many paid the price.

#30 Glengavel

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 13:08

Well, we are all praying that you get the independence that you so richly deserve.


I knew you were keen on cut aways but this is ridiculous.


#31 RA Historian

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 13:24

But shirley you would agree that this vehicle was very unique....

Don't call me Shirley!

(with apologies to Leslie Nielsen!)

Edited by RA Historian, 29 March 2013 - 13:25.


#32 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 13:27

Sorry Henry - I just do not indulge in p------- contests. Horsepower per litre is a reasonable comparison.

DCN



#33 arttidesco

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 13:34

Don't call me Shirley!

(with apologies to Leslie Nielsen!)


And I hve seen at least two of them  ;)

#34 Henri Greuter

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 13:42

Sorry Henry - I just do not indulge in p------- contests. Horsepower per litre is a reasonable comparison.

DCN


Doug, Sorry as well in case you feel I was offensive. No intention, just a bit of sarcasm and humor, OK?

And indeed hp/l is a reasonable comparison. And then it is bafliing to realize that the the initial Turbo Renault F1 engines didn't beat the figure that the BRM V16 is said to have been be capable of.
It remains a marvel and quite a topic of discussion yet there will be enough fans not interested at all in cars with more myths than results.

I tend to believe that the BRM V16 is just the opposite of another car you've decribed in one of your books: the 1968 Lotus 56 Turbine cars at Indy. If the BRM was too much engine power for too less of a chassis, the 56 (on Race Day at Indy that year) was definitely too less engine power in too much of a chassis. The 56 chassis definitely used whatever the turbine could muster that day to the max.

Greetings

Henri


#35 Dipster

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 14:20

A 6 0r 7 speed box would have made the engine more useable, but they were 10-20 years down the road. And I dare say that the cars would be lot harder to hang onto than even something 3-5 years down the track, so all those extra gearchanges would probably have been impossible.
Hindsight can be a wonderfull thing. Driving those cars would have required immense bravery with [in hindsight] lousy chassis, lousy brakes and no tyres.
This is where the modern cars totally have lost the plot. A very fast slot car with all the electronic marvels. And yes the drivers are good but they are almost a passenger in many respects. Wheras those 50s cars were all about the driver and the engine,, and too many paid the price.


That too many paid the price is spot on.

But imagine a car as much of a handful as the V16 apparently was but wih the safety features of modern cars. That really would show who is a truly skilled driver, no?

And the resulting spectacle would probably be devoured by audiences. Isn't this just what Bernie wants?


#36 cdrewett

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 14:41

Up and coming young driver gets seat fitting for the BRM teamPosted Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Edited by cdrewett, 29 March 2013 - 14:42.


#37 David McKinney

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 14:44

I have yet to see anything to match Gonzalez and the V16 at Silverstone in 1952. :stoned:

Were you not at Silverstone the day Gerry Marshall was let lose in one (I forget which)?

#38 David Birchall

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 14:58

Well, we are all praying that you get the independence that you so richly deserve.


Is that the same as "go forth and multiply!"

#39 pressman

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 16:25

Were you not at Silverstone the day Gerry Marshall was let lose in one (I forget which)?


Is this the one David ?
http://www.youtube.c...yLqIVer13DpcBPQ
Cheers
Steve

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#40 David McKinney

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 17:08

Yes, but I was watching at Copse, which was more spectacular :up:

Enjoyed the rest of the clip too :clap:

#41 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 17:12

Were you not at Silverstone the day Gerry Marshall was let lose in one (I forget which)?

Yes David. I was there. Gerry's 'demo' run was okay, but not comparable to Frolians 'race' in 52 in any way. 'Gonzo's pursuit of Tarrufi's 'Thin-Wall Ferrar was full of excitement and tension, and the groan of disappointment from the crowd at Woodcote when the V16 coasted into the pits was clearly heard down at Copse. Interesting that you've forgotten which car Gerry was driving, whereas I remember most everything about that 1952 race even after all these years.

#42 Alan Cox

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 19:02

Were you not at Silverstone the day Gerry Marshall was let lose in one (I forget which)?

'Twas Nick Mason's. IIRC Gerry was entered in Nick's Kurtis Indycar in the Allcomers Scratch Race, but that car was scratched and I think Nick offered him the BRM demo as some compensation. It was, indeed, quite memorable if too brief.

#43 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:05

'Twas Nick Mason's. IIRC Gerry was entered in Nick's Kurtis Indycar in the Allcomers Scratch Race, but that car was scratched and I think Nick offered him the BRM demo as some compensation. It was, indeed, quite memorable if too brief.

I have a vivid memory of Gerry locking a brake into Copse, getting sideways and putting his boot in to sort it out with the revs going higher and higher and higher as he fought successfully to get it pointed more or less in a straight line!

Christ it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It was electrifying. :clap: :clap: :clap:

The only time I have seen anyone ring the neck of a V16 rather than drive it with due deference to it's infamous fragility!

#44 David McKinney

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 06:34

The only time I have seen anyone ring the neck of a V16 rather than drive it with due deference to it's infamous fragility!

Agreed. And he wasn't at all popular when he returned to the pits

#45 Mal9444

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:53

All who were young boys when it was in development and who were at all interested in Racing Cars must have been thrilled by the BRM. I know I was, even clinging on as a fan after failure followed failure, and even when the formula changed and its day was over, the appearances of the MkII were much appreciated.
Yes, I read Eagle too, though I don't think they were just BRM promoters. I remember Cooper and Lotus cutaway drawings, as well as DH Comet, the Royal yacht Britannia, Hawker Hunter and almost anything else British being celebrated.


I had the Eagle cutaway of the Saro A-1 jet fighter flying boat (and who remebers that?) on my bedroom wall while, to get back on topic, my Crescent BRM V16 was, then and now, one of the icons of my toy cupboard. Another Crescent V16 is currently on my work-bench being fitted with wire wheels, seat, steering wheel etc to celebrate S. Moss's less-than-wholly-successful Ulster Trophy drive. The near-mystical status of this legendary vehicle is enough to leave any enthusiast mythty-eyed.

I have read in another thread here, I think, that someone asked Moss if he had heard the well-known recording of the V16, to which his reply was: 'surrised they got it running for long enough to record it, old boy.'

With apologies for straying OT: http://www.verdon-ro...ghterjetvideos/

Edited by Mal9444, 30 March 2013 - 08:16.


#46 275 GTB-4

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:07

A lot of (hopefully!) good natured sniping going on here, but as probably one of the few people here who actually saw, and heard the MK1 V16's being raced in anger by Fangio, Gonzalez, Wharton and Parnell I can assure you that they made a wonderful sight and sound. I have yet to see anything to match Gonzalez and the V16 at Silverstone in 1952. :stoned:


Eric, here we were idly swapping a little harmless repartee.....then you come along, burst our bubbles and introduce another emotion....JEALOUSY :blush: :wave:

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 30 March 2013 - 08:08.


#47 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:16

:rotfl:

Eric, here we were idly swapping a little harmless repartee.....then you come along, burst our bubbles and introduce another emotion....JEALOUSY :blush: :wave:

:rotfl: :up:

#48 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:20

I have a vivid memory of Gerry locking a brake into Copse, getting sideways and putting his boot in to sort it out with the revs going higher and higher and higher as he fought successfully to get it pointed more or less in a straight line!

Christ it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It was electrifying. :clap: :clap: :clap:

The only time I have seen anyone ring the neck of a V16 rather than drive it with due deference to it's infamous fragility!

I must admit that I didnt see that bit, sounds good. But Gonzalez did that almost every lap, and Copse Corner was a lot different in 1952. We stood much closer then!.

#49 Stephen W

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:11

The only time I have seen anyone ring the neck of a V16 rather than drive it with due deference to it's infamous fragility!


Raymond Mays was always impressive behind the wheel of the V16 unlike Oliver & Stewart.


#50 cdrewett

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 14:00



The only time I have seen anyone ring the neck of a V16 rather than drive it with due deference to it's infamous fragility!
[/quote]

Wring Shirley Simon