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Helmut Marko and his strangely-shaped BRM


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#1 Twin Window

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 23:48

This is something that's bugged me for decades...

Why was the cockpit surround on Helmut Marko's BRM P160 so badly twisted during the 1972 French GP? Yes, it is the race which sadly ended his career at Clermont Ferrand, but that's a mere coincidence.

(For the benefit of those in the dark at this point; the circuit was littered with stone chips during that GP, and Marko was unlucky enough to have one fire straight at his helmet. It went through his visor and permanently blinded him in one eye, but the Austrian nevertheless managed to bring the car to a safe standstill...)

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As I said, the anomaly I'm highlighting had nothing to do with his ill fortune - but why is the bodywork in question so distorted? It's definitely not due to the body roll of the chassis, despite these pics from Autosprint showing him heading into, and then negotiating, a left-hander. The earlier shots actually show this better, even though the quality is poorer.

Check out the relative angles of firstly the radiator opening, and then (in the last shot) the black Marlboro BRM logo on the nose compared to the mini screen and the white script just below it...

According to Allen Brown's superb website this is chassis P160/06, which was driven by Howden Ganley in his remaining 1972 races, and - to the best of my knowledge - never appeared in 'bendy' form again!

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#2 just me again

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:02

Could it not be, that it simply was a bent atacment point, for the top bodywork.

Bjørn

#3 Stephen W

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 11:42

I suspect the reason may well have been NEW CAR TEETHING TROUBLES.

After all this was the first race for this chassis P160/06.

BRM were looking after a lot of cars and the new bodywork probably didn't quiet fit! :blush:

#4 MCS

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 11:55

Originally posted by Stephen W
I suspect the reason may well have been NEW CAR TEETHING TROUBLES.

After all this was the first race for this chassis P160/06.

BRM were looking after a lot of cars and the new bodywork probably didn't quiet fit! :blush:


Don't be ridiculous - I've never heard of anything so absurd... :rotfl:

(Bet you're right Stephen!)

Mark

#5 Rob Ryder

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 13:45

Twinny, I think this shows the 'twist' a little better...
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(Source : Motor Sport I think :confused: )

Wasn't everything about BRM a little twisted in 1972? :drunk: :stoned: :drunk:
Who in their right minds would try to run so many cars :rolleyes:

#6 Rob Ryder

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 14:08

Twinny, it looks like 'structural failure' :eek:

I checked my image archive and found this shot (cropped) of Marko in France.. notice the break in the right side of the cockpit surround.

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#7 fuz

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 15:05

Quite a significant break on there too

#8 D-Type

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 18:02

Isn't 'Structural failure' putting it a bit strongly? It looks to me like the join between the nose cone and the cockpit section, making it more of a misalignment or 'lack of fit' rather than a 'failure'. But I could be totally wrong!

#9 Rob Ryder

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 19:31

It looks like an apology to BRM :blush: .. even worse they are my favourite team!

I was comparing the picture I posted with the other pictures of the BRMs in France. The top of the P160 cockpit surround appeared to be straight and level.. this is Ganley's car from France.
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Checking further I found that by Austria the top of the cockpit was stepped...
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What appears to be a break on the top line of the cockpit, and a crack running down from it, is in fact this step and the shadow of the wing-mirror.
I will dig out the sackcloth and ashes immediately and give myself a good thrashing with twigs. :blush: :blush:

So Twinny, it is still open for debate...

#10 Twin Window

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 23:35

If it's any consolation, Rob, I thought you'd nailed it with your cropped-in pic!

On reflection I think you're right in saying you were wrong :drunk: , but I don't think the upper part of the cockpit changed - more like the perspex colour became darker. If you look at the close up shot of Belter (on the far side, especially) you can see it's actually level. More like it was recessed to accommodate the screen, and the blue perspex simply accentuates that feature when viewed from a distance.

I wonder, though, if Marko's size had something to do with it. He never looked like he fitted in the BRMs at all well, unlike J-PB, Gethin and so on. Just a thought...

I'd love to get to the bottom of this one. Shame we don't have any ex-BRM spannermen in our midst.

Or do we...?

#11 MCS

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 13:13

Originally posted by Twin Window
...I wonder, though, if Marko's size had something to do with it. He never looked like he fitted in the BRMs at all well, unlike J-PB, Gethin and so on. Just a thought...


I wondered about this too (honestly!).

Reckon you could be right Twinny - but somebody must know!

Mark

#12 SEdward

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 18:09

I reckon that this particular part of the bodywork was poorly attached prior to the start. And that's all there is to it!

Edward