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BRM Volume 4


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#201 StanBarrett2

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 23:40



Without double checking I think you must be referring to the stillborn ERA Special hill-climb car which Raymond Mays had his chaps build, very foolishly using chain drive within forward-facing swinging chain chests which doubled as rear suspension locating members. I was told that when tested it took off from a standing start with first one side's chain winding-up the suspension to force the relevant road wheel down, so theoretically enhancing its traction, but then the other side's chain, then back to the first dependent upon grip achieved, so that the car 'waddled furiously' with its rear wheels in effect tramping furiously, and alternately.  

 

It was a complete failure.

 

When the BRMR Trustees heard that the car had occupied BRM machine shop time, and - worse - was fitted with some of the hyper-expensive experimental Lockheed air strut suspension units intended for the (much heavier) V16 they wanted RM's guts for garters.  The car's fate has always been shrouded in some mystery but I believe on balance that it was quietly broken up and forgotten...

 

Typical of RM, he seems to have invited the press to visit Bourne and to photograph and publicise this personal project without any prior reference to his paymasters within the British Motor Racing Research Trust.

 

When they reacted explosively, first questioning the provenance of some of the components used, then hearing that BRM machine-shop time had been taken up by sprint car work, the Brown Windsor soup hit the fan.  

 

RM would have been completely bewildered by such a reaction. An only child, very much indulged ever since childhood, confident of his own self-image as a national celebrity - the aftermath of this sprint car episode had far reaching impact not only upon his self-esteem but very much moreso upon the way in which he was regarded by the BRM project's Trustees and industrialist backers. When our discussions touched upon the subject he very quickly dismissed it or digressed onto something else - e.g. "Oh Doug I must say that's a very nice shirt you are wearing, where did you buy it?" - "Errrr - my wife gets them from Marks & Sparks..."

 

"Oh!"      :rolleyes:

 

DCN

bradbury west (Roger Lund) sent me a screenshot of the Raymond Mays Sprint Special  he saved from Facebook sometime ago. It was a bit messy and damaged, but he offered

to get the shot printed as a photograph, and re-scanned it for me. I had opted to try cleaning it up.

 

Well thanks to and on behalf of Roger I am allowed to present you all...The Raymond Mays Sprint Special.......more or less the forefather of BRM

 

Just wanted to add this cutaway in here

S_E_Porter_Raymond_Mays_Sprint_Special.j

 

macoran

 

editted to add credit


Edited by StanBarrett2, 08 December 2017 - 12:29.


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#202 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 21:29

Heavens forbid that this misbegotten, ill-conceived heap of umbala was in any substantial way the 'forefather' of the BRM.  

 

The V16 would have quite enough troubles of its own...   :cool:

 

DCN



#203 StanBarrett2

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:29

I apologize for posting, sorry Mr. Nye



#204 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:04

I don't think there's anything to apologise for. The car is a part of the BRM story - and indeed of the story of ERA - and as Doug's posts make clear it epitomises Raymond Mays's self-aggrandizing personality. As such, it's very much in the spirit of both marques - Mays was always very happy to spend other people's money!

 

That phrase 'self-image as a national celebrity' should always be borne in mind when reading anything written at the time which involves him. It often helps to read between the lines.  ;)



#205 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:19

Agreed absolutely. The cutaway itself is most interesting - thanks to both Marc and Roger for letting us see it here.

#206 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:02

I am so sorry Stan - I did not intend any serious criticism of your post when I tapped out 202 above.  My problem is absolutely not with your post mentioning the car - it is very much with the memory of that car itself, the " ill-conceived heap of umbala" in question... a technically subjective judgement, of course...

 

DCN



#207 StanBarrett2

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 17:00

I am so sorry Stan 

 

DCN

No offence taken Doug, I can be over the top and blunt ....................



#208 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 21:33

That makes two of us for bluntness - though I am never, ever, over the top...    :cool:

 

DCN



#209 rl1856

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 16:38

As we are now in the middle of the 2018 Christmas season, I often try to look ahead to the next year.

 

Might we be able to put Vol 4 under our tree for Christmas 2019 ?



#210 kayemod

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 17:28

As we are now in the middle of the 2018 Christmas season, I often try to look ahead to the next year.

 

Might we be able to put Vol 4 under our tree for Christmas 2019 ?

 

No guarantee we'll ever see it, Doug seems to be busy in other fields. I'm sure none of us suspected that his attentions might be divided like this, I saw this in a Dutch marina last month.

 

DSC-1356.jpg



#211 PCC

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 17:50

No guarantee we'll ever see it, Doug seems to be busy in other fields. I'm sure none of us suspected that his attentions might be divided like this, I saw this in a Dutch marina last month.

 

DSC-1356.jpg

Not quite as anomalous as it looks. They just left out an 'r' in the URL by mistake...



#212 Macca

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 21:31

Oh I do hope I can put it on my list for next Christmas.

The last couple of years have seen the loss of several people who were a large part of BRM, especially relating to the period covered in V4 - Tim Parnell and John Surtees to name but two - so I hope that all the information they and others such as Beltoise held was passed on before we loat them.

Who can name all the surviving BRM drivers of that era?


Paul M

#213 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 21:49

Diving - driving - ageing...but - I sincerely hope - not too often boring...

 

We are working on V4 - my multi-volume Phil Hill commitment has been fulfilled (please take a look at <www.philhillbook.com> and if interested (just between ourselves) maybe push your luck and ask us for a deal - so I now have three other projects intervening - instead of four.

 

One of them covers 88 years of intense endeavour, of which I have covered 82 thus far - so it's close to completion.  Another - like V4 - is pretty much drafted but needs considerable detail checking and polishing.  And the third - simplest of them all - I have only just begun.

 

Completing the BRM tetralogy - yes, not quadrilogy - is very important to me.  

 

Equally important is what Tony Rudd said to me: "Don't muck it up...".

 

DCN



#214 hillmotorsports

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 00:40

Now that was a low blow Doug.
Here we are patiently awaiting v4 and now you go and tease us with news of a previously unmentioned v5??? Not fair!!!
I question buying green bananas at my age and you want me to be calm while waiting on TWO new volumes...
(long sigh....)

Paul

#215 PCC

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 00:51

Now that was a low blow Doug.
Here we are patiently awaiting v4 and now you go and tease us with news of a previously unmentioned v5??? Not fair!!!
I question buying green bananas at my age and you want me to be calm while waiting on TWO new volumes...
(long sigh....)

Paul

Unless I misunderstood, your bananas will have a very long time to turn yellow, brown and black while waiting for that fifth volume....



#216 smbrm

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 05:22

This is great news. But guess I need to modify my message. The important objective is to complete the story. I hope the final volume includes more technical content, period photos and illustrations. The cars of 1968-1971 are my favourites.

Looking forward to the fruition of your efforts Doug!
Cheers

Stephen

Edited by smbrm, 02 December 2018 - 03:18.


#217 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 06:27

As Doug says, the complete BRM saga will be a tetralogy - a series of four related works. Like PCC, I don’t see any suggestion of a ‘V5’ in what he wrote.

#218 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 08:34

Correct.  The prospect of V4 is quite daunting enough without any plans whatsoever for a V5. Sorry Paul, but you are mistaken there...    :confused:

 

DCN



#219 Sterzo

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 14:04

I had to look up the word tetralogy, and it said: "A set of four related symptoms or abnormalities frequently occurring together." Could this be related to some of the stories touched upon in this thread?


Edited by Sterzo, 01 December 2018 - 14:05.


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#220 ensign14

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 16:31

Tetralogy, because tetra- and -logy both come from Greek words.  Quadrilogy would be half-Latin half-Greek.



#221 Glengavel

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 17:03

But will it take four men to carry it out of the bookshop?



#222 ensign14

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 17:21

You can read it by the light of fork handles.



#223 MartLgn

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 18:24

Equally important is what Tony Rudd said to me: "Don't muck it up...".

 

You have most definitely not mucked up the 3/4 of the B.R.M saga published so far which is my we are so desperate to get our hands on the final chapter.

 

The Phil Hill Biography is utterly wonderful but I get the sense it hasn't flown off the shelves?  All of which makes it seem churlish to ask when Enzo's Biography will arrive ?



#224 kayemod

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 19:27

Equally important is what Tony Rudd said to me: "Don't muck it up...".

 

You have most definitely not mucked up the 3/4 of the B.R.M saga published so far which is my we are so desperate to get our hands on the final chapter.

 

The Phil Hill Biography is utterly wonderful but I get the sense it hasn't flown off the shelves?  All of which makes it seem churlish to ask when Enzo's Biography will arrive ?

 

Are you sure Tony Rudd said "muck"?

 

I've just got the new Enzo Ferrari biography by Luca dal Monte, though I'm waiting until I finish something else before I make a real start on the 900+ pages of that one.

 

At a quick skim, it looks very impressive indeed, but surely there isn't yet another one on the way as well?



#225 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 21:07

Luca's biography is very good indeed - extremely detailed.

 

Re Tony Rudd's use of language - all joking aside he very, very seldom used 'bad language'...most unlike his first World Champion driver...

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 04 December 2018 - 21:09.


#226 kayemod

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 21:43

Luca's biography is very good indeed - extremely detailed.

 

Re Tony Rudd's use of language - all joking aside he very, very seldom used 'bad language'...most unlike his first World Champion driver...

 

DCN

 

That doesn't surprise me, my desk at Lotus was only separated from his by some potted plants in the big open plan office, and I don't remember hearing him ever raise his voice, much less effing & blinding. I just thought that maybe meeting an old chum socially and off record, talking about a subject that must have been dear to his heart...

 

It's a real shame that Tony didn't live long enough to be able to join the long queue awaiting Doug's BRM volume 4.



#227 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 20:17

Had Tony been with us longer I would have had more impetus to finish it.  

 

One sad truth is that his style of paper record ended upon his dismissal in 1969.  

 

Tim Parnell was never one to waste time on something demanding so much commitment, and analytical/literate talent - while Tony Southgate - lovely, capable, hugely impressive bloke who produced some magic cars...but writing was never his forte...and then his successors never developed the Rudd habit.  Mike Pilbeam could do superb work, and his records are fascinating, but are not in prose style.  

 

Against that background the surviving records, correspondence and notes 1970-74 are immensely informative - but a smaller percentage of them are as entertainingly quotable as were Tony's...and some (as you might suspect) are almost self-consciously misleading...  Towards the end, BRM's big industry pretensions saw some people - in what they committed to paper - always primarily covering their own backs.

 

The entire story is an allegory for that of traditional British industry 1945-1980(ish)...

 

And I loved the background resonances of British social revolution 1945-65(ish) 

 

DCN