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Brian Martin & Martin Sports Cars


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#1 David T.

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Posted 17 April 2003 - 18:53

Hallo! I'm looking for data and information about Martin, a sports-cars manufacturer of the 70s. As far as I know, the Martin was founded in UK by a Brian Martin. Who was he? How many car did he build? There should be 9 or 10 different Martin types, known as BM(plus number) - eg. BM7, BM8 etc. Thanks in advance to all those will be so kind to provide me with useful information. Any data will be welcome. :wave:

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#2 Chris Townsend

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Posted 17 April 2003 - 18:59

Don't know much about the sports cars, but there was at least one
single seater Martin, the BM12, raced by Brian Martin himself in 1973
in the British Formula Atlantic serie. This suggests 11 other types at
least.

#3 Jeremy Jackson

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Posted 17 April 2003 - 19:22

First one I remember was the BM7 in 1970. There was maybe(?) 3 built.

At least 2 BM8s in 1971, and a BM9 in 1972. A BM10 was raced in the Brands round European 2-litre sports series in 1975 (Only 2 rounds anyway!). I think it ended up in hillclimbs.

The BM16 was a hilclimb chassis, but can't remember who used it.

#4 Alan Lewis

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Posted 17 April 2003 - 20:00

Originally posted by Jeremy Jackson
...The BM16 was a hillclimb chassis, or at least it was eventually, but can't remember who used it.


According to Chris Mason's excellent Uphill Racers , it was future Shelsley Walsh record holder Richard Brown.

APL

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 17 April 2003 - 20:47

Then there was the BM24 which served time as a Skoda 'special saloon' before being converted back to sportscar spec

#6 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 18 April 2003 - 03:55

Under Martin in Georgano's encyclopedia there is info about Ray Martin, Ted Martin and then this on Brian Martin.


Meanwhile, the unrelated Brian Martin from Dagenham, Essex, had started building some one-off sports cars, leading to the 1969 BM6 GT coupe, with 2-litre BMW engine, with which he won 9 races in the season, and the 1970 BM7 open version which earned no less than 14 victories.

#7 davrianracer

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:12

What has happened to the BM12 that ran in Formula Atlantic in 1973?

#8 Mallory Dan

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:33

Originally posted by davrianracer
What has happened to the BM12 that ran in Formula Atlantic in 1973?


Did it become the climbing BM16?

#9 Stephen W

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:38

Originally posted by Mallory Dan


Did it become the climbing BM16?


Not according to Chris Mason in Uphill Racers - "Brown commissioned Brian Martin to build a short-wheelbase single-seater, the BM16, to take the ex-Tommy Reid Chevrolet Vega engine...."

:wave:

#10 proviz

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:42

I visited Brian Martin in Thorpe Lane Farm, near Wakefield, in September 1978. (In fact, it was there that I learned Ronnie Peterson had succumbed the night before.) A most welcoming character, Brian spoke about some of his early sports cars. He said he had photos of BM6, BM7 and BM7C and promised to mail me copies of them later. Unfortunately that eagerly anticipated envelope never arrived.
Mike Kettlewell's Motor Racing Directory has a small section about Martin cars. At least a couple were BMW-powered and I think there may have been a road-going version, too, perhaps the BM4.
There's been a small photo of one of these cars in an advert in Autosport sometime in the late 60's, but it would be fantastic if anyone could post images on this thread.

#11 Stephen W

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:55

Originally posted by Mallory Dan


Did it become the climbing BM16?


This is the BM12 taken in 1981 at Shelsley Walsh with John Bailey driving:

Posted Image

As you can see it is nothing like the BM16! :cool:

#12 Mallory Dan

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 16:01

How can I tell, I can't recall what the BM16 looked like! Nose on that is very U2-like.

#13 Nordic

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 17:00

Martin BM16

I think this is the Martin BM 16, taken in 1980 driven by 'A Dix'

#14 ianselva

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 19:00

Brian Martin was working with his father in the QA and experimental dept of Fords at Dagenham in about 1960 , the same time Chris craft was around the factory.

#15 neville mackay

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 20:45

I can remember attending a F5000 meeting at Brands Hatch in the autumn of 1970 which had a sports car race on the support list. I was standing at the foot of Paddock Bend when Brian Martin, who I think was in the lead, had his throttle stick open. I guess this was the BM7 - a very pretty car. He thumped into the bank with an almighty blow. In those days the run off area was all of 3 feet in width and there was nothing between myself, Mr Martin and oblivion except a small earth bank and a flimsy picket fence. I can recall trying to record the aftermath for posterity with my faithful Kodak instamatic, but I was shaking so much that everything came out blurred. If memory serves, I think Brian Martin may have injured his leg in the shunt but thankfully he was back on the track the following year.

#16 Stephen W

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:57

Posted Image
Above: John Stuart (BM8) Prescott 1976

Posted Image
Above: Richard Brown (BM16) Prescott 1976

:wave:

#17 bill p

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 17:10

Posted Image

Brian Martin and Ed Negus Martin BM8s at Kirkistown in 1971

#18 rdmotorsport

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 18:56

I remember the Martin cars probably because they was just down the road in Wakefield although Wakefield was more rugby league and whippetts than a racing car manufacturers mecca!

I beleive also David Winstanley commisioned them to design and build the Agent FF2000 car sometimes in the late 1970 s.

They was also an F2 car or perhaps a Atlantic modernised because this was seen in the Alpine Garage near Huddersfield having a 2 litre Ford BDX?? fitted

I also understand the late Richard Simms had his Chevron sportscars converted to special saloon spec by Mr.Martin and at one time became a director of the company.

Rodney Dodson.

#19 EDWARD FITZGERALD

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:18

iirc NO 14 is the Ed Negus car , higher roll hoop , as Negus was very tall .

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#20 Mallory Dan

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 13:41

Originally posted by neville mackay
I can remember attending a F5000 meeting at Brands Hatch in the autumn of 1970 which had a sports car race on the support list. I was standing at the foot of Paddock Bend when Brian Martin, who I think was in the lead, had his throttle stick open. I guess this was the BM7 - a very pretty car. He thumped into the bank with an almighty blow. In those days the run off area was all of 3 feet in width and there was nothing between myself, Mr Martin and oblivion except a small earth bank and a flimsy picket fence. I can recall trying to record the aftermath for posterity with my faithful Kodak instamatic, but I was shaking so much that everything came out blurred. If memory serves, I think Brian Martin may have injured his leg in the shunt but thankfully he was back on the track the following year.


There's some footage of the crash on the fantastic "Motor-Racing in the 1970s" video. IIRC Cassius McRae won the F5000 race.

Was the 1980-ish John Bury Martin BM17 the last of the line I wonder?

#21 proviz

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:08

It wasn't the highest number. BM22 Sports 2000 was listed in 1981 and BM24 has been mentioned above.

#22 davrianracer

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 11:23

The chassis on the BM16 is the same as the BM12.

#23 ednegus

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 17:49

iirc NO 14 is the Ed Negus car , higher roll hoop , as Negus was very tall .



#24 ednegus

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 17:54

iirc NO 14 is the Ed Negus car , higher roll hoop , as Negus was very tall .

I still am very tall and amazed to find so much about the Martin cars here, also the very nostalgic picture, for me at least. This is the first time I have been on this site, and very interesting it is too.

#25 brakedisc

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 18:24

Welcome Ednegus.


David Robertson from Paisley in Scotland had a Martin. Not sure of the type number but it had a Cossworth Vega engine. Where does this fit into the history of Martin cars.

#26 EDWARD FITZGERALD

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 19:44

Welcome to you ED , re the transporter photo , have you any photos showing the front of the pickup, indeed other Martin pics would be most welcome .






#27 ednegus

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 13:08

Welcome to you ED , re the transporter photo , have you any photos showing the front of the pickup, indeed other Martin pics would be most welcome .


Sorry, but I do not have any photos of either the pickup or any Martin car. The pickup was an International Harvester 4.5 litre, straight six, petrol, with a crew cab, which was very exciting to drive, especially in the wet. It went like hell and was quite capable of cruising at 90mph fully laden with both cars on the double deck trailer behind. I even had it sideways on wet roundabouts in that state several times. It had lots of power and not a lot of grip at the rear end as you can imagine!

Thanks for your welcome.

Ed.

#28 ednegus

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 13:11

Welcome Ednegus.


David Robertson from Paisley in Scotland had a Martin. Not sure of the type number but it had a Cossworth Vega engine. Where does this fit into the history of Martin cars.



Thanks for the welcome. I am afraid that I cannot throw any light on the Martin cars after 1971, the year I was racing with Brian, because we lost contact thereafter. Sorry to disappoint you.

Ed.

#29 tonymartin5

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 21:05

Hallo! I'm looking for data and information about Martin, a sports-cars manufacturer of the 70s. As far as I know, the Martin was founded in UK by a Brian Martin. Who was he? How many car did he build? There should be 9 or 10 different Martin types, known as BM(plus number) - eg. BM7, BM8 etc. Thanks in advance to all those will be so kind to provide me with useful information. Any data will be welcome. :wave:

Hello David...I emigrated to canada in 1969 and have some photos of a bm3 and the building of a bm 4 from 1963-1967...I knew the chap that built the bm3 and bm4 chassis and I helped making the body for the bm4 out of fiberglass...a lola lookalike with,first a lotus twincam and then a 2 litre volvo with hewland 5 speed.If you're interested in seeing the photos give me your email and i'll send them.My email is tony.martin5@sympatico.ca.

#30 Jol Wilkinson

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 11:31

Brian Martin was a racing driver who built and drove his own sports/GT cars in the late 1960 - early 1970s. He later built a variety of single seaters.

 

I met Brian when I was an engineering student at Ford Motor Company in 1968, on a six week placement to the Engine and Foundry QC Division at Dagenham. Brian was then based in the old office complex overlooking the Thames but later became a field QC engineer.  I believe his father David was a Director of QC Ford Europe. At that time Brian used a lock up garage just off Green Lane, Goodmayes, later moving to a workshop at the back of a builder’s yard off Rush Green Road, Dagenham.

 

In 1968 Brian was racing a front engine car, based on a Lotus 7 chassis but with overall GRP bodywork. It had a Ford 1600 engine with four speed gearbox, Triumph front uprights and brakes and IRS using a Lotus Elan diff housing and uprights. As the following car was the rear engine BM6, this should have been BM5. The car was stripped at the end of 1968 to sell the engine, etc. I bought the chassis and body to create a road going special. I later sold it in 1970 to get a more suitable support car for the team’s two summer week trip to the continent for three races, at Karlskoga, Wunstorf and the Jyllandsring.

 

Over the winter of 68/69 BM6 was built by Brian and his team of helpers, chiefly Ken Graham, Dave MacAllister, Geoff (whose surname I regrettably can’t remember) and myself, later joined by Dave King and Chris Pilborough. The car had a Chevron  BMW 2.0L engine, with a FT200 transaxle with Brabham F2 uprights, wheels and rack . The chassis was brazed tubular space frame with aluminium skinning, while the body was GRP. Ken Graham was mainly responsible for the body moulds and panels, assisted by the two Dave’s, while Geoff and I helped Brian with the metal work, although everyone would turn their hand to whatever needed doing.

 

BM6 wasn’t a very pretty car, but provided a good learning platform for BM7 in 1970. BM6 was campaigned frequently, most weekends and sometimes on both a Saturday and Sunday at different circuits. The car was a bit too big and overweight, something which Brian struggled with as he wanted a strong chassis. In particular the suspension links were too robust, proven when Brian crashed into the sleepers at Crystal Palace later in 1969. The wishbones, etc. remained intact while the chassis folded where they were attached.

 

After the Crystal Palace crash, BM6 was rebuilt for the end of the 1969 season and then stripped down to provide donor parts for BM7. New open bodywork was created to fit onto an all new tubular chassis with a stressed panel centre section and aluminium outer panels. The same suspension parts, BMW 2.0l engine and Hewland FT200 gearbox were used.  After refining the suspension, the care handled very well, but was possibly down on power/too heavy compared with the some of the competition.

 

However, Brian produced some great results and as far as I remember, won the SKF GT championship, taking the class if not overall classification. We took the car to Karlskoga, Wunstorf and the Jyllandsring in the summer of 1970, fitted with a Ford 1600 twin cam on loan from FMC competition department for the trip. The years best result was probably second in the  Silverstone Martini Trophy 2 hour race, despite a throttle linkage breakage toward in the last few laps. 

 

At the end of 1970 Brian left FMC and teamed up with a tall, wealthy, Swiss domiciled driver. At least we though Ed Negus musty have been wealthy, he drove a red Porsche 911 Targa, while we had Ford Cortinas, an Anglia 105E, a Volkswagen minibus, a MG Midget, etc. The intention was to build two new cars to campaign in 1971. I was involved with the start of the project over the winter, but the new structure of the team, a change of job and a move to live some twenty miles away, I left in early 1971.

 

I believe that Brian later moved to Yorkshire, setting up a fabrication business as well as building the single seaters. I was then working for GM/Opel in the UK and believe that he did some work for Dealer Opel Team (then run by Tony Fall, as I recall).

 

Looking back I now wish that I had kept a diary of our race meetings, results, etc. I have some MN and Autosport cuttings and some photos from those days, but didn’t write dates, etc. on the back of them.



#31 DMB81

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 13:12

I used to live near Wakefield where Brian was based from the late seventies through the eighties and nineties. He used to lots of work for drivers in the local Yorkshire area, of which I was one. He was never cheap, but his workmanship was top notch. Some of my friends used to race Special Saloons/Donington GT's at the time. He did a lot of conversion work for them. I seem to remember him converting one of his Martin Sports cars to a Special Saloon Skoda for Richard Simms in the late 70's, early 80's. Can't be certain, sadly, Richard Simms passed away some time ago. Also another memory is that a guy called Nigel Dickson used to work for him. Nigel was ex-Chevron in the 70's. He was also involved in the ill-fated Can-Am project. Nigel went onto set up on his own in part of the old Chevron works on Chorley Old Road. A good Guy.



#32 group7

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 02:13

there is a photo of Brian Martin in the Martin-BMW (BM?) on page 117, in a piece written by Andrew Marriott "club racing"  Motor Racing Year, 1971 edition, published by MRP. I quote "Martins achievement in winning 17  races was magnificent. this 25 year-old Ford employee built a competitive sport-racing car virtually in his back yard. This proved his worth as an engineer, but he also showed a tremondous talent behind the wheel. Martin had been building and racing his own cars for some years, but it was in 1970 that he really came into prominence. Certainly a budding Colin Chapman"  unfortunately all the photos that were here have gone ! :confused:  I could scan and mail the photo to someone if they would be willing to post it. I cannot seem to do it myself.

 

Mike (group7)


Edited by group7, 13 January 2016 - 02:34.


#33 bill p

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 09:34



there is a photo of Brian Martin in the Martin-BMW (BM?) on page 117, in a piece written by Andrew Marriott "club racing"  Motor Racing Year, 1971 edition, published by MRP. I quote "Martins achievement in winning 17  races was magnificent. this 25 year-old Ford employee built a competitive sport-racing car virtually in his back yard. This proved his worth as an engineer, but he also showed a tremondous talent behind the wheel. Martin had been building and racing his own cars for some years, but it was in 1970 that he really came into prominence. Certainly a budding Colin Chapman"  unfortunately all the photos that were here have gone ! :confused:  I could scan and mail the photo to someone if they would be willing to post it. I cannot seem to do it myself.

 

Mike (group7)

 

Mike, The 1971 Martins were fitted with 8-valve 2-litre BMW engines which were still fairly competitive and a lot cheaper to buy & run than the Cosworth FVC  :)  

 

All the images that have disappeared from TNF were posted using "Imageshack".  They started to apply a monthly charge for their services and if you didn't pay your images were wiped, I now use "Photobucket"

 

Photo from Post #18 re-posted

 

Bill P

 

MartinBM8BMartinENegus_zpsyq4dtbzv.jpg


Edited by bill p, 13 January 2016 - 09:35.


#34 bill p

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 15:58


Mike (group7)

Was my re-posted photograph any use to you? You can "pm" your photo to me to post, if you wish

Bill P

#35 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 21:20

I was introduced to Brian by Richard Groombridge - The main thing I remember about Brian was that, when excited, his voice rose in pitch like a Geordie on speed.



#36 socram

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:30

I have a couple of pics (not very good ones...) from 1970 at Mallory Park. I can't post them tonight as I'll need a link to a post on another website!