The BRM V16. A legend of 1950s Formula One. Recently, in celebration of the company’s 70th anniversary, John Owen, the grandson of BRM’s founder, commissioned Hall and Hall to build three new BRM V16s. Now completed, one of the cars took to the track at the Goodwood Revival to the awe of the crowd. We caught up with Hall and Hall founder Rick Hall in the paddocks to hear more.
Rick, how many cars do you have at the Goodwood Revival?
We’ve got 14 cars and six BRMs, including the new BRM V16. We've brought a Ferrari Testarossa a Maserati A6 GCS, a Cooper Jaguar, a Lancia B50 and the new BRM V16. We’ve got Damon Hill driving the BRM P578 “old faithful” in the Graham Hill Tribute Track Parade.
Are all your cars here using Motul products?
Yes, we’re just changing over to Motul and everything that comes into the shops uses Motul. We’re also changing to Motul machining solvents and oils. I know Motul was good in the 1970s and there was a relationship with BRM so it’s nice for that to continue. And we’re very happy with what we’ve seen of the partnership and how Motul proves its products in racing.
How are you finding Motul with these historic cars like the BRM?
It’s fine. I worked with Motul at BRM in 1974, when we had three French drivers Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Francois Migault and Henri Pescarolo driving for us. I was very much involved with the engines and I remember the oil was amber in colour. When we stripped the engines, there was a beautiful film of oil. Even if we left them for a week or more. So even back then it had good clinging factors. We’re running the V16 on it, which is the new car we made. It’s a 1.5-litre, V16 with a twin-stage supercharger that revs to 12,000rpm. It’s a very complex engine. It’s only run on Motul lubricants and, when we open the engine up, it all looks very nice and like it hasn’t even been used. We’re now going onto brake fluids, gear oils, coolants and so on.
What do you think of the Revival?
It’s a fantastic event. It’s like a step back in time. You go through those gates and it all changes from what we’re normally used to at a race circuit. Lord March does a fabulous job and the attention to detail is incredible. There’s so much happening all around, and people get into the spirit of it by dressing up. It’s magnificent and sold out every year.
And it’s proper racing as well…
You’ve got modern professional racers getting in these cars. It gets really serious. You can get so close to the drivers and the cars – and I think that’s what’s missing from Formula One now. It’s a great event and it’s done so much for historic motor racing.
What are your future plans with BRM?
We’re building the second of the V16s. It’s the one with the drum brakes that was first announced in 1950. We’re doing it exactly as it was back then. We found the original body book before it got the louvres and the vents, we decided to build that body. And then we’re looking to make the 816 engines and gearbox. One of the original cars, the first one in 1967, a Graham Hill car, was converted into a Formula 5000. We’re going to make that into a proper and correct 816. We’re also working on a new Ford GT40. We have lots of projects on. BRM has always been a passion for me and it’s great to work with the grandsons (of the BRM family) to bring the cars back to life.