A non technical account of the BRM story.
The story as seen by a BRM mechanic.
Many previously unpublished photographs.
Authors opinion of reason for BRM decline.
How privileged we were to be BRM team members.
The pleasure of Continental travel in the 1950’s.
Despite the early failures, we were always optimistic.
The comradeship within the team.
The privilege of working with great racing drivers.
The pride in victory.
Probably for the first time, criticism is leveled at both Louis Stanley, and the introduction of the H16 engine as contributory factors to the failure of British Racing Motors. Louis Stanley for his freeloading extravagance, and the rather foolish decision by the management to specify such a complicated and bulky power unit.
This is the story as told by a man who was both a devoted fan and a loyal team member of British Racing Motors. Who saw and was involved in the repeated failures and humiliating times of the 1950’s, through the gradual progress of winning minor races to Jo Bonnier winning the first World Championship Grand Prix in Holland in 1959. Culminating in the ultimate honour in 1962, when, in East London, South Africa, Graham Hill drove the BRM to victory to win both the drivers World Championship and the Constructors Championship for the BRM team. Thereby making a considerable contribution to British motor racing history.
Review by Patrick Quinn for Australian Classic Car, July 2007
BOOK OF THE MONTH
There have been a number of publications on British Racing Motors over the years but I can't recall any written from a mechanic's perspective. Dick Salmon started with BRM for the 1952 season when the English racing car manufacturer was having a less than successful time with the V16 Mark 1. This isn't a car by car, race by race description of BRM's history, although there are certainly descriptions of the cars and races. It is more on what it was like to be a mechanic, what they did to get the cars ready, how they travelled from race to race, even to where they stopped for lunch on their journeys across Europe. The frustration at BRM's lack of success comes across palpably but so does the elation when, during the rear engine era, Graham Hill joined the team and quickly bought success.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly, especially Salmon's conversational style, which makes it a delight to read. What also places it heads above the rest is the selection of photos. Not surprisingly, the photos are not necessarily what you would have seen in the press of the time but would more likely have been found in the personal photo albums of people involved. I particularly like the photo taken inside an aircraft en route to Casablanca, showing the cars stowed on one side of the cabin with passengers on the other.
A top choice for historians and certainly our book of the month.
Review from MotorSport, May 2007
At atmospheric account of BRM at the factory and on the road, from mechanic Salmon's first trip abroad testing the V16s at Monza in 1952, through descriptions of Alfred Owen's displeasure at the many BRM failures to Jo Bonnier's breakthrough win in the 1959 Dutch GP and Graham Hill clinching the 1962 world title. All this is set delightfully in context by tales of travel and, of course, celebration parties.
It's illustrated with copious contemporary photographs of races and informal snaps, sprinkled with passes, programme covers and hotel flyers.
Review by Mike Goodbun for Classic Cars, May 2007
Mechanic, Dick Salmon, worked at BRM from 1951 to '67 so he's perfectly placed to shed fresh light on what it was really like to work for Raymond Mays' Lincolnshire-based race team. His tale includes hilarious anecdotes of transport mishaps and border crossings, the elation of BRM's highs and the misery of its lows.
Photography is mostly black-and-white, but also includes intimate colour scene-capturing by Anthony Carter (Motor Racing – Reflections of a Lost Era). All 224 pages are refreshingly simply laid-out.
It's an essential purchase for BRM fans, but you don't have to know about BRM to enjoy it.
Review from Hot4s.com.au (Australia), May 2007
It's quite a special book for those in the know. You see, it details the rise and subsequent fall of the great British Racing Motors, which was something of an emotional roller-coaster for Pommie pride throughout the '50s and '60s. The sheer research that must have gone into this thing, not to mention trying to pull aIl these photos from archives and what have you, must have been absolutely astronomical, and if you're a fan of British motor-racing history, you'll no doubt turn every page with either a tear in your eye or a hand on your heart.
Review from Classic & Sports Car, April 2007