We’re all familiar with the idea of a barn find, but even by the standard of the weird and wonderful stuff found on farms this is something special. After five years of searching by the team behind the new P15 V16s, the original BRM body buck – built in 1949 – has been found. The first BRM V16 built using it hasn’t been seen for 70 years.
The buck has turned up in the roof of the boat house of a man called George Gray. After the first V16 was built, the shape was altered, and therefore the first jig wasn’t required. It’s been tracked down “through a combination of research, luck, diligence, and discussions with historians, journalists, collectors and those with long memories.” With one of the planned three V16 Mark 1s (chassis IV) already in build, this buck will be used to assist in the construction of chassis V, which is going to Richard Mille. The first car has been commissioned by the Owen family (Sir Alfred Owen was the team principal back in the day), with third BRM P15 V16 yet to be allocated.
Rick Hall, a BRM F1 team engineer all those years ago and overseeing these continuation cars, said: “It is extremely satisfying to have finally tracked down the original Type 15 jig, which will enable us to craft the car in the form that it was presented to the world in 1949… “I believe that the simplicity and beautiful lines of this car will only really be appreciated in the flesh. Very few people alive today will have had the opportunity to see this car before. Looking back at the original drawings, we were surprised at the amount of technical changes that were made to the car in period. We are relishing the challenge to bring it back to life once again”.
Understandably proud of their find – and with some form as far as video goes – BRM has published this YouTube clip to accompany the news. It features an interview with Geoffrey Marsh (the man named as helping identify the jig’s whereabouts) as well as period footage of the first BRM romping to victory at Goodwood back in 1950. Just in case the project wasn’t a glorious enough nostalgia fest already. With Mille’s car set to be ready next year, it means whoever gets the final one of these P15s will have to be patient; you suspect, however, the BRM might be worth the wait.