13th June

New Zealand Classic Car - - Special Feature -

Thurs­day was scru­ti­neer­ing and fi­nal prac­tice run­ning, all awash with rain. Hill did not think much of us bunch of am­a­teurs with this “tid­dly lit­tle car.” BRM me­chan­ics were ex­cel­lent and help­ful with our poor knowl­edge of rac­ing and car prepa­ra­tion for this sort of thing.

The 1963 Rover-brm team was lead by Wilkie Wilkin­son from BRM, and he was joined by Barnard, Candy and, in the pits, Fred Court and Ge­orge Perry.

In the event, the Rover-brm’s gas tur­bine reached 38– 40,000rpm along the Mul­sanne Straight for a road speed of around 225–240kph. The car com­pleted 4165km (2588 miles) dur­ing the 24-hour race at an av­er­age speed of 173.4kph/107.8mph, with Ginther set­ting the fastest lap at 182.8km/113.6mph. The car con­sumed 1693 litres (372.50 gal­lons) of paraf­fin, mak­ing av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion a mere 6.9mpg — or 40.9l/100km. Although un­clas­si­fied, the Rover-brm would’ve fin­ished eighth over­all if it had been petrol pow­ered.

Back at Soli­hull, the car was pre­pared to take part at the Bri­tish Grand Prix, due to be held on June 22 at Sil­ver­stone. On that his­tor­i­cal day, Trevor Collins was present as JET 1, T3, T4 and the Rover-brm ap­peared on track be­fore the main event. A mock race was set up with Spen King at the wheel of JET 1, Richie Ginther in T3, Tony Worster in T4 and Graham Hill in the Rover-brm.

Rover-de­vel­oped gas tur­bine en­gines en­joyed a long life pow­er­ing Bri­tish Ley­land trucks

Look­ing very stylish from this an­gle, the Rover-brm had a sim­i­lar look to Fer­rari’s 250LM The high-speed APT-E ex­per­i­men­tal train ran four Rover-built gas tur­bines and was able to reach speeds of around 250kph

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