PETER COLLINS REMEMBERED
Landmark BRM discovered
“THE BRM TURNED A WHEEL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY 50 YEARS WHEN HALL SHOOK IT DOWN AT BLYTON”
One of the few surviving examples of BRM’S first rear-engined Formula 1 car, the P48 from 1960, has returned to action this summer after a lengthy restoration by marque experts Hall and Hall.
Having spent nearly half a century in storage, the ex-dan Gurney P48 returned to the track at the Silverstone Classic in late July. The freshly finished car was entrusted to versatile young racer Ben Mitchell, who qualified an excellent seventh in a 50car field for the pair of HGPCA races. Unfortunately, gearbox issues then left it unable to start.
BRM’S first rear-engined F1 design was a rushed development of the front-engined P25 for the 1960 season and Gurney raced chassis number 6. In 1960, three P48s (for Gurney, Graham Hill and Jo Bonnier) joined the fray at the Monaco Grand Prix. Chassis 6 was later used in hillclimbing during the mid1960s before being bought by racer Robs Lamplough. The racer and aviator has been actively competing since the 1960s, when he raced at international level in Formula 2, and still turns out regularly in cars from his extensive collection.
Lamplough acquired the car in 1971, used some of the mechanical parts to build up a front-engined P25, and put the P48 chassis into storage – where it stood in a corner for more than 40 years. Finally, five years ago, the chassis went to Hall and Hall in Bourne, Lincolnshire, for restoration. Like the P25, the P48 uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder BRM engine.
“It’s a fantastic honour to be asked to drive it and it’s everything you’d want it to be,” said Mitchell.
“It’s great to have it back out,” added Rob Hall from Hall and Hall. “It’s got the original engine and new magnesium bodywork.”
The BRM turned a wheel for the first time in nearly 50 years when Hall shook it down at Blyton in the week leading up to the Classic. There are now plans to run the car again at suitable events.
Sixty years after his death at the Nürburgring, British racer Peter Collins was remembered in early August in a modest ceremony at Saint Mary’s Church in Stone, Worcestershire, close to his former home.
Collins died in the 1958 German Grand Prix when his Ferrari Dino 246 flipped into a ditch and he was thrown out. His rise to F1 and sportscar racing had been meteoric and he progressed from 500cc F3 in 1950 to make his F1 debut in 1952. He won three grands prix, including the 1958 British race after a mighty performance, and took many sportscar successes. He also partnered Stirling Moss to victory in the 1955 Targa Florio for Mercedes.
Collins was close to both Enzo Ferrari and Mike Hawthorn, and his death was a major factor in Hawthorn’s decision to retire at the end of the 1958 season.
His life was marked by the ceremony and an address by respected commentator Neville Hay. A wreath in the shape of a Ferrari steering wheel adorned Collins’ grave in a fitting tribute to one of Britain’s greatest drivers.
Dan Gurney in the BRM P48 at the 1960 Monaco GP. The car recently appeared at the Silverstone Classic
Peter Collins made his F1 debut in 1952 and had won three GPS by the time of his death in 1958