The history of motorsport is rife with exotic machines and spectacular flops, but few cars can lay claim to as much technical sophistication and unrealized potential as the BRM V16. The brainchild of British racer Raymond Mays, the BRM V16, or “The Mays Project” as it also came to be known, was created as a way of syndicating the production of a world-class Grand Prix car for Great Britain. Mays convinced Oliver Lucas of (Lucas electric fame) and Alfred Owen (of Rubbery Owen) to contribute money, materials and expertise to the creation of a cutting-edge racing car under his leadership, as well as that of Ken Richardson and Peter Berthon. The result of this ambitious endeavor was a fantastic-looking, and sounding, car that featured a 1.6-liter, supercharged V16 engine, that for the first time in racing history, revved over 10,000 rpm and generated 600 horsepower. If the car—in sight and sound—was spectacular, its results were anything but. Due to the incredibly complicated nature of the V16, the BRM never realized anything close to its promise, going down in history as one of the greatest Formula One flops of all time. However, it did ultimately spawn the BRM marque, which would go on to become a World Championship-winning manufacturer.
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