Model history: BRM's years in Formula 1 were dominated by glorious failures with the odd race win and even a World Championship for good measure. Through most of these tumultuous seasons, British Racing Motors could rely on the loyal support of Alfred Owen, who headed Britain's largest privately owned industrial group. Shortly before his untimely death in 1975, he had passed on the reigns of the team to his brother in law, Louis Stanley.
Under the Stanley-BRM banner, and without the support of the Owen Organisation, the team carried on for several years to come. Unfortunately the tobacco sponsorship had also been lost at the end of 1973, so only a very modest budget was available. It seemed all over when the team only entered only the first two Grands Prix of the 1976 season with the two-year-old P201. Stanley had not given up and in 'Rotary Watches' he had found a new backer that would allow the team to develop a new car for 1977.
Leaving little to chance, Stanley hired the vastly experienced Len Terry to design the new P207 BRM. Although no stranger to Formula 1, Terry's most successful designs were Indy cars, including the 1965 Indy 500 winning Lotus 38 and the first Eagles. For the new BRM he laid down a very conventional design consisting of an aluminium monocoque, which used the familiar V12 engine as a fully stressed member. The car's radiators were mounted longitudinally, at a slight angle on both sides of the engine.
As all of the decade's BRM Formula 1 cars, the P207 was powered by a four-valve version of the V12 that was originally developed as a sports car engine back in 1967. In its latest guise, it was now known as the P202 and promised to be considerably lighter and at 480 bhp more powerful than its predecessors. If that figure was correct, the BRM V12 nevertheless had the lowest output of all engines that year. The twelve cylinder engine was mated to a five speed gearbox that had also been developed in-house.
Suspension also followed the norm with lower wishbones and top rockers actuating the in-board mounted coil springs over dampers at the front and twin lowers links, single top links, twin trailing arms and coil springs over dampers at the rear. Ventilated disc brakes were used on all four corners with the rear ones mounted in-board. Like almost all other teams that season (Renault was the exception), the BRM P207 ran on Goodyear tyres.
The Stanley-BRM team signed Australian Larry Perkins to drive. At its Brazil GP debut the P207 was a staggering 12 seconds off the pace in qualifying and he retired on the first lap of the race. With no funds available for development of the car, Perkins left to try his luck at Surtees soon after. In the remainder of the season Conny Andersson, Guy Edwards and Teddy Pilette all tried, in vain, to even get the P207 qualified for a Grand Prix. Even before the season was over, Stanley-BRM ceased its efforts.
In the following years one of the P207s was used in the second tier Aurora FX championship with a couple of fourths as the best result. No BRMs competed in a Grand Prix again, making the 1977 an unfortunate and undeserved finale of one of Formula 1's pioneers. Resource shortages plagued the P207 project throughout and even a considerable investment would probably not have turned the fortunes of the car and engine around completely.
The second P207 chassis was built specifically for Belgian Teddy Pilette. He tried to qualify P207/02 for four Grands Prix but failed at every attempt. The following season he campaigned the bulky BRM in the Aurora FX Championship and managed to score a fourth and fifth place finish. The car continued to be raced in the series until 1983 by Tony Trimmer and David Williams. The latter managed to add another fourth and fifth to the car's tally. The car eventually ended up in Canadian hands and in the early 2000s was completely restored to full running order. Chassis P207/02 was raced in a variety of historic events including the 2006 Monterey Historic Automobile Races where it is pictured above.