Rover-BRM: Gas Turbine monster
Usually when we’ve got a clip to show you guys featuring the pure, raw sounds of an awesome historic racing machine we’ll ask that crank those speakers up and share with us the incredible sounds of motorsport’s yesteryear. This time we’re not going to do that, not because the Rover-BRM of the early 1960s isn’t a fantastic machine, but because its gas turbine engine is nothing short of ear-piercing.
In this video, the gas turbine Rover BRM can be seen warming up at Le Mans, 40 years after it was originally campaigned at the track by Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill. This exact car ran at La Sarthe in both 1963 and 1964, however in a special class of it’s own rather than with the rest of the pack – it wasn’t until 1965 that it would find itself amongst a field of competitors.
The Rover-BRM was actually a solid performer come race day, finishing tenth overall (seventh in Prototype) despite having its turbine blades suffer significant damage early in the race when the setup ingested sand from outside of the racing line. The car managed an average speed of 98.8mph in the race whilst carrying the damage, compared to over 107mph whilst testing in 1963. Furthermore, a tip from a turbine blade snapped off later in the race, resulting in a massive explosion when it damaged one of the regenerators. We think the Rover-BRM did very well considering!