BRM - A TRIBUTE TO THE P153
SCALEXTRIC REF C051
(Click on pics to enlarge)
Apart from the early P25 and P57, Scalextric has produced two BRM models issued from the P153 family, the P160 (ref C051) and the P180 (ref C.101), but not the original P153 model. The P153 was a completely new F1 car, intended for the 1970 F1 season. Officially presented with the traditional BRM racing colors (dark green/blue and orange/red), it gave rise to a lot of admiration by F1 enthusiasts : It was rather compact and low, with squatty and bulbous shapes. The monocoque type chassis had been designed by Tony Southgate. Two cars were entered immediately in the South African GP, the first GP of the 1970 world championship, 153/01for Jackie Oliver (#19) and 153/02 for his team mate Pedro Rodriguez (#20). A third car was in construction for the Canadian George Eaton. At Kyalami, the P153 unanimously won the Concours d'Elegance. During the race, they were rather encouraging for their first GP : Jackie could not finish, but Pedro took the 9th place (he qualified on the second row at the subsequent Spanish GP). The two pics below, extracted from the monthly French auto magazine Sport Auto (issue #99, April 1970) show Pedro in his quite characteristic style (being overlapped by John Surtees on the second one).
(Photos Sport Auto)
The sponsoring contract with Yardley was signed close after the south African GP, and 153/01 was painted in white with the nice Yarley deco for the upcoming Brands Hatch Race of Champions (only Jackie participated). 153/02 received its Yardley livery for subsequent GP's. As far as I know (but don't hesitate to correct me if I'm wrong), George Eaton participated in the Spanish GP in Jarama on the third works car (153/03) still painted in the traditional BRM colours. And we all remember that Pedro won his first GP ever at Spa at the wheel of his magnificent Yardley BRM (pic below);
1970 Belgian GP - Great 1st GP victory for Pedro
Don't resist the temptation !
When I happen to see a green C051 Scalex, I immediately think of reproducing a 1970" pre-Yardley" P153. The nose treatment is a significant difference between the original P153 and the P160. BRM engineers wanted the P160 to be more aerodynamic and and they gave it a longer sharpened nose. In view of our project, the temptation to cut out the nose is great and anyway seems to be necessary. Otherwise, our C.051 would remain a P160... So, let's go ! No question of course to obtain a faithful replication of the real P153, but simply a clear evocation of it.
The nose sawed off, some finishing work using sandpaper allows to approach the shape of the P153 original nose.
As we are altering the plastic body (which we don't do usually), let's take advantage of this opportunity to make another tempting modification. The vintage Scalextric F1 cars generally suffer from a too short wheelbase, and could benefit from having the rear axle slightly moved back. Tony (pseudo "superhornets" on SlotForum International, see here) will surely not contradict this. A trade-off solution is to stay with the standard configuration for racing and allow for a "display" configuration with the rear axle moved back, the nice thing being the possibility to easily change from a version to the other. This can be done by simply drilling two holes into which a spare axle, without gears but with a centering plastic pipe, can be slipped before receiving the rear wheels.
Those two modifications having been made, the overall length of our P153 has been shortened by "a" (about 5 mm) and its wheelbase increased by "b" (about 4 mm), as shown on the left-hand pic below.
Remains now the usual decaling work, relatively simple here, and that's it ! I've chosen to represent Pedro's car at Kyalami (1970 south African GP).
Here is a rather original Scalex that you'll be happy and pride to race or put on display, especially if, like me, you've always been fascinated by the pure beauty and the elegance of BRM F1 cars.
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