Rover’s most exciting gas turbine car was made in partnership with the Owen organisation. Owen supplied a widened BRM Grand Prix car chassis (from Richie Ginther’s car which he had crashed at Monaco in 1962) and two drivers, Ginther and Graham Hill.
The car was first entered for the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1963 and, because it required special permission from the organisers to take part, raced unofficially as number ‘00’. It came in 8th and gained the special prize for the first gas turbine to finish the race.
For 1964 it was fitted with a new coupé body designed by William Towns. The engine was modified to incorporate a heat exchanger, with then cutting-edge ceramic discs made by Corning of America.
In 1965 it ran in the 2-litre class, with BRM drivers Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart at the helm. In spite of overheating and some damage to the turbine blades from debris during the race, the Rover-BRM survived the 24 hours at an average speed of 98.8 mph (159 km/h), achieving 10th place, the highest placed British car.
The Rover-BRM is displayed at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, UK.