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The real Pedro Rodriguez

3 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


10 June 2021

Sometimes fate turns on the thinnest of threads. In this case an engine that was not even on a car, but a dynamometer. Its intended recipient was a BRM P167 sports car which was to be raced in an Interserie round at the Norisring. A comparatively minor race at a comparatively minor circuit. But as the revs rose, something inside that engine took exception and broke loose. The engine unstitched itself and there was no other available for the car.

So BRM’s chief designer Tony Southgate had to ring his driver and give him the bad news. To which Pedro Rodriguez replied, ‘don’t worry, I’ve been offered £1500 to drive this Ferrari.’ The Ferrari was a private 512S owned by Herbie Muller. Pedro, being Pedro, duly shot off into the lead until something, some say mechanical failure, others a baulking backmarker, pitched him into the accident that claimed his life. As Southgate told me, ‘Had that engine held, we might have had him for a little longer.’

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