King of The Castle…

Posted: July 8, 2022 in F1, Obscurities
Tags: , , ,

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Jack Brabham with his F1 Brabham BT11 Climax, F2 BT16 Honda and one of Ron Tauranac’s bare spaceframes Jack has borrowed from Ron’s production line.

The photo isn’t dated but it’s between mid-June and mid-September 1965 – works Brabhams used number 14 at the Belgian, French, British, Dutch, and Italian Grands Prix.

In some ways it was a bit of an investment year for Brabham. It was their first year using Honda engines and Goodyear tyres, not to forget the Repco Brabham Engines V8s being developed in Melbourne. All of these initiatives paid off in spades the following year. Mind you, investment year or otherwise, Dan Gurney made the BT11 sing in F1 with a swag of top three results, albeit no wins in 1965.

Jack worked with Honda engineers to get more torque from their peaky but powerful 1-litre four cylinder engines. The team partnered with Goodyear from the January-March 1965 Tasman Cup. Lots of work on compounds and profiles helped the Brabham Racing Organisation win the 1966 F2 (Trophees de France) and F1 World championships with Honda and Repco-Brabham powered cars respectively.

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The boys – Tauranac (or not?) in front of the partially obscured Denny Hulme and Jack – ponder a Brabham Honda as it’s loaded onto the transporter. See here for a feature on these jewels of cars, and engines; ‘XXXII Grand Prix de Reims’ F2 3 July 1966: 1 Litre Brabham Honda’s… | primotipo…

The photo requires detective work as the Getty Archive caption has it as a Lotus 33 Climax V8, which it most assuredly is not! The caption reads “Motor Sport Formula 1. In July 1965, during a report on Motor Sport and Formula 1, the Lotus 33 returning to the back of a truck, men and a driver discussing outside.”

While it’s not the French Grand Prix, that year held at Clermont Ferrand in June, it could be during the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone during July, a meeting the photographer, noted Paris Match regular Jean Tesseyre, may have attended.

Does it look like the Silverstone paddock to any of you Brits? There was no F2 race on the program but it is possible that Brabham did some test laps during the meeting and/or had the BT16 Honda on display. Perhaps the car is being loaded up at MRD or BRO in Surrey?

I love solving these mysteries if any of you can assist, attendee identification in full would be a bonus…

Credits…

Manuel Litran, Jean Tesseyre

Finito…

Comments
  1. Terry Sullivan says:

    The bt11 in the first photo is powered by a Repco V8 and not a Climax

    • Terry Sullian says:

      Apologies for error in previous post

      • markbisset says:

        Cheers Terry,
        Yes, at first blush the car/engine does look a bit like a BT24/740 Repco.
        All of the Climax FWMV V8s had that ‘crossover’ exhaust except the small number of 32-valvers of 1964-5 which had the more conventional low either side exhausts.
        M

  2. Mr Squiggle says:

    If you are open to wild speculations, I’m wondering whether the man to Jack’s left is Ken Tyrell.

  3. Nigel says:

    The photo looks like it was taken in a (what we would call) a back alley, the rear of a building access, so probably behind a garage (as the door on the left) rear access to a car workshop or showroom.
    I’m not from the area that Jack had his business so unsure of the location. Regards Nigel

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