Archive for the ‘F1’ Category

Lance Reventlow front and centre with foot on the tyre. Scarab, Monaco 1960

Timing is everything in life, innit-like?

Love the Aston Martin DBR4 and Scarab as I do, they both missed the boat as new front-engined racing cars in the brave-new mid-engined GP world.

Lance Reventlow’s Scarabs really were crazy brave, but I guess you can be so, when money is no object. The Scarabs were beautifully designed, built and finished.

What is not to like about the slinky body, spaceframe chassis, bespoke four-cylinder 2.5-litre, desmodromic-valved, fuel-injected engine and four-wheel discs? The Corvette four-speed gearbox was a bit butch and last-minute in a GP car. See here for a piece on Scarab; https://primotipo.com/2016/01/27/chucks-t-bird/ This article is pictorial, making use of some great shots which have lobbed on the internet thingy recently.

Reventlow, and Daigh behind during Monaco practice. Cooper T51 Climax is Roy Salvadori in Tommy Atkins’ car, DNF
Reventlow about to be swallowed by Innes Ireland’s Walker-Lotus 18 Climax. The sheer economy of the Lotus says it all in terms of the front-engined-packaging-challenge. Arguably the Lotus 16 did this best albeit its results don’t suggest that…
Scarab 2.5-litre, DOHC, desmo two-valve fuel-injected four. Note canting to keep the bonnet line low

Had Reventlow and team-driver Chuck Daigh lobbed on the Monaco GP grid in May 1958, rather than 1960, things may have been a bit different. Still, the team were there adding welcome variety.

The degree of difficulty couldn’t be higher. New car, new team, two drivers who had not raced at Monaco before – or contested a championship GP for that matter.

Colin Chapman, late to the mid-engined party himself, had upped the ante with his new Lotus 18, taking the Coopers-concept and running with it.

The 18 was the car of 1960, only it’s ‘Queerbox’ transaxle let it down. John Cooper’s/Owen Maddock’s/Jack Brabham’s ‘Lowline’ Cooper T53 wasn’t too shabby either. It was a much more reliable device than the Lotus, not the least of its improvements was the Cooper-Knight C5S transaxle. Wouldn’t ole-Chappers have liked to have gotten his hands on a couple of those!

Reventlow with a bit of push, as the Americans like to call understeer. A bit of Phil Hill’s Ferrari Dino 246 following
The boss gets his hands dirty, Reventlow attacks the front suspension. Photos show plenty of understeer, perhaps that is the focus. Upper and lower front wishbones
Moss readies himself for a run in Reventlow’s chassis. Note Goodyear tyre and Halibrand wheel. IRS by upper and lower wishbones. Lance watches with paternal interest from alongside Daigh’s car. Quality of workmanship and finish clear

It was no surprise that the Scarabs were slugs.

“Just to see if it was the cars or drivers, Reventlow let Moss try one. He did 1min 45sec, which equalled Jimmy Clark’s time with the Lotus 18 FJunior, so the answer to the Scarab trouble was cars and drivers. However, there were other factors, such as first time out, first attempt at anything so exacting as Monaco, and the simple fact that their Goodyear tyres are not as good as the Dunlops tyres”, Denis Jenkinson wrote in his Monaco GP race-report.

Moss’ pole in the Rob Walker Lotus 18 was 1min 36.3sec.

Jenkinson mused about what may have been possible, “A set of Dunlops would certainly have given Moss 1min 43sec. If it had been his own car and fitted him properly he would have done 1min 42sec, and if he had been trying he would have got down to 1min 41sec, and if starting money had been involved he would have got down to 1min 40sec, which would have been a reasonable time for a new car to new conditions.”

Moss won the 100 lap, 314km race in 2:53.45 in his Lotus 18 from the similarly 2.5-Climax FPF powered Cooper T53 of Bruce McLaren with the best of the front-engines, Phil Hill’s Ferrari 246. The Scarabs didn’t make the qualifying cut, together with six others.

Reventlow from the Brian Naylor’s JBW-Maserati 250S during practice, both DNQ

Etcetera…

Reventlow, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at Monaco 1960. Man, didn’t he give it – sportscars and single-seaters – a red-hot go!

After Monaco, Scarab entered the Dutch GP in the Zandvoort dunes but didn’t race after a start-money dispute.

A pity as the fast flowing course would have given the team a better chance to optimise the car’s suspension before the flat-out challenges of Spa where lack of punch was always going to be problematic.

Chuck Daigh gives Jo Bonnier a lift back to the Spa pits
Daigh pushing hard thru Eau Rouge, hiking the inside-right

Reventlow qualified sixteenth and Daigh eighteenth (of 19) but both were out with engine problems after one lap and 16 laps respectively. Brabham’s Cooper T53 won the most-gruesome of GPs.

The final appearance of the Scarab in 1960 was at home in California, the US Grand Prix at Riverside in November.

There, finally, Chuck Daigh finished in tenth place, albeit five laps adrift of the winning Moss Lotus 18.

The last Scarab European hurrah were races at Silverstone, and here in a Goodwood Intercontinental Formula race in April 1961.

Daigh started his Offy powered chassis, 01, last on a grid of nine, finishing the 20-lap Lavant Cup eighth. Moss won in a Walker Cooper T53 Climax.

Daigh, Scarab- Offy 3-litre, Goodwood, April 1961

Wonderful colour butt-shot of the two Scarabs in the Spa paddock – #30 is Daigh – during the 1960 Ardennes Forest carnival of speed.

Note the offset to allow the driveshaft to pass alongside the driver’s left to keep his bulk nice and low.

Rear mounted fuel tank, big-comfy cockpit and beefy roll-bar for the period. The Scarab pilots wore a seat-belt.

Credits…

Don Orosco Collection, Denis Jenkinson in MotorSport

Tailpiece…

Daigh, Spa 1960

Chuck Daigh, Spa 1960. He did enough to be given some opportunities in a more current car.

In Australia he raced the mid-engined Scarab RE Oldsmobile in the 1962 Sandown International, impressing all who watched his professionalism amongst the Reventlow/Jill St John sideshow with which the local press were fixated.

Finito…

Jochen on a charge, huntin’ his friend Jack Brabham down…

‘Twas a famous victory this one. Jochen wasn’t a happy camper. The brand-spankers Lotus 72 wasn’t fast out of the box. It made its race debut in Spain on April 19 and by Monaco was already in B-spec. Team Lotus got there soon enough mind you, Rindt won in Holland on June 21 in a 72C.

But he wasn’t happy at Monaco.

The Lotus 49 made its race debut at Zandvoort ’67 and even with a few 1970 tweaks; suspension geometry, 72 wings et al, it was an old beast so he started the race from grid 8 in a cruise-and-collect mindset having slept badly on a yacht shared with his manager, Bernie Ecclestone.

monaco stewart

Stewart’s March 701 Ford leads Chris Amon’s similar car, Jacky Ickx’ Ferrari 312B and Denny Hulme’s yellow McLaren M14A Ford (Gulay Berryman)

monaco gaggle

Early in the race; Brabham’s BT33 from JPB’s Matra MS120, Ickx’ Ferrari 312B, Hulme’s McLaren M14A Ford, Rindt’s Lotus 49C Ford and Pescarolo’s Matra MS120 (Automobile Year 18)

Stewart led for the first third of the race, than retired with engine electronics problems, leaving Jack and Chris Amon in positions one and two. Jochen was seventh, but thanks to typical Monaco attrition he moved up the lap charts.

Ickx and Beltoise retired – then the Austrian fired up and passed Pescarolo and Hulme, leaving only Amon and Brabham up the road.

jochen on charge

Rindt’s charge is underway. Here #3 Rindt is lining Denny Hulme’s McLaren M14A, behind is Pescarolo’s Matra MS120, Courage’ De Tomaso 505 Ford, Siffert’s March 701 Ford and in the distance Bruce McLaren, McLaren M14A Ford (The Cahier Archive)

Amon retired on lap 61 leaving only Brabham, not too traumatised even with four laps to go, with a lead of nine seconds.

On lap 77 Black-Jack was baulked by Siffert’s March 701, the Swiss was suffering from fuel feed dramas – losing five seconds – Jochen was lapping in 1:23s, Jack 1:24s.

At Tabac Brabham came upon three back-markers, and then into the hairpin on the last lap the struggling Piers Courage – in 1969 he was up-front in one of Tauranac’s BT26 Brabhams, in 1970 aboard the shitbox De Tomaso 505 – Brabham went off-line onto the marbles to pass Piers, applied the brakes and boofed the fence allowing Jochen, shaking his head in disbelief, to pass into the lead.

Brabham soon got his BT33 going to take second from Henri Pescarolo’s Matra MS120 in third.

monaco boofed

Brabham with ‘bruised nose’ has recovered and drives to the line, retaining second place. Brabham BT33 Ford (unattributed)

For the first 40 laps of the race Rindt’s average lap time was 1:27, for the last 40 1:24.9, one-second quicker than he qualified.

Mind over matter and the sniff of victory.

jochen alone

(unattributed)

Brabham’s loss of the Monaco GP provided the base upon which Rindt built his 1970 World Championship, albeit tinged in absolute tragedy.

YouTube Last Laps…

Credits…

Gulay Berryman painting, Automobile Year 18, The Cahier Archive

Tailpiece: Even the wiliest and most experienced can have lapses of judgement. Brabham in BT33 Monaco 1970…

jack

Finito…

Caterham CT03 Renault…

Posted: April 4, 2021 in F1, Fotos
Tags:

Wonder if I can get triple J on this radio?

The drivers have to be digital natives to drive these things. There are twenty-two gizmos to push or twist in addition to the gearchange paddles on the steering wheel or tiller.

The dingo-ugly school of F1 design reached new heights in 2012-2013. Usual F1 levels of stupidity were attained when the FIA accepted a proposal to allow hit-with-the-fugly-stick chassis ‘modesty panels’ to be added to minimise (sic) the high-speed visual atrocity impact.

Charles Pic is the featured driver in all of the action shots, Van der Garde behind him here in first wet practice

Kimi Raikkonen won the 2013 Australian Grand Prix aboard a Lotus E21 Renault. Down the other end of the grid Giedo van der Garde made the cut in his Mark Smith designed Caterham CT03 Renault RS27 2.4-litre V8, Charles Pic did not – but was allowed to start anyway. Both cars finished too, Pic was 16th, Van der Garde 18th and last, two laps adrift of the podium trio, Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel.

It was a tough season for the team, 14th placings by Pic in Malaysia and Korea, and by Van der Garde in Hungary were the best results in Caterham’s last full season of GP competition.

Credits…

Getty Images- Robert Cianflone and Paul Crock, Australian GP Corporation

Tailpiece…

The Australian Grand Prix corporation always work hard on pre-event promotion of the event within Australia and overseas.

Their 2013 focus was in part some fantastic footage of, and from the 750bhp Minardi Asiatech V10 two-seater piloted by Cameron McConville, with Victoria’s Great Ocean Road near the Twelve Apostles, as the backdrop.

Finito…

(Cummins Archive)

Ferrari 555 Super Squalo ‘FL9002’ at Hall & Fowler’s forecourt during the early eighties.

I’ve done these Ferraris to death already, here; https://primotipo.com/2015/08/25/arnold-glass-ferrari-555-super-squalo-bathurst-1958/ and here; https://primotipo.com/2020/10/10/squalo-squadron/ . There’s more; https://primotipo.com/2020/03/31/555-super-squalo-555-2/

This car started life as a works machine ‘555/2’ raced throughout 1955, it then became a Formula Libre machine raced by Reg Parnell in a two car team together with Peter Whitehead throughout Australia, New Zealand and South America.

‘555/2’, renumbered ‘FL9002’ by Ferrari when rebuilt as an F Libre car, was eventually owned by the Gilltraps Motor Museum at Kirra on the Gold Coast before Ian Cummins bought it. ‘He took it to the UK when he was working for Tom Wheatcroft at the Donington Museum. They took the Squalo and one of Tom’s cars in the old BRM transporter to a few historic events in Europe, letting some of the old-guard drive it, Maurice Trintignant and Froilan Gonzales included’ Paul Cummins recalls.

Ian Cummins aboard the Squalo at Donington in 1987, Tom Wheatcroft in light blue (Cummins Archive)

‘That all stopped, when in a closed session at Donington it was put into a concrete safety barrier. Tom had gotten a few cars out for everyone to try. I think Denis Jenkinson was amongst the drivers, the Squalo was first off the rank. In exchange for a drive of a Bugatti Royale, Dad let the curator (I think of the Blackhawk Museum) drive it. Someone standing at the corner of the accident said they heard the throttle being lifted on entry and then in the corner it suddenly went full-throttle- obviously getting the pedals mixed up (central throttle). The car went straight into the barrier shortening the nose and breaking the guy’s legs.’

‘Dad completely rebuilt it with the help of Hall & Fowler where the above picture was taken. Dad was never compensated for the accident even though it was promised. The car briefly came back to Australia and was then sent to the USA, basically being swapped to get his old D Type back.’

Charlie Cooper added, ‘Noel Tuckey and George Gilltrap rebuilt the car and Noel drove it in historics (in Australia). It didn’t handle very well. They discovered the rear suspension wasn’t working properly, once fixed the car was good. It was carried from place to place on a single-axle trailer. I recall testing it down the road beside the museum at Kirra. George didn’t want to race it because of hearing loss so he ran the Hudson and then the Elford KM leaving the Squalo to Noel. Good people and times.’

Within the same week the modern shot of the 555 was posted by Paul, David Zeunert uploaded this photograph taken by Australian ace Reg Hunt of a Ferrari 500/625 in New Zealand, or perhaps Orange, Australia in early 1955.

A pair of these cars were raced by Peter Whitehead and Tony Gaze that southern-summer. See here; https://primotipo.com/2017/03/23/bunbury-flying-50-allan-tomlinson-ferrari-500-et-al/ and; https://primotipo.com/2019/06/24/1956-bathurst-100-lex-davison/

The two chassis shown are not the same model but they are related. The modern shot makes it easier to visualise what has been removed in what appears a major rebuild or repair far from base.

The key elements of both machines are clear; ladder-frame chassis and light members supporting bodywork and ancillary parts. Right-hand gearchange. Solid rear axle located by two forward facing radius-rods and central sliding pillar. Rear transverse leaf-spring under axle. Shocks and links. Big drum brakes. Means of retaining the big fuel and oil tanks.

The more you look the more you see.

(Cummins Archive)

‘Dad gave Froilan Gonzales a drive of the car at Bordeaux in 1987. Gonzales knew where everything was even after a gap of 32 years. He had a ball in the car and jumped out patting Dad on the head exclaiming “Gooda Motore! Gooda Motore!”

There is no higher praise!

Etcetera…

(Cummins Archive)

Bordeaux Retro GP after the celebrity race- Ian Cummins, Tom Wheatcroft and Froilan Gonzales, he won it. Thirty year celebration of the last GP held at Bordeaux.

(Cummins)

Maurice Trintignant signs autographs while Cummins looks on. Imola 1987.

Credits…

Paul Cummins-Cummins Family Collection, Reg Hunt via David Zeunert

Tailpiece…

(Cummins Archive)

Super Squalo being loaded into the ex-BRM transporter at Imola in 1987. Cummins at the wheel, Wheatcroft at right by ramp/door.

Finito…

(D Lupton)

Rocky Tresise’ Lotus 18 Ford with Mike Ide’s Riley Special behind during an Australian Motor Sports Club meeting at Calder circa 1964.

Every now and again Melbourne enthusiast/racer/Brabham historian Denis Lupton sends me a great colour shot or two, these are his latest, grazia Denis.

Rocky commenced racing his road-going MGA, progressing to this Lotus, chassis ’18-J-797′ in January 1963. The car was one of a batch of three imported by Sydney’s Paul Samuels in 1960. The car was featured on the Lotus stand at the Melbourne Motor Show in April 1961 before being acquired by Jack Hunnam who was very quick in it. He scored first in class results in the 1962 Sandown Cup and Victorian Road Race Championships.

Tresise raced it throughout 1963, his best result on his climb to a Tasman 2.5 drive with Lex Davison’s Ecurie Australie was fifth in the Victorian Road Racing Championship. The sad Rocky story is here; https://primotipo.com/2016/05/20/bruce-lex-and-rockys-cooper-t62-climax/

Three likely Melbourne lads- Rocky Tresise, MGA with Tim Schenken’s Austin A30 on the outside and Allan Moffat’s Triumph TR3A at Calder on February 24, 1963 (M Carr)

Tim Schenken was the next purchaser, racing the outdated machine to many firsts before he sold it a year or so later to jump a ship to the UK and international racing success.

The car passed through Don Baker, Bob Minogue and two others hands before its arrival in historic racing with Gavin Sala in 1972. Kim Shearn has owned it for a couple of decades.

The other Calder Lotus 18 shot is ‘three of the five Birchwood race school cars, four were green, the spare in the workshop was white.’ I know little about Jon Leighton’s operation, it would be great to speak to a graduate or former employee to flesh this out.

(D Lupton)

Credits…

Denis Lupton, ‘Historic Racing Cars in Australia’ John Blanden, Mychael Carr via Graham White

Finito…

(Brabham Family)

Brabham’s Cooper T23 Bristol was billed as the fastest car of its type in the world as a Jack’s ongoing development of it with Frank Ashby’s advice and mentoring off to the side.

These images from the Brabham Family Collection were taken at Mount Panorama during the Easter 1954 meeting, the start of the A-Grade scratch race.

Jack’s T23 being tended by Keith Holland in the white overalls and Arthur Gray of Belshaw Foundry in the blazer (Brabham Family)

I’ve done Cooper Bristols and Jack’s T23 chassis ‘CB/1/53’ to death, here; https://primotipo.com/2017/02/24/the-cooper-t23-its-bristolbmw-engine-and-spaceframe-chassis/ and here; https://primotipo.com/2016/06/24/jacks-altona-grand-prix-and-cooper-t23-bristol/

The other two photos are at Mount Druitt, Stephen Dalton reckons June 27 1954 or 8 August 1954, thanks to Stephen and John Medley for photo IDs.

Credits…

Brabham Family Collection, ‘The Jack Brabham Story’ Jack Brabham with Doug Nye, Stephen Dalton, John Medley

Tailpiece…

(Brabham Family)

Finito…

(R Herrick)

Ken Wharton’s BRM P15 is pushed onto the Ardmore grid during the January 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix weekend.

He had the race in the bag until a silly problem caused by a bit of road grit ruined his race, see this article for a feature story on this machines trip south to the Ardmore and Wigram meetings that summer; https://primotipo.com/2019/11/18/ken-wharton-and-brms-grand-turismo-south-in-1954/

(R Herrick)

It was this rare photograph of the unclothed rear of P15 chassis ‘2’ which caught my eye. Note the chassis, beefy de Dion tube, big Exide battery mounted nice and low, no lightweight aircraft Varley batteries in those days. The Dunlop brake calipers- one of the edgy aspects of the design can be seen and the oil tank at the extreme rear, the big fuel tank is behind the driver but within the machines wheelbase.

I know the car was bonkers, was it Doug Nye who described its design and construction as being akin to a group of Victorians attempting a moon landing?  In any event, the thing is endlessly fascinating in terms of the projects politics, personalities, extraordinary engineering and innumerable ‘what if’s’.

(M Millar)

Credits…

Roger Herrick, Max Millar

(R Herrick)

Ardmore paddock, interest in the rear of the car indicates that things up-front ok, even if for a brief period of time! Love the Lucas mans service vehicle, probably the busiest service man in New Zealand…

Finito…

(B Henderson)

Cripes! Move. My clutch! My water temperature!

Look a bit closer, the Formula 3 car caught in the 1969 Monaco GP traffic is being towed by the Simca in front. I love the creativity of Bryan Henderson’s shot, a Scot who emigrated to Sydney, Peter Houston tells me he was a Formula Vee racer in the mid seventies, he plies his trade as Scanpix.

Bryan recalls, ‘The 1969 Monaco GP was my first F1 race, i had just arrived to pursue a career as a freelance photographer and jumped on a train down to the south of France to catch the race. I remember taking the photo of the car in the traffic, I was waiting to cross the road and there was the open-wheeler in my way! I was able to get the shot as it drove away.’

So, who is it?

F2 Index to the rescue. My guess as to the number is 50, 52, 58 or 59! #50 was Bernard Plaisance who raced an Ecurie Tecno France, Tecno 69 Ford, DNQ. Car 52 did not arrive, so let’s cross him off. #58 was Peter Hanson’s Chevron B15 Ford DNQ and #59 was Roger Keele, EMC F3 Ford, he was eighth in the race won by Ronnie Peterson’s Tecno 69 Ford. I’m going for Bernard, he’s French, the other two blokes are British so would probably have a Pommie registered tow car…

I’ve chosen a few other Henderson shots which are a bit different from the average, the first is Vic Elford heading up the hill from Ste Devote in his Cooper T86B Maserati.

(B Henderson)

 

(B Henderson)

The next one is Jackie and Helen Stewart walking down the hill towards Ste Devote, JYS even has a bag-man, who is the guy, he looks familiar?

How great would it have been to have attended the race then, plenty of challenges too that weekend, high wings were banned after the Thursday session by the CSI so the shot of Jo Siffert’s Rob Walker Lotus 49B Ford sans wings is probably on the Friday, by Saturday front wings were back.

(B Henderson)

Credits…

Bryan Henderson at Scanpix.com.au

(B Henderson)

Denny Hulme’s McLaren M7 Ford on Pit Straight, perhaps a Matra ahead, classic Monaco shot with that home made fence in the foreground!

Finito…

DB, Brabham BT59 Judd EV V8, AGP 1990 (BA)

It was great to see David Brabham race a Brabham in Adelaide during the 1990 Australian Grand Prix, whilst the BT59 Judd looked the goods it was not a great car, and Brabham was hardly the marque it was during the Brabham/Tauranac and Ecclestone eras.

David qualified 25th and failed to finished after spinning off on lap 19, we saw him again in 1994, when he raced a Simtec S941 Ford HB V8 but that simple car, still fitted with a semi-manual gearbox, remember them, was well and truly under-cooked in amongst the Top-Guns.

And that, sadly, turned out to be the end of David Brabham’s time in Formula 1, mind you, he had a great professional race career inclusive of a 2009 Le Mans win aboard a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP in amongst heaps of sportscar and other victories.

In more recent times, after a legal battle of about a decade, he has gained control of the Brabham name and intellectual property and built the awesome Anglo-Australian Brabham BT62 Ford Hypercar, the first of what will hopefully be a long line of racing and road cars. If ever there was a time for ‘Team Australia’ to climb aboard it is now?

DB, BT62 during the Adelaide Motorsport Festival 2019 (InSydeMedia)

Here is the car during the 2019 Adelaide Motorsport Festival, love the circa 1990 Brabham era livery!

When I think of David Brabham in Adelaide it is the 1987 F1 carnival weekend which sticks in my mind. DB won the 15 lap, ANF2 (1.6 litre, SOHC, two-valve, carbs) one-race Gold Star  Championship event from the back of the grid, finishing ahead of a classy 28 car field including most of the top ten placegetters of the six round Formula 2 Championship which concluded a couple of months before.

In more recent times David has made public his motivation for that great drive. In one of those ‘shit happens’ moments of youth, he had ‘potted’ his girlfriend, and as an expectant father, Jack had given DB the ‘that’s the end of your F1 aspirations’ brush off. #3 son’s drive in Adelaide was an ‘I’ll faaarkin show you mate moment’, and man it was really impressive to watch!

I was rooting for Mark McLaughlin’s Elfin 852 VW as an enthusiast of the marque, and watched with amazement from the East Terrace section of the track as he caught and passed the competition hand over fist. It wasn’t his first race on one of the more technical road courses, Brabham was second in the Formula Ford Championship race the year before, and his Ralt RT30 VW was the right bit of kit, but it was an impressive drive all the same. A portent of what was to come.

DB, Ralt RT30 VW, Adelaide 1987 (driving.co.uk)

 

DB Adelaide 1987 (BA)

 

BT62 launch at the Australian High Commision, London (BA)

Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac would chuckle with delight at the pragmatism of the BT62.  The car bristles with the latest in technology in some ways but beneath the sinfully edgy and sexy aerodynamically efficient carbon fibre and kevlar body delivering 1,600 kg of downforce, lurks a good old fashioned multi-tubular spaceframe chassis and a wonderful 5.4 litre modular Ford V8 modified to Brabham Automotive specifications.

Brabham and Tauranac won a couple of world titles in 1966-1967 with engines of relatively modest technical specifications and were still winning Grands Prix with spaceframes in 1969 when a change to regulations requiring ‘bag’ fuel tanks effectively mandated monocoques in F1.

The poverty pack BT62 is priced at US $975K plus taxes, whereas the ducks guts BT62 ‘Ultimate Track Car’ hits the road at a giddy US $1.3M, only proprietors of Chinese Wet Markets should apply. Seventy cars only will be built at Brabham’s new 15,000 square metre facility, at Edinburgh Parks, within parent company Fusion Capital’s complex.

(BA)

 

(BA)

The Ford ‘Voodoo’ based, Brabham DOHC, four-valve, fuel injected, flat-plane crank 5.4 litre V8 has a bore/stroke of 94 x 97 mm for a capacity of 5,387 cc giving 700 bhp @ 7,400 rpm and 492 lb/ft of torque. This lot hits the road via a six-speed sequential Holinger transaxle. Suspension front and rear is by way of push-rod actuated upper and lower wishbones and coil spring/dampers with adjustable roll bars at both ends. Brakes are carbon/carbon and carbon/ceramic for race/road.

BT62 has enormous, menacing presence, it is 4,460 mm long, 1,950 mm wide, 1,200 mm high and weighs 972 kg with a weight distribution of 41/59% front/rear.

Brabham delivered its first competition BT62 to Horsepower Racing in the UK in May 2019 to contest the Britcar Endurance Championship, in a wonderful start for the machine it won its first race from pole driven by David Brabham and Will Powell at Brands Hatch last November 9. Great stuff!

(BA)

 

(BA)

There is something wonderful about Brabhams being built in Adelaide’s Edinburgh Parks, only a kilometre or so from Holden’s closed Elizabeth factory. The city has a long history of automotive engineering and manufacturing excellence with such famous/prominent companies as Elfin Sports Cars, Clisby Engineering, Birrana Cars, Globe Products, ASP and many others building racing cars and components since the earliest days of motoring in Australia.

Without drawing too long a bow in making an historic connection between Brabham and Adelaide, Clisby Engineering in Prospect manufactured the 1967-1970 30, 40, 50, and 60 series cylinder heads for the range of Repco-Brabham Engines Pty. Ltd. racing V8s, including those used on the ‘740’ engines which won the 1967 world F1 championships.

Ooops, forgot! Jack’s first national championship speedway win was at Kilburn Speedway on 25 February 1949, 9 km from Adelaide’s GPO, so lets take the Adelaide/Brabham connection as a given.

Fusion Capital, the Brabham Automotive parent company, is based in Waymouth Street, Adelaide, they position themselves as ‘a partner of investors and small business’ and operate in three business sectors; advanced manufacturing and renewables, property and private equity.

Brabham Automotive’s brothers in the advanced manufacturing and renewables division are Precision Buses, Precision Components, a manufacturer of pressed metal and fabricated components, and Heliostat, a business which makes heliostats, mirrors which turn to reflect light in solar energy applications.

(BA)

 

(BA)

Hopefully Fusion Capital has a balance sheet of sufficient strength to allow Brabham to complete the construction of the seventy BT62s in their business plan as the first step of a process which will establish the company as a manufacturer of road and racing cars with a return to F1 at some point.

It is amusing to hear of ScoMo’s mob’s recent interest in the manufacturing sector given the final act of automotive sodomy which destroyed the motor industry was performed by Tony Abbott, a knuckle-dragging, towering monument to intellectual and leadership bankruptcy. In truth the seeds of the industries ultimate failure were established at birth, that is, a total lack of Australian ownership and therefore control. Generational management failure, union and head office greed, governments of both stripes applying economic rationalism since 1972 (and I’ll fess up to supporting such policies) without any ‘societal good’ over-ride and our high dollar did the rest.

The ongoing success of Bolwell in Mordialloc, who have navigated the travails of manufacturing in Australia with nimble skill since the sixties, 35 year old (yes!) Borland Racing Developments closeby, Geelong’s ‘Carbon Revolution’ wheel maker, and now Adelaide’s Brabham Automotive give great cause for optimism in the weird world in which we live, long may these enterprises prosper.

(BA)

Etcetera…

(BA)

 

(BA)

 

(BA)

 

(BA)

Credits…

Fairfax, Adelaide GP FB page, driving.co.uk, InSydeMedia, Getty Images, BA-Brabham Automotive, Fusion Capital

Tailpiece…

(BA)

Match race between David Brabham’s BT62 and Matt Hall in a Zivco Edge 540 V3 aircraft, during the Adelaide Motorsports Festival in 2019.

Finito…

(CAN)

Chris Amon carefully pushes his Maserati 250F ‘2506’ (or ‘2504’ or ‘2509’) out of the ‘escape driveway’ during the February 3 1962 Dunedin Road Race…

Its practice and wet, the Kiwi great overshot the corner at the junction of King Edward Street, Wilkie Road and Bridgeman Street. The angle suggests the photo was taken from the building opposite, the dark industrial buildings contrasted by the colourful advertising hoardings, red Maserati and dead, gold grass all create a very atmospheric panorama.

Chris retired his car after a collision with Bill Thomasen, Cooper T51 Climax. It was a sad event, champion racer John Mansel died in his Cooper T51 Maserati, the race was won by Pat Hoare’s Ferrari 256 V12 from Jim Palmer, Lotus 20B Ford and Barry Cottle’s Lola Mk1 Climax.

(E Sarginson)

Allan Dick, a ‘famous photograph above of the first lap at Dunedin in 1962. Against all expectations it was Chris Amon who led the first lap, not Pat Hoare who eventually had an easy win’. Chris retired after the collision with Thomasen, see photos below.

Hoare’s Ferrari 256 was a 246 Dino to fit a Testa Rossa 3 litre V12 at the factory. Click here for an article about that awesome car here; https://primotipo.com/2015/11/09/pat-hoares-ferrari-256-v12-at-the-dunedin-road-race-1961/

(CAN)

 

(B Wilson)

 

(B Wilson)

Allan Dick picks up the story, ‘Chris is almost out of the car as his 250F hits the power-pole dead centre. Amon led the first lap but reality struck and the faster, better, newer  cars passed him one by one. He was in fourth place when Bill Thomasen (Cooper T51 Climax) tried to take him on the outside of the left-hander out of Andersons Bay Road into Princes Street South, the two cars tangled and ran off the road.’

Chris’ Maser was repaired by Bruce Wilson in Huntsville (I must buy his book ‘The Master Mechanic) returning with a longer nose.

John Mansel, Cooper T51 Maserati rounds the Glen Hairpin on what was to be his last lap (CAN)

Unfortunately John Mansel also fell foul of one of the lamp-posts. The champion driver started the race after many laps, he had completed about 10 when he lost control of his ex-Centro Sud Cooper T51 ‘F2-13-59’ Maserati 2.9 and slid into the immovable object side on. He was thrown from the car and died of head injuries sustained a week or so after the accident, a very sad day in Kiwi motor sport indeed.

He was eighth at Wigram and Teretonga in the fortnight prior to Dunedin and had been very successful in the ex-Moss 250F, Stirling won the 1956 NZ GP in chassis ‘2508’ and sold the car at the end of his trip, for some years.

John Mansel at Teretonga the week before, here ahead of Ross Greenville, Lotus 18 Ford and John Histed, Lola FJ Ford (CAN)

 

(E Sarginson)

The couple of photographs are of Pat Hoare on his way to victory in the Ferrari.

In the monochrome shot he is traversing ‘Cemetery Corner’, the lower photograph shows just how wet the track was and therefore how treacherous given the normal road hazards, which were, in the traditions of the day, ‘modestly protected’ if things went wrong at higher speeds. A statement of the obvious. The bruised nose of the sleek Italian V12 racer is a consequence of kissing the back of Brian Blackburn’s Maserati 250F whilst lapping him.

(CAN)

They are crackers of shots aren’t they, the docks area of the city was used for this event and then the Oval Circuit from 1962. Click here for an article in part about the development of the Dunedin and other circuits post-war; https://primotipo.com/2019/09/05/the-gp-aston-martin-dp155/

Credits…

Allan Dick- ‘Classic Auto News’, Bruce Wilson, Euan Sarginson, Derek Woods

Etcetera…

(D Woods)

 

(CAN)

This is Chris in practice, clearly it was a very soggy weekend throughout, Amon wore goggles in practice and went with a visor in the race.

Pat Hoare’s Ferrari 256 lines up on the grid, the black car is the Bob Eade ex-Moss/Jensen/Mansel Maserati 250F with Bill Thomasen’s Cooper T51 Climax alongside. There is another red car almost obscured as well beside the M Garr Ltd garage- I wonder if the premises are still there?

(B Woodford)

Beautiful crisp colour shot of Jim Palmer’s Lotus 20 Ford 1.5, he is in his fourth season of motor racing and still a teenager’ noted Allan Dick.

Went all the way to the top of racing too, winning the NZ Gold Star drivers championship on four occasions in the sixties, click here for a brief article on Jim; https://primotipo.com/2018/01/02/renwick-50-and-jim-palmer-new-zealand-1965/

(B Wilson)

Who are they, Chris and his Leica excepted and where was the photograph taken? Ardmore perhaps?

Credits…

Allan Dick- ‘Classic Auto News’, Bruce Wilson, Euan Sarginson, Bob Woodford

Tailpiece: Pukekohe 1963…

(B Wilson)

Derek Woods was there that weekend and recalls, ‘Chris sits on the pit counter in blue T-shirt, goggles and racing boots whilst the Cooper T53 Climax is warmed up after qualifying sixth. He stormed through to third on the opening lap but fell back and pitted with ignition problems when running in fourth or fifth. He then made a late charge to finish seventh. Had things gone to plan he would have finished in the top three, possibly second. Typical Amon luck right from those early days.’

By the end of that summer Chris was off to Europe with Tim Parnell, and the rest, as they say, is history. Thats David McKay, the car owner at far right chopped in half by the crop- a key person in Chris’ rise and in his later 1968/69 Dino 246T Tasman campaigns.

Finito…