Jack Brabham dipping under brakes as he approaches ‘Pub Corner’ in his Cooper T51 Climax on the first lap of the ‘Longford Trophy’ in March 1960, wonderful Ellis French shot…
Jack returned to our Australian summer as the reigning World Champion, he didn’t disappoint the Tasmanian crowd winning the race from the similar MkIV T51’s of Alec Mildren and Bib Stillwell.
In those pre-Tasman 2.5 litre Formula days Australian National F1 was run to Formula Libre rules, by 1960 Coopers of various models and capacities were the dominant marque. There were still sports cars amongst the single-seaters though, including Doug Whitefords ex-works Maserati 300S, sold to Doug after the 1956 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park when five Masers made the long trip to Australia.
john Ellacott shot of the front 2 rows gridded up: Brabham #4, Stillwell #6, Miller in yellow, all Cooper T51 Climaxes, and Arnold Glass in the Maserati 250F…evocative!
Stillwell gets the jump off the line, Glass at rear, Brabham on this side. (John Ellacott)
Allen Browns’ wonderful archive ‘oldracingcars.com’ states that the car Jack drove at Longford was probably the first of two cars he used in his succcessful 1959 F1 season, chassis ‘F2-4-59’. He drove it in the early part of the year, it then became a spare when ’27-59′ appeared at Zandvoort. When Jack returned to Europe the car was sold to Bib Stillwell who then had two T51’s to choose from, his Gold Star campaigns had started to become serious and ultimately were very successful.
Brabham in his Cooper T51 Climax at Longford in 1960. I think the gent in braces at the rear is Jacks’ father, this chassis 1 of 2 he used in his successful 1959 GP season (oldracephotos)
Brabham returned to Europe to successfully defend his World Title, the domestic Gold Star series was won that year by Mildren in his Maserati 250S, 2.5 litre DOHC engined Cooper T51.
Kevin Drages’ panoramic view of part of the Longford paddock in March 1960, looking across to Mountford corner with the Pit Straight on the right. Cars are green Derek Jollys’ Lotus XV Climax and the ‘Kenley Vincent Spl’.
‘Modern media scrum’, Jack tells the press how it was post race. JB’s British Racing Drivers Club badge proudly worn on his overalls. Car is a Humber ‘Super Snipe’, in those days British prestige cars were very popular in Australia, the Germans steadily whittling them back by the early 70’s…(Kevin Drage)
Bill Pattersons’ Coopers T51 x 2… Patterson went on to win the Gold Star in 1961, retired from driving but supported others for decades via his Ringwood, Melbourne, Holden Dealership. (Ellis French)
Jack Brabham and Bib Stillwell swapping Cooper set-up notes…or Bib is buying Jacks car!? Stillwell was a good Brabham customer over the years acquiring many Coopers including the car Jack drove at Longford that weekend and, later Brabham’s. Both men very successful drivers and businessmen (Kevin Drage)
Bib Stillwells’ Climax engine being fettled in the Longford paddock. Cooper T51 (Ellis French)
Lets finish on the same note as we started, an Ellis French shot of Brabham, this time ‘panned’ into the braking area on the entry to ‘Pub Corner’, Longford 1960…
For International readers Tasmania is a wonderful place to visit. The scenery is stunning on all of its coasts, the mountains in the middle worth climbing, the ‘Overland Trail’ in the Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park worth walking. Hobart is a centre of culture and ‘Foodie Stuff’ is worth a stop for ‘Mona’ alone, a gallery of contemporary art…and you can still see a lot of the Longford circuit including the ‘Country Club Hotel’ with heaps of racing memorabilia.
Photo & Source Credits…
Ellis French, John Ellacott, oldracephotos.com, Kevin Drage