LAT Archive: What made Jack Brabham so great

It’s thanks to triple Formula 1 champion Brabham that a new company can launch with widespread fanfare, despite having nothing more than a website and a name

The launch of Brabham Automotive has attracted widespread coverage from across the motoring media. Yet the brand has started life with little of substance. There’s no car, no motorsport programme – just a name and a website for now.

There’s little in a website, so to attract such a fanfare must mean the name is something special. And that it is. With Jack Brabham being a triple Formula 1 world champion and still the only driver in F1 history ever to win the world championship in a car bearing his own name, it carries quite some prestige.

His sporting achievements, both in and away from grand prix racing, have been captured through the year thanks to LAT Images. AutoClassics reflects on Brabham’s illustrious career.

British Grand Prix

Aintree, England. 14-16 July, 1955

At the age of 29, Brabham makes his GP debut in a Cooper-Bristol T40. The drive comes about through him visiting the factory and forming a friendship with team boss John Cooper. Stirling Moss wins ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio; Brabham retires after 30 laps with engine trouble.

Monaco Grand Prix

Monte Carlo, Monaco. 10 May, 1959

The Monaco GP is the curtain raiser for the 1959 season. Brabham wins the race in his Cooper-Climax T51. It’s his first in F1, and the first-ever factory win for Cooper, too. Tony Brooks finishes the 100-lap race more than 20 seconds adrift in his Ferrari 246.

British Grand Prix

Aintree, England. 18 July, 1959

Brabham takes victory on his way to winning his first F1 title. It’s his second GP win in a works Cooper T51. He dominates the race, leading all 75 laps, and beats Stirling Moss by 22 seconds. Brabham’s team-mate Bruce McLaren finishes third.

Other great cars

Portuguese Grand Prix

Oporto, Portugal. 14 August, 1960

Brabham, in his Cooper-Climax T53, leads Dan Gurney, John Surtees and Stirling Moss into the Avenida Da Boavista at the start. Brabham wins from Bruce McLaren and debut podium finisher Jim Clark. He takes his second title in 1960.

Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis, USA. 30 May, 1961

Despite finishing the 1961 Indy 500 only in ninth, Brabham’s appearance in an English Cooper-Climax starts the ‘British Invasion’. It’s the first notable post-war appearance of a rear-engined car, and within five years the rear-engined revolution will take over the Speedway.

British Saloon Car Championship

Oulton Park, Cheshire, England. 18 September, 1965

‘Jack of all trades’ Brabham is seen here at Oulton Park in his Ford Mustang, on the way to victory. In pursuit is none other than Jim Clark in the Lotus Cortina.

Dutch Grand Prix

Zandvoort, Holland. 24 July, 1966

The 1966 Dutch GP is the third win in succession in the Brabham BT19. Jack laps the entire field on the way, ahead of Graham Hill. This season Brabham will claim his third and final F1 title.

South African Grand Prix

Kyalami, South Africa. 5-7 March 1970

In a BT33, Brabham wins for the final time in F1 – in South Africa at the 1970 opener. He retires from F1 later in the season, finishing fifth in the points.

Images courtesy of LAT Archive

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