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Lot 148

2014   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2014

1967 Brabham-Repco BT24

SOLD $1,050,000

Estimate

$1,200,000 - $1,500,000

Chassis

BT24-1

Car Highlights

1967 Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship Car
Campaigned by Three-Time Formula 1 Champion Jack Brabham
The First of Three Highly Prized BT24s
Highest Points-Scoring Brabham Race Car
Accompanied by FIA Historic Technical Passport and Copious Original and Spare Parts

Technical Specs

2,996 CC Repco Type 740 SOHC V-8 Engine
Lucas Fuel Injection
335 BHP at 8,000 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel AR Racing Disc Brakes
Front and Rear Independent Suspension with Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bars, and Adjustable Shock Absorbers

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale. Please also note that this car still retains its Repco Type 740 engine and gearbox, which are both reported by the consignor to be raceworthy. The spare engine described in the catalogue is new and accompanies the sale of the car.

Register to Bid

Brabham Racing Organisation (BRO), Milton Keynes, United Kingdom (campaigned in 1967)Basil van Rooyen, South Africa (acquired from the above circa 1968)Gordon Henderson, South Africa (acquired from the above circa 1969)Ivor Robertson, South Africa (acquired from the above circa 1970)Andrew Thompson, United Kingdom (acquired from the above circa 1980)Current Owner (acquired from the above circa 1998)

French Grand Prix, July 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 3 (1st Place)British Grand Prix, July 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 1 (4th Place)German Grand Prix, August 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 1 (2nd Place)Canadian Grand Prix, August 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 1 (1st Place)Italian Grand Prix, September 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 16 (2nd Place)International Gold Cup Race, September 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 1 (1st Place)United States Grand Prix, October 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 1 (5th Place)Mexican Grand Prix, October 1967, Jack Brabham, No. 1 (2nd Place)

The Donington Grand Prix Museum, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, 1980–1998

Australian driver Jack Brabham first made a name for himself in Formula 1 as a consecutive two-time champion for the Climax-powered Cooper teams of 1959 and 1960. While he continued to drive for Cooper into 1962, his interest was primarily occupied by his new venture with engineer Ron Tauranac, called Motor Racing Developments (MRD). At first tuning and then building its own cars, MRD eventually became the official chassis supplier for the competition team Brabham Racing Organization, which Brabham founded after leaving Cooper.

With Tauranac designing the cars, and driving undertaken by Brabham and the great Dan Gurney, the new team fared well during its fledgling years, finishing as high as 3rd in Constructors’ Championship points in 1965. But it was a change of the Formula 1 rules, as was so often the case, that prompted the team’s greatest success: its back-to-back Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships of 1966 and 1967.

Entering the 1966 season, a new three-liter displacement rule had manufacturers scrambling to build suitable powerplants. While many teams opted for Coventry’s time-tested Climax inline four-cylinder engine, the British manufacturer was simply too over-committed to provide adequate service and parts for all of its clients. Other teams instead opted to develop new motors from the ground up, which predictably led to teething problems and reliability issues.

Faced with this dilemma, Brabham sought the help of the Repco manufacturing company of Australia, which had supplied him with parts over the years. Engineer Phil Irving took an Oldsmobile F85 V-8 and replaced the traditional overhead valve arrangement with a single camshaft, minimizing the engine’s physical profile. Eventually recasting the proven block in a lightweight aluminum alloy, Repco quickly churned out an extremely reliable, if only modestly powerful, engine that was more than capable of taking the lithe, lightweight BT19 and BT20 chassis to the 1966 Formula 1 title. Brabham, himself, won his third Drivers’ Championship, becoming the first man in Formula 1 history to win a title in a car of his own manufacture.

By this point, Denny Hulme had replaced Gurney, and the young New Zealander, a legend in his own right, was instrumental in amassing the total points necessary to win the 1966 Constructors’ Championship. Heading into 1967, the powerplants in development by other marques were much further along, and the mid-season arrival of Lotus’s mighty Cosworth DFV V-8 portended a changing tide for the coming years. Jim Clark and Graham Hill were dominating the fastest lap statistics at most races with the new motor, but the Cosworth was still generally too temperamental to last for an entire race.

Capitalizing on their brilliant stop-gap solution for one more season, Brabham took the Repco RB 620 V-8 a step further with the re-engineered RB 740, which principally improved on its predecessor by relocating the problematic lower outside exhaust to a manifold that ft neatly inside the V’d cylinder banks, porting up and rearward for a small, aerodynamically clean package.

Squeezing an additional 35 hp from the Repco F85-replicated block, the RB 740 was sunk into a much smaller chassis than that of the BT19 or BT20, one based on the Formula 2-specifcation BT23C frame. The resulting BT24 took the power-to-weight ratio of earlier Brabham cars to even more pronounced advantages, showing outrageous balance and speed through the curves, with the Repco engine proving to be as reliable as ever.

Chassis no. BT24-1 was the first of three cars built by MRD for the final two-thirds of the Brabham team’s 1967 campaign, replacing the outgoing 1966 champion BT20 examples that had begun the season. This particular car, BT24-1, was driven exclusively by Jack Brabham during the remainder of the season.

Performing well with a 1st overall finish at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, chassis no. BT24-1 respectively took 4th and then 2nd at the British and German Grands Prix before roaring to another checkered flag at the Canadian Grand Prix in August. A 2nd place finish at the Italian Grand Prix was followed by another outright victory at the International Gold Cup Race at Oulton Park, followed by 5th place at the United States Grand Prix, and a runner-up finish at the season-concluding Grand Prix event in Mexico City.

This outstanding string of podium finishes earned BT24-1 41 World Championship points, making the car the highest-points earner in Brabham racing history. In combination with Denny Hulme’s performances in the other BT24 chassis, the car earned Brabham Racing a second consecutive Constructors’ Championship, while Jack Brabham narrowly finished 2nd to Hulme in the Drivers’ Championship.

This BT24 was campaigned by Jack Brabham a final time in the 1968 season debut at Kyalami, South Africa, where the car retired early. At that point Brabham Racing was forging ahead with its new BT26 chassis, and the BT24s were retired from team use. Following the Kyalami date, the car was sold to a South African enthusiast who continued to campaign it in the local national series. The race car was retained in South Africa, principally under the care of one collector during the 1970s, before being returned to England in 1980 and displayed in the Donington Grand Prix Museum for almost 20 years.

In 1998, the Brabham-Repco was acquired by the consignor, a collector who relished the car’s historical significance and still desired to experience its mind-blowing performance capabilities in vintage racing. Commissioning the fabrication of a correct new body, engine, suspension, and wheels, the consignor had the original elements de-installed and carefully saved so that he could enjoy the car’s brilliant chassis performance without compromising the sanctity of these historically significant elements. Conformed to the FIA’s international vintage race regulations, the BT24 has subsequently been used in numerous historic racing events, including the Goodwood Revival, Monaco Historic Grand Prix, and the Grand Master Series of the 2007 French Grand Prix, where the car appropriately took 1st in Class at the race it won 40 years earlier.

Accompanied by an impressive inventory of original components and spare parts, this historically important Formula 1 winner is documented with an FIA Historic Technical Passport, racing logbooks, and photos and programs from the 1967 season. The marvelously engineered championship-winning car is a testament to the genius and accomplishments of the great Jack Brabham, ideally suited for display at the most discerning motor sports celebrations, and capable of blistering outings on the vintage circuits of the world.