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Sir Jack Brabham passes away

19 May, 2014


The sad news travelled across the ditch that Sir Jack Brabham passed away on May 19, 2014.

Brabham started his racing career in 1948, competing in Australia and New Zealand before travelling to the UK where he became involved with Cooper Cars – winning the world championship for the marque in 1959 and 1960. It was during this period that Brabham mentored Bruce McLaren, also a member of the Cooper racing team. In 1962, Brabham established his own racing equipe with fellow Australian, Ron Tauranac. In 1966, Brabham became the first – and still the only – man to become F1 world champion in a racing car bearing his own name.

Brabham retired from front-line racing following the 1970 F1 season, but continued to be involved in motorsport and, latterly, becoming a much-loved and high profile ambassador for the sport.

In 2014, Brabham was the oldest surviving Grand Prix world champion.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.

Class struggle

For a British car, it is huge; for those sitting inside, the bonnet seems to extend past the horizon. The front seats are very comfortable rather than body hugging. The dashboard and centre console cluster are beautifully laid out, reminiscent of a fighter plane cockpit, with acres of red leather all around. Its V8 burble is on show. It is not a car to sneak about in, and it gets attention wherever it goes.
The large back window, possibly the best-known feature of the Interceptor and one that sets it apart, has very good functionality, allowing greater access to the boot. It would not be an easy job to replace it, so Interceptor owners are careful about reversing and not hitting anything.