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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.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.