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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.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.