The Brabham name is back on a car with yesterday's launch of the BT62 track car, and it's worth examining why it's significant. Jack Brabham was the first racer to ever win the F1 world championship in a car of his own design, a feat that's never been replicated. A native Australian, Brabham could obviously drive, but it was his skill as a designer that made him most famous, and these three cars remind us why.
In celebration of Brabham, Motor Sport magazine got together three of the man's greatest for a track test, a BT7, a BT24, and a BT33. Along to help was Brabham's son, David, a Le Mans winner himself. It looks like it was a hell of a fun test.
The BT7 was Brabham's first race winner, taking the checkered flag at the 1964 French Grand Prix at Rouen with Dan Gurney behind the wheel. Motor Sport's Dickie Meaden loves driving it today, praising its light delicate chassis and lovely Coventry Climax 1.5-liter V8.
The BT24 was another significant car, which in 1967 gave Brabham the constructor's championship, Denny Hulme his sole driver's championship. Powered by a 3.0-liter Repco V8, the BT24 was quick and reliable. Plus, it sounds fantastic even today.
And finally, there's the BT33, the last car of Brabham's own design. This was a car Jochen Rindt was supposed to drive for the 1970 season, but he defected to Lotus before given the chance. Brabham decided to drive it himself and won the season opener at Kyalami. It was his last victory before retiring at the end of the season.
These three cars represent an incredible legacy, and show how much F1 cars evolved from the mid 1960s to the 1970s. A lot of that evolution can be credited to Brabham himself, a man of remarkable talent.
All of this is to say that the BT62 has a big name to live up to.