Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: What in 1966 did Jack Brabham do that no one before or since has ever achieved?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re correct.
Professional racing is an expensive sport. It’s also one that, while focused on the driver and car, demands a contingent of supporting players to successfully run. In almost all cases each of those major players-driver, pit mechanic, car builder, and team sponsor-are all different, That’s because in most cases each job requires a different skill set.
Sometimes one individual can hold multiple titles on a team. Enzo Ferrari is a notable example as his company designed and built his race cars, and campaigned them under the factory brand. In fact, Ferrari’s road car exploits were long nothing more than a way to fund il Commendatore’s hunger for exploits on the track.
No one however has ever designed and campaigned a car under their own name, and personally driven that car to a World Championship. No one that is, until Jack Brabham.
From formula 1 dictionary:
Brabham competed in a total of 128 Grands Prix, won 14 races and drivers’ titles in 1959, 1960 and 1966, with the latter achieved at the age of 40. His first two titles in the Cooper Climax marked the end for front-engined Formula 1 cars. The third made him the only driver in history to win a World Championship in a car of his own making, the Brabham BT19 – a thing unlikely to ever be repeated.
1966 saw F1 adopt a new 3-litre formula which drove most teams to embracing new V12 engines. Brabham expected these new mills to have plenty of teething problems and so for his eponymously named entry he went with a simpler V8 engine that he commissioned from an Australian builder, Repco and which was to be based on the Oldsmobile F85 block. His instincts proved astute and in the resultant Repco RB620-powered Brabham BT19 he won his third World Championship title, and the first in a car driven by its designer.