Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia
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.
Image: Primotipo

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4 responses to “Thursday Trivia”

  1. Monkey10is Avatar

    I’m thinking he was the only person to win the Formula 1 title in his own team’s car.
    (…but there must be a better way of explaining that?)

  2. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    Didn’t Bruce McLaren drive his own car? I can’t remember if won a championship in it or not.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      He won plenty in the USA but not in F1, but McLaren has done ok in F1 since Bruce’s tragic death testing.
      Repco’s little V8 was stock block, based on the BOP alloy V8,( later bought by Rover), with Repco’s own design of OHC heads.

  3. outback_ute Avatar

    Then he followed it by coming second in the 1967 championship behind his team mate Denny Hulme (NZ).
    Sir Jack was an extremely talented guy, he personally built the Cooper he first raced in the UK – he visited the factory to ask where his car was, to be pointed to the rack of steel tube on the wall. Earlier he had built the engine in his speedway midget car from scratch, ie had the block and head cast, did his own machining etc.

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