After winning the 1959 and 1960 World Drivers Championships driving 4 cylinder Coventry Climax FPF powered Coopers Jack Brabham went into business with fellow Australian engineer and designer Ron Tauranac to found Motor Racing Developments (MRD) was founded to build racing cars for customers and the Brabham Racing Organisation.
It is believed that the Brabham name was only applied to Motor Racing Developments cars after it was realised that the pronunciation of MRD was akin to the French expletive.
After building the initial MRD retrospectively known as the Brabham BT1 Formula Junior car a batch of 11 BT2 Formula Juniors was built before thoughts turned towards building a Formula One car today’s featured BT3.
Jack Brabham left Cooper at the end of 1961 and initially raced a Lotus Climax 24 #947 until today’s featured car was ready for the German Grand Prix.
Only the one Coventry Climax FWMV V8 powered BT3 was built and it was noted for having a roomy cockpit compared to it’s rivals in particular the svelte Lotus 25 built for the equally svelte Jim Clark.
Other notable features included; a Francis-Colotti Type-34, 6 speed gearbox, 9 inch disc brakes and external pipes to the front radiator to help keep the cockpit temperatures down.
Jack was the first person ever to start a Grand Prix in a car bearing his own name at the 1962 German Grand Prix where he qualified 24th after an engine failure and retired from the race when his improvised throttle linkage proved problematic.
After winning the non championship Danish Grand Prix in his Lotus, finishing third in the non championship Gold Cup in the BT3 Jack missed the Italian GP but returned to for the US Grand Prix and drove the BT3 now fitted with larger brake discs to finish 4th to become the first man to win World Championship points driving a car bearing his own name.
At the non championship 1962 Mexican Grand Prix Jack finished 2nd to the Lotus 25 shared by Trevor Taylor and Jim Clark and at the season ending South African Grand Prix Jack recorded another 4th place finish.
Jack drove the car in two championship rounds in 1963 finishing a best 5th in the Italian GP, but more importantly he won the non championship Solitude Grand Prix in Germany and Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg, finishing latter 5 laps ahead of his pursuers.
New Zealander Denny Hulme also drove the BT3 to a fourth place finish in the non championship 9th Kanonloppet race in Sweden.
The BT3 was then sold to Ian Raby who fitted a BRM V8 motor and entered it into four world championship rounds over the ensuing 2 seasons, his best result was 11th in the 1965 British Grand Prix.
David Hepworth bought the BT3 from Ian and fitted a Chevrolet V8 for use in hillclimbing. Tom Wheatcroft latter acquired the car and had it restored back to it’s original specification.
The car is seen at Tom’s Donington Grand Prix Collection prior to it being sold on in 2012.
01/03/15 Errarta the photo’s originally posted with this blog showed the intercontinental 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder Brabham BT4 driven by Jason Minshaw to victory in the Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy at last years Silverstone Classic meeting not the BT3 as I erroneously thought.
Thanks for joining me on this “Bearing His Own Name” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Maserati Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !