The Repco-Brabham Story: A Documentary

Check out this magnificent look behind the scenes at Repco-Brabham, and “Black Jack” Brabham’s stewardship of both the team and relationship with Repco, the Australian engineering company that somehow became a world class engine supplier. You can always count on midcentury film narration for quality platitudes like this gem: …”the new owner is assured that his Repco-Brabham is right—not only according to the jigs and the gauges—but also in its personality and temperament. Subtle qualities checked by the sensitive hands of the maestro himself.”

No Repco-Brabham film is complete without an introduction to the Tasman Series, and it thankfully comprises the bulk this film. For the impatient: jump to 10 minutes in for some shots of bonus New Zealand tikis as introduction to Formula 1’s best known off-season diversion. But really, the whole doc is worth a watch. Dust off your Dunlop blues, and make yourself comfortable.

Thanks for pointing this one out, Brian!

Art Appreciation: Ecurie Ecosse 1960 Cooper-Monaco Mark II

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Bonhams upcoming December auction featuring the Dick Skipwworth Ecorie Ecosse Collection has no shortage of amazing racing cars included (and one Hell of a nice transporter too), and even though this Cooper-Monaco won’t draw in the top dollar bids the way that the D-Type or C-Type will, it might be my favorite of the bunch. The rear-engined Type 57 is surely one of the most beautiful sports-racing cars to come out of Cooper Car’s garages, if not the whole of the UK racing community. Those elegant curves wrapped around that miraculous little 2 1/2 liter Coventry Climax twin cam just make me smile.

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Cooper delivered the cars to purchasers as a kit, and if I were to choose any single example I think I’d be most inclined to trust the one built by this legendary team. It won’t surprise you to learn that this little beauty has a magnificent race history with events on both sides of the Atlantic. Formula Libre events at Watkins, Riverside, and Laguna Seca (with Jack Brabham in the wheel for Laguna) wonderfully complement her European history at Goodwood, Oulton Park, Aintree, and LeMans. Arguably her best years, however, came when the car was entrusted to Ecurie Ecosse driver Jimmy Stewarts scrappy kid brother Jackie. He took to the machine wonderfully and racked up a series of victories right out the gate. Can you imagine owning a car that has been driven by both Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart (and Roy Salvadori! And more!)?

Jackie Stewart in the Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Bonhams is offering this car alongside many of her Ecurie Ecosse stablemates at their December auction. I sincerely hope that a very well heeled buyer comes along and nabs them all. They really do deserve to remain together, don’t you think?

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

More information on Bonhams’ lot detail page.

A Driver’s Work is Never Done

An Unremitting Programme of Scientific Research

Backing the Winner

When the name of Jack Brabham appears in the international press as the victor on world circuits, few people realise that it’s the automotive parts and equipment that help him to victory. Backing the Repco-Brabham racing car is an unremitting programme of scientific research and quality control. Shown here is Jack Brabham himself with a Repco engineer watching the recording of dynamometer tests on an engine at the Repco Engine Laboratory.

Winner of Award for Outstanding Export Achievement

Jack Brabham looks to Repco – Where the standard is perfection

The Margin Between Champagne and Orangeade

Monaco ’59 in Pictures

59 MonacoI stumbled across some photos recently of the 1959 Monaco Grand Prix. I’m always struck when I see these how close to the action people were. On balance, of course, I’m glad that spectator safety has improved in the decades since these photos were shot. Today though, and in terms of seeing the event, you’re much better off watching a race on television than attending. Of course there’s always the excitement of a live event, and the people and atmosphere are always half the show.

The last Grand Prix I attended — the ill-fated 2005 USGP — I found myself wandering the field during what became a Ferrari practice session and could get no closer to the track than 30 or more feet. That was a spot to watch one turn through three fences and over the tope of a tire barrier; so I could see the top third of each car. I suppose it beats getting hit with debris from a crash, but neither is really a solution.
59 Monaco
59 MonacoJack Brabham's victory celebration at Monaco 59