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The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco' / 1962 1 1/2 Litre V8 Brabham Climax BT3 Formula 1 Racing Single Seater Chassis no. F1-1-62

Lot 110
Renowned three-times Formula 1 World Champion Driver/twice Formula 1 World Champion Constructor Sir Jack Brabham's first Grand Prix car to carry his own name
Winner of the 1963 Solitude and Austrian Grands Prix

1962 Brabham 1 1/2-litre Brabham-Climax BT3 Formula 1 Racing Single Seater
13 May 2022, 15:00 CEST
Monte Carlo

Sold for €385,250 inc. premium

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1962 1 1/2-litre V8 Brabham-Climax BT3 Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. F1-1-62

• The triple World Champion Driver's first Formula 1 car to carry the Brabham name
• The first Formula 1 Brabham ever to score a World Championship point
• The first Brabham car ever to win a Formula 1 race
• The first car constructed by its driver ever to win a Formula 1 race
• Coventry Climax 1 1/5-litre V8 engine
• Superb Ron Tauranac spaceframe chassis design
• Prepared regardless of cost for Historic racing


The BONHAMS motoring department is delighted to offer this beautifully presented, truly significant Historic Formula 1 car, since several of the BONHAMS staff were not only firm friends of the great Sir Jack Brabham, but also had long-term connections with this particular car.

This unique Formula 1 Brabham-Climax BT3 was designed by Jack Brabham's business partner, engineer Ron Tauranac. Its 'BT3' designation was derived from the combination of the initials 'Brabham-Tauranac'. Sir Jack had previously driven for the Cooper Car Company works team from 1956-1961. The great Australian was technically extremely astute, and he had admired Ron Tauranac's design thinking since the early 1950s when they had been rivals in home Australian events, Brabham driving a series of Cooper cars and Tauranac his own Ralt designs. From 1955, when Jack Brabham had settled in England to advance his international racing career, the duo maintained a constant pen-pal correspondence discussing technical matters in particular related to making Jack's works-entered Cooper cars increasingly competitive.

Ron Tauranac influence - via Jack Brabham - ultimately resulted in the driver's 1959 Monaco and British GP victories for Cooper, and his first (of three) Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship titles achieved that season.

Once Jack Brabham and the Cooper Car Company works team achieved back-to-back Drivers' and Constructors' Formula 1 World Championship titles in 1960, it became evident to the shrewd Australian that Cooper capability was being overtaken not only by Ferrari but also - into a new 1 1/2-litre Formula 1 era in 1961 - by such other British teams as Lotus and BRM.

Jack Brabham himself told the story to his friend, biographer and BONHAMS consultant Doug Nye like this: "As 1959 World Champion, my new garage business in Chessington had got off to a good start and during that winter into 1960, I was able to offer Ron a job in Britain... He accepted my offer...initially for six months...but in effect he would never return. At my Chessington garage we sold Rootes Group and Standard-Triumph cars...I then got Ron to convert the latest Triumph Herald saloon to use a single-cam Coventry Climax engine..." - and the Jack Brabham Herald-Climax emerged with a 0-60mph time as good as an Austin-Healey 3000 sports car!

"Looking forward into 1961 we decided to build a design prototype single-seater racing car for...Formula Junior. It was Ron's first water-cooled racing car design and his first with the kind of modern lay-down seating position we'd used in the 'Lowline' Cooper. Ron had very advanced ideas on suspension geometry... It was mid-summer 1961 before the car was ready... We called it the MRD after the initials of our new company, Motor Racing Developments Ltd."

That 1961 Formula Junior MRD would be titled retrospectively the 'BT1'. Driven by Tasmanian Gavin Youl it did well enough to spark customer interest in a Tauranac-designed updated MRD Junior for 1962. After French racing journalist Jabby Crombac had pointed out that the French pronunciation of 'MRD' was (to say the least) unfortunate, future Brabham-Tauranac cars were marketed under the 'Brabham' brand name. The initial batch of 1962 Formula Junior Brabhams took the BT2 design classification, and Jack's forthcoming Formula 1 prototype emerged as the BT3 now offered here.

Until this car was completed in mid-summer 1962, Jack Brabham ran customer Lotus Formula 1 cars. His first 4-cylinder Lotus-Climax 21 was almost immediately destroyed in an unfortunate workshop fire, a replacement being assembled from parts loaned by Colin Chapman. French driver Jo Schlesser scored the new Brabham BT2 Formula Junior's first European race win at Montlhéry and the Brabham mechanics then built up a Formula 1 Lotus 24 with 1 1/2-litre Coventry Climax V8 engine for Jack to race pending completion of BT3.

This new Ron Tauranac-design Formula 1 Brabham with its rigid and practical multi-tubular spaceframe chassis and in period very sophisticated suspension was finally completed the Wednesday after Jack had driven his Lotus-Climax 24 to finish fifth in the 1962 British GP at Aintree. After initial Goodwood testing, Jack tried it again at Brands Hatch with the Lotus 24's Climax V8 engine installed. He recalled: "Here at last was a modern Formula 1 car into which I actually fitted. Its cockpit wasn't too hot and most critically it handled beautifully. Ron really knew his stuff.

"We took it straight to the Nürburgring for the German GP" - and after engine trouble in practice "I started from the back of the grid, and found I could run with anybody - and especially enjoyed passing a couple of Ferraris, my favourite target!"...before being forced to retire with throttle linkage problems caused by the hasty overnight engine change.

He then finished third in the BT3 at the Oulton Park Gold Cup race, and in the United States GP at Watkins Glen "Our BT3 went really well for the first time. I shared fourth-fastest practice time with Dan Gurney's Porsche and we had a real ding-dong throughout with Bruce (McLaren) in the Cooper". Jack and the BT3 finished fourth, "....so our new marque had scored its first Formula 1 Constructors' Championship points".

In the subsequent non-Championship Mexican GP, Jack and his Brabham BT3 led briefly before engine temperature soared and he eased off to finish second. For the 1963 season - when Dan Gurney joined Jack in the new two-car Brabham works Formula 1 team - a longer-wheelbase Formula 1 Brabham-Climax BT7 chassis was built for the tall Californian, while Jack's BT3 was lowered and lightened: "We trimmed about 55lbs (25kg) off it and first time out...at Easter Monday Goodwood, it felt terrific. However, an ignition wire came adrift and I finished sixth".

His own brand-new BT7 was completed in time for the 1963 Dutch GP but he returned to ever-faithful BT3 for the non-Championship Solitude GP in Germany. Of this momentous race Jack Brabham recalled how he qualified second "...to Jim Clark's inevitable Lotus which then did us all a favour by breaking a drive-shaft at flag fall. I then had a terrific battle with Trev Taylor in the second Lotus, before it also failed, which left me in a comfortable lead...you can imagine how it felt when I passed the chequered flag at last, and 'Brabham-Climax' had scored our first Formula 1 race win. It wasn't a World Championship round, it wasn't a full-blown Grand Prix, but it proved we had a car capable of winning. That was a great moment, and I relished it".

Brabham Formula Junior driver Denny Hulme was then given BT3 for a Formula 1 race at Karlskoga, Sweden, finishing fourth, before Jack Brabham drove it again in the non-Championship Austrian GP at Zeltweg aerodrome., "That race was run in an oven...", Jack later recalled, "...Jim Clark charged past me only to go out with a broken oil pipe. I then had quite a battle with Innes Ireland's private Lotus 24 until it faltered and I was left to score our second win, by five clear laps...".

Since the organisers of the 1963 Italian GP then insisted that the Monza Autodrome's combined road and banked circuit was to be used, Brabham opted to run "...the more heavily-built BT3 for myself" but after the punishing banking inflicted several car breakages in practice officialdom relented and just the normal road circuit was used on race day. Jack then held third place in the Grand Prix before a blocked fuel filter relegated him to finishing fifth.

For 1964 this prototype Formula 1 Brabham - which is not only the now revered Brabham marque's first World Championship points scorer, but also the car which scored not just the marque's first Formula 1 race win, but also its second - was sold to veteran British privateer Ian Raby. He fitted it with a customer BRM V8 engine and with it finished in his dark blue and white livery, with his favoured car nickname 'Puddle Jumper' upon its cockpit surround, he continued its Formula 1 career through 1964-65.

Racing on a shoestring budget, Ian Raby drove BT3 to finish eighth in both the 1964 and 1965 Syracuse GPs, ninth in the 1965 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, and 12th in the 1965 BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone. He later sold the car via his Empire Cars (Brighton) dealership to Yorkshireman Tony Dean who passed it on to hill-climb specialist David Hepworth,. He fitted an American Chevrolet V8 engine before the car passed subsequently to prominent British club racer John Scott-Davies then to Tim Stock. It was then acquired by American entrant Fred Opert, from who it passed in 1969-1970 to legendary British enthusiast Tom Wheatcroft, founder of the magnificent and now lamented Donington Collection.

In 'Wheatie's Leicester workshops - with advice and drawings supplied by original designer Ron Tauranac - this unique Brabham BT3 was restored to its original Coventry Climax V8-engined form. It was repainted in its striking original 1962 works racing livery of turquoise blue and gold - and it spent the following four decades exquisitely well-preserved as one of the Donington Collection's special display of 'first-off' Grand Prix cars from various marques.

With the progressive dissolution of the Donington Collection during the early 2000s this most significant - and indeed exquisitely beautiful - 1 1/2-litre Formula 1 car - the tap-root of the Brabham Grand Prix car dynasty - passed to its enthusiastic current vendor in whose hands it has appeared in such high-profile Historic racing events as the Goodwood Revival Meeting, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Monaco Grand Prix Historique. During his ownership it has been immaculately maintained and prepared by world-renowned Historic racing car specialists Hall & Hall at Bourne in Lincolnshire.

Now, right here, is a very rare opportunity to acquire this landmark Formula 1 car of immense historic significance, the progenitor of all the ultimately multiple World Championship-winning Brabhams, a Formula 1 World Championship points-scoring chassis, and - above all - a double Formula 1 race winner in the hands of its revered original driver/constructor, Sir Jack Brabham himself. We very much commend this lovely car to the market.



August 5, 1962 - German GP, Nurburgring - Jack Brabham - Rtd throttle linkage

September 1, 1962 - International Gold Cup, Oulton Park, England - Jack Brabham - THIRD

October 7, 1962 - United States GP, Watkins Glen - Jack Brabham - FOURTH
scoring Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship points

November 4, 1962 - Mexican GP, Mexico City - Jack Brabham - SECOND

December 29, 1962 - South African GP, East London - Jack Brabham - FOURTH
scoring Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship points


April 15, 1963 - Glover Trophy, Goodwood, England - Jack Brabham - SIXTH

April 27, 1963 - Aintree '200', Liverpool, England - Jack Brabham - Did not start, piston

May 11, 1963 - BRDC International Trophy, Silverstone, England - Jack Brabham - SEVENTH

May 26, 1963 - Monaco GP, Monte Carlo - Jack Brabham - Fault in practice, did not start
(Jack drove loaned spare Team Lotus 25 in race)

June 9, 1963 - Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps - Jack Brabham - Rtd fuel injection

July 28, 1963 - Solitude Grand Prix, Stuttgart, West Germany - Jack Brabham - RACE WINNER

August 1, 1963 - Kanonloppet, Karlskoga, Sweden - Denny Hulme - 4th Heat 1 - 5th Heat 2 - FOURTH overall

September 1, 1963 - Austrian Grand Prix, Zeltweg - Jack Brabham - RACE WINNER

September 8, 1963 - Italian GP, Monza - Jack Brabham - FIFTH
scoring Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship points

1964 - with BRM P56 V8 engine

March 14, 1964 - 'Daily Mirror' Trophy, Snetterton, England - Ian Raby - Rtd accident

March 30, 1964 - 'News of the World' Trophy, Goodwood, England - Ian Raby - Rtd ignition

April 12, 1964 - Syracuse GP, Sicily - Ian Raby - EIGHTH

April 18, 1964 - Aintree '200', Liverpool, England - Ian Raby - 15th

May 2, 1964 - BRDC International Trophy, Silverstone, England - Ian Raby - Rtd piston

July 11, 1964 - British GP, Brands Hatch - Ian Raby - Rtd final-drive

September 6, 1964 - Italian GP, Monza - Ian Raby - Did not qualify


March 13, 1965 - Race of Champions, Brands Hatch, England - Ian Raby - 15th Heat 1 - 9th Heat 2 - NINTH overall

May 15, 1965 - BRDC International Trophy, Silverstone, England - Ian Raby - TWELFTH

July 10, 1965 - British GP, Silverstone - Ian Raby – ELEVENTH

Additional information