1968 Brabham
Lot 645
The Ex-Alan Rees/Winkelmann Racing – Bill Ivy – Brian Cullen,1968 Brabham BT23C Formula 2 Racing Single-Seater 11
Sold for £25,300 (US$ 39,569) inc. premium

Lot Details
1968 Brabham
The Ex-Alan Rees/Winkelmann Racing – Bill Ivy – Brian Cullen
1968 Brabham BT23C Formula 2 Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. 11
During three years of the wonderful 1.6-litre Formula 2, 1967-1969, the good-handling, practical, easy-to-maintain Brabham BT23-series cars were, for owner/drivers, absolutely the class of the field. The great Jochen Rindt became the undisputed ‘King of Formula 2’ driving his Winkelmann Racing Brabham BT23s, and his team-mate (and team manager) in the Slough-based organisation was Alan Rees who enjoyed his own share of success in 1968 driving BT23C chassis ‘11’.

During that season ‘Autosport’ reported how “The central theme of Formula 2 this year was once again Jochen Rindt…his fiendish ability to hurl the Winkelmann Brabham round almost any circuit just a little bit quicker than anyone else brought him six victories. The Brabham remained a very competitive chassis, the 1968 BT23C being almost identical to the BT23 apart from slight suspension and steering changes. It was once more a popular choice for the private owner – simple, easy to drive, maintain and mend, and reliable.”

That year’s Formula 2 review continued: “Despite frequently asserting that he was on the point of retirement, Winkelmann team chief Alan Rees continued to race the second Winkelmann car, his best result being his second place in the Monza Lottery…Rees’s car was hired to Gerhard Mitter at the October Hockenheim…”.

This top-tier Brabham BT23C was sold for 1969 to none other than popular little 125cc World Champion motorcyclist Bill Ivy, for him to make his serious four-wheeled racing debut. He drove it quite brilliantly in his first major event at Thruxton, that Easter. Behind the wheel of ‘BT23C-11’ the long-haired little extrovert set a shattering pace from the beginning of practice and took a sensational second place on the front row of the starting grid, his lap time of 1min 15.4secs bettered only by ‘The King’ himself, Jochen Rindt, in his brand new Lotus 59. Bill Ivy finished fourth in Heat 1 there, only to retire from the Final after 34 laps when his car’s engine failed.

Tragically, Bill Ivy was killed soon after in a motorcycle race on the Sachsenring in Germany. The Brabham BT23C was then sold to Irish privateer Brian Cullen who continued to run it in Formula 2 and Libre events through 1970-71, before it passed to Harold McGarrity in whose ownership it survived 1972-79.

As offered here this Brabham rolling chassis has been recently restored by well-known specialist Simon Hadfield. It has only just been painted, while the restoration work has included fitting a new combined radiator/oil cooler, new master cylinders, new Aeroquip fluid lines and fittings, rebuilt Girling brake calipers with all-new seals, re-facing the original brake discs, and careful refurbishment of the original oil tank.

We understand that all suspension parts have been renewed and replated, and that all-new fixings have been used throughout the restoration process. The suspension uprights have been inspected, tested and re-chromated. All new bearings have been fitted. New items include fresh aluminium frame panelling throughout, forged mirrors, the seat-belts, aircraft-style switches, master-switch, brake/clutch reservoirs and pipes, steering-wheel with quick-change coupling, and ancillary instruments. A rebuilt, correct-style Smiths tachometer has been adopted, and the steering rack has been rebuilt and fitted with new boots. The original fuel tanks have been refurbished and refitted.

This rolling chassis is now offered here as a freshly-restored example of the great Ron Tauranac’s most admired Brabham Formula 2 design. It is described as being to the correct Formula 2 specification, ready to accept such alternative engines as the Cosworth FVA, Cosworth BDA or Lotus-Ford Twin-Cam units, driving through Hewland FT200 or Mark 8/9 transaxles. As the current vendor says “all the hard work has been done…”.
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