Jump to content


Photo

Identify this converted Brabham?


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 peter kropotk

peter kropotk
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 23 April 2012 - 17:59

This Brabham was raced on South African oval tracks sometime after 1965. It was modified to use a pushrod V-8 and run left-hand turn ovals. The driver shown is the brilliant ex-pat English racer Johnny King, a Londoner with a stellar career in British stock-car racing.
Can anyone suggest which Brabham it may have been?
Two photos:
http://www.oldstox.c.....brabham 1.JPG
http://www.oldstox.c.....brabham 2.JPG


Advertisement

#2 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
  • Member

  • 10,849 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:05

That's a Brabham? I'd never have believed it if Peter hadn't told me.

There's modifying and there's destroying. To me this looks more like the latter.

Over to you, Allen.

#3 rwills

rwills
  • Member

  • 125 posts
  • Joined: April 07

Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:20

Several BT24s ended up in South Africa and it looks that sort of era?

#4 Rob Miller

Rob Miller
  • Member

  • 197 posts
  • Joined: October 04

Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:52

Doug Serrurier's later LDS cars were very similar to Brabhams.

#5 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,346 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:58

Roger's quite right about the BT24s in ZA, but several factors make me doubt there's much Brabham in the car shown. For starters the apparent volume enclosed by the body panels looks much too large. For seconds the dimensions of the roll-over cage look simply massive. I can't quite picture how such large-diameter tubing would mount usefully upon a Brabham-style multi-tubular chassis without the cage's sheer weight threatening midship collapse. For thirds, well, what an uncultured nasty ----heap this thing appears to be. Maybe it used a Brabham exhaust manifold, or wore a Brabham badge? For fourths, look at that hefty, cranked square-section frame upright at the rear... Looks very Yaapie to me, though I guess the wise would never say never. I'd just settle for a polite "I very much doubt it".

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 23 April 2012 - 19:02.


#6 jcbc3

jcbc3
  • Member

  • 5,104 posts
  • Joined: November 04

Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:58

I think it's one of those times you go: "Oh, dear"....

#7 JockinSA

JockinSA
  • Member

  • 127 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 23 April 2012 - 20:08


I had to laugh, Mr. Nye, at your calling this device "rather Yaapie", though you are very right. Here it definitely can have a rather derogatory meaning, though the word usually begins with a J. What I found intriguing was that the rear wheel assembly looks to me to be from a Beetle,with big inboard discs and the suspension to it rather like something that one sees on of the modern FVees that we have here now. I am going to show these pics to someone here who has been in the V8 oval scene for years and years and see if he has any idea of what this thing's ancestory might be. If I get anything I will report back.

#8 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,049 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 23 April 2012 - 20:14

Let's face it - racing cars are made to race and when they get obsolescent they get recycled. Look at the F5000 Surtees that became a spectacular Skoda special saloon or the Morrari, the NZ Morris Minor bodied Ferrari, both of which I've seen people waxing lyrical over.

As long as nobody is planning to 'restore' the remains in their 'original' form

#9 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
  • Member

  • 10,849 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 23 April 2012 - 21:22

Doug has beautifully put into words all the things I wanted to say (well some of them) but didn't like to.

#10 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 5,671 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 23 April 2012 - 21:54

Uncultured jaarpie contraption it maybe, but the angles of what appear to be the rear wish bones do bare some passing resemblance to a BT24, though those items alone would not a Brabham make.

My question is what ever it is how successful was it on the track ?

#11 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
  • Member

  • 5,399 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 23 April 2012 - 22:25

Roger's quite right about the BT24s in ZA, but several factors make me doubt there's much Brabham in the car shown. For starters the apparent volume enclosed by the body panels looks much too large. For seconds the dimensions of the roll-over cage look simply massive. I can't quite picture how such large-diameter tubing would mount usefully upon a Brabham-style multi-tubular chassis without the cage's sheer weight threatening midship collapse. For thirds, well, what an uncultured nasty ----heap this thing appears to be. Maybe it used a Brabham exhaust manifold, or wore a Brabham badge? For fourths, look at that hefty, cranked square-section frame upright at the rear... Looks very Yaapie to me, though I guess the wise would never say never. I'd just settle for a polite "I very much doubt it".

DCN


Ever the Diplomat...

#12 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 5,829 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 23 April 2012 - 23:11

Not being remotely an expert on Brabhams but there is a fair few open wheeler parts in the rear end of that car, wishbones, drive shafts inboard brakes probably the gearbox. Even possibly the front uprights though seemingly with bigger stronger wishbones. The chassis seems though to be dirt track specs though the design is loosly open wheel design.I doubt a Brabham chassis would pass the rules for any dirt track racing as it is fat too spindly and light.
The rear wheels seem to be generic wide 5 American dirt track rears, as are the tyres and the steers probably locally made composites.
And going by the look of it, that car is around 1970 not 1965. Just by the tyres if nothing else.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 23 April 2012 - 23:13.


#13 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,946 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:05

I'll go along with Doug...

It has the wrong stud pattern on the front wheels at least.

Mind you, I don't think I'd knock back a drive if it was offered!

#14 Geoff Smedley

Geoff Smedley
  • Member

  • 98 posts
  • Joined: November 05

Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:16

I'll go along with Doug...

It has the wrong stud pattern on the front wheels at least.

Mind you, I don't think I'd knock back a drive if it was offered!

I see no connection between this 'monster' and Brabham, have some respect, more likely 'Bristol Brabazon' I would think!!

#15 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,946 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:03

Well, that's from a bloke who knows his '60s Brabhams...

Good to see you're keeping your eye in, Geoff.

#16 peter kropotk

peter kropotk
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:56

Uncultured jaarpie contraption it maybe, but the angles of what appear to be the rear wish bones do bare some passing resemblance to a BT24, though those items alone would not a Brabham make.

My question is what ever it is how successful was it on the track ?



It was so successful that the SA promoting organization effectively banned it, by specifying front-engine only chassis.
I believe Johnny King originally emigrated with the famous "Auto Moly Special" stock car from England, built by Johnny Brise (father of Tim and the late Tony Brise); it had a Jaguar gearbox, Olds Rocket 88 motor bored out to almost 7.5 litres, a Jeep rear axle, and a Mercedes chassis. http://oldstox.com/i...JohnnyKing6.jpg

This car was obsolete by 1965 because of the all-out US sprint cars being imported into South Africa and strengthened for SA's roughhouse oval racing.

The Brabham shown in the two photographs was rebuilt for oval racing by an engineer named Jurgen Bauer, and financed by a businessman.

I appreciate all the comments to my initial posting, even the less-than-complimentary!



#17 xj13v12

xj13v12
  • Member

  • 264 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:05

Given the BT24s were built in 1967 and this thing was obselete by 1965 I think we can safely exclude that possibility. However on the point of large roll cage I have seen a similar contraption grafted onto a 1966 Eagle Indy car so I guess the only limiting factor is how badly you want a race car for a purpose and how little you care for the origins of the patient.

#18 peter kropotk

peter kropotk
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:04

Given the BT24s were built in 1967 and this thing was obselete by 1965 I think we can safely exclude that possibility. However on the point of large roll cage I have seen a similar contraption grafted onto a 1966 Eagle Indy car so I guess the only limiting factor is how badly you want a race car for a purpose and how little you care for the origins of the patient.


I did not mean to say that the car in the two photos was obsolete by '65, rather the traditional British stock car that King had brought out to SA in 1963.
What Brabhams other than B24's were available and deemed re-usable for oval racing, in the early sixties?


#19 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,878 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:24

I'd be very surprised if that was a Brabham frame and amazed if it was one of the BT24s. There were other Brabhams out there, including a BT18 and a BT23C, but if the frame is Brabham-based, then a LDS is also possible.

Maybe it just used parts from a Brabham, like some aspect of the suspension. Some Special Saloons were described as "Lola-based" or "Trojan-based" when all they had was the transmission from an old sports or F5000 car. Maybe this is equally "Brabham-based".

Advertisement

#20 Pat Clarke

Pat Clarke
  • Member

  • 2,013 posts
  • Joined: September 04

Posted 24 April 2012 - 13:27

I promise faithfully NOT to show these pictures to Ron Tauranac

Pat

#21 LDS

LDS
  • Member

  • 50 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 24 April 2012 - 14:02

We'd probably need to run this pic past Alan Saffy in Joburg. He would know all about it. Any of our "yaapie" mates got time on their hands to take it to him?

#22 RonPohl

RonPohl
  • Member

  • 122 posts
  • Joined: September 11

Posted 24 April 2012 - 15:09

I believe it is A BT666.

#23 LDS

LDS
  • Member

  • 50 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 24 April 2012 - 18:36

I have just checked in Brian Tylers recent book The History of LDS in Formula One racing and see that he makes reference to Chassis 6 (the Steve Mellett singleseater) which became the Mirage V8 sports car, being sold through the offices of ry6 to hot rod driver Wes York in Durban. Perhaps the good Robert can shed some info on this? Is there some connection here?

#24 JockinSA

JockinSA
  • Member

  • 127 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 24 April 2012 - 19:19

We'd probably need to run this pic past Alan Saffy in Joburg. He would know all about it. Any of our "yaapie" mates got time on their hands to take it to him?

Just who I was thinking of LDS. Hopefully I will see him next week at a mutual friend's place and I can show him the pictures.

#25 ry6

ry6
  • Member

  • 523 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:43

To my knowledge only 2 BT24s came to southern Africa. I do not have any notes/books with me but I think it was the 1968 South African Grand Prix that Brabham and Rindt? ran the BT24's.
These were acquired by Sam Tingle and Basil v Rooyen soon after the grand prix and then ran in the local F1 events. These cars probably exist today in pristine form - no doubt having been sold to collectors in the UK so its unlikely they were the basis for the dirt track machine.
I don't know what year this dirt track special ran but I recall Jurgens Bauer running a rear engined 'hot rod' as they were called at the oval stadiums Wembley (Johannesburg) and Hoy Park (Durban) - offhand I don't know what year.
The V8 Mirage of Steve Mellet was bought by Wes York (a Durban oval track racer) and certainly not through 'my offices'. I knew Steve and Wes. Wesley was interested in buying a track car. I merely put them in touch with one another. Wes put the V8 Chev from his dirt track car in the Mirage and did the odd hillclimb and club race - not very successful. The chassis later rotted away (rusted away) in his backyard.


#26 bschenker

bschenker
  • Member

  • 486 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:19

In southern Africa there are 2 cars plus a chassis. BT24-01 Basil v Rooyen now in Australia, BT24-2 Sam Tingle must be now at Donington, think still owned by the Tingle family.
John Bentley in an article 1993 has written tat’s Sam Tingle crashed his car used a chassis, made by Arch Motors designed by Ron Tauranac, with wide front suspension.

.

Edited by bschenker, 26 April 2012 - 08:20.


#27 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,946 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:38

To Australia?

I know the Cosworth-engined F1 Brabham came to Australia (Alex Macarthur) from South Africa, but that was a later car altogether.

BT24... Peter Simms perhaps? If so, it couldn't be in better hands...

#28 bschenker

bschenker
  • Member

  • 486 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:48

The only other BT24, the BT24-3 built in 1968 for Rindt, ended first by Frank Williams, modifyed with a Cosworth DFW for Piers Courage Tasman Serie 1969. Passed to Silvio Moser Racing Team for the 1969 WM with a DFV Cosworth, and still here at Lugano (CH).

In the Brabham Owners Site Brian Wilsons says hi owned the BT24-01 Repco and lucking the photos I think it's the original car.

.

Edited by bschenker, 26 April 2012 - 08:52.


#29 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:04

Didn't a BT26 also go to South Africa?

#30 xj13v12

xj13v12
  • Member

  • 264 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:09

In southern Africa there are 2 cars plus a chassis. BT24-01 Basil v Rooyen now in Australia, BT24-2 Sam Tingle must be now at Donington, think still owned by the Tingle family.
John Bentley in an article 1993 has written tat’s Sam Tingle crashed his car used a chassis, made by Arch Motors designed by Ron Tauranac, with wide front suspension.

.


That's right. The Tingles ran their car at Goodwood FOS last year. Brian Wilson has Jack's car in Sydney and yes these cars were both in S.A. Also Basil Van Rooyen lives in Sydney and has long since confirmed absolute authenticity of that car.
Peter Simms has the BT26 that Courage ran for Williams. That car is being converted back from DFV/DFW to Repco 860 quad cam engine.

#31 xj13v12

xj13v12
  • Member

  • 264 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:14

P.S. none of this is remotely relavent to this car as it was obsolete 2 years before the BT24 was even built.

#32 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,178 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:57

Peter K is talking about the Auto Moly Special being obsolete by 1965.

#33 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 5,671 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:38

Peter K is talking about the Auto Moly Special being obsolete by 1965.


As Peter confirmed in post 18 :up:

#34 peter kropotk

peter kropotk
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 26 April 2012 - 16:10

[quote name='ry6' date='Apr 26 2012, 07:43' post='5689024']
I don't know what year this dirt track special ran but I recall Jurgens Bauer running a rear engined 'hot rod' as they were called at the oval stadiums Wembley (Johannesburg) and Hoy Park (Durban) - offhand I don't know what year.

Thank you ---- it seems likely that Bauer's "hot rod" is what Johnny King drove. It was so swiftly banned that I doubt he built two, and perhaps Bauer or "the word in the pits" developed a notion that the car was based on a Brabham, not necessarily converted FROM one.

Interestingly, in the UK in 1962 the stock car promoters at Plymouth Stadium bought a rear-engined 2.5 litre Cooper Climax and had it tried out by oval racers Pete Tucker, Maxie Bacon, and Danny Bassett, but it was considered "too much" in those days on those shale tracks!

#35 LDS

LDS
  • Member

  • 50 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:19

Mystery solved by ry6. You'll all be relieved to know that no Brabham was molested in the making of this behemoth. It was known as a Lolette Chevy and was probably the remains of a locally built SA sportscar of the same name? ry6 had actually penned a race report which pictured this very car.
Posted Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

#36 LDS

LDS
  • Member

  • 50 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:47


More info found on this forum from Jannie van Aswegen..


Lolette No 3............. Was a rear engine Hot Rod that Eric built based on a replica Brabham BT 7 chassis that he got from Barry Neunborn as Barry had abandoned a formula one project when the formula changed from 1.5 liter to 3 liter . Eric used this chassis and fitted offset suspension to it based on what Chapman had done to the Lotus 29 Indy car . He fitted a standard Chev V8 engine with a four barrel carb and a In and Out box of his own fabrication as also some Lolette wheels which was the same as the ones made for the Buggies he was selling .The car also used Brabham F ONE body panels. He got a local German driver called Jurgie Bauer to drive the car at the Wembley oval track against the American produced CAE hot rods . This car was unbelievably successful and was eventually stopped from racing by the hot rod association . The car was sold to a fellow hot rodder in Krugersdorp called Ben Venter from whom I bought it in the mid 1970 s . I then sold it to a person in Pretoria called Kas Els . I have recently tried to trace the car again but have not been successful up to now .


#37 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,878 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:51

I wonder where that could be...

Do we have one too many BT7s in historic racing? :)

#38 Peter Morley

Peter Morley
  • Member

  • 1,900 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 18 May 2012 - 16:02

Do we have one too many BT7s in historic racing? :)


Surely that's not possible, it would be incredibly unlikely!

Given the apparent size & spacing of the chassis tubes you'd have thought that the chassis would have been suitable for a 3 litre F1 and rather over sized for a 1½.

Edited by Peter Morley, 18 May 2012 - 16:03.


#39 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,878 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 18 May 2012 - 16:37

Next time, just the avoidance of doubt, I will surround my attempts at humour with <joke>...</joke>

Advertisement

#40 peter kropotk

peter kropotk
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 19 May 2012 - 00:40

More info found on this forum from Jannie van Aswegen..


Lolette No 3............. Was a rear engine Hot Rod that Eric built based on a replica Brabham BT 7 chassis that he got from Barry Neunborn as Barry had abandoned a formula one project when the formula changed from 1.5 liter to 3 liter . Eric used this chassis and fitted offset suspension to it based on what Chapman had done to the Lotus 29 Indy car . He fitted a standard Chev V8 engine with a four barrel carb and a In and Out box of his own fabrication as also some Lolette wheels which was the same as the ones made for the Buggies he was selling .The car also used Brabham F ONE body panels. He got a local German driver called Jurgie Bauer to drive the car at the Wembley oval track against the American produced CAE hot rods . This car was unbelievably successful and was eventually stopped from racing by the hot rod association . The car was sold to a fellow hot rodder in Krugersdorp called Ben Venter from whom I bought it in the mid 1970 s . I then sold it to a person in Pretoria called Kas Els . I have recently tried to trace the car again but have not been successful up to now .

:wave: Thank you so much, LDS. So there IS a bit of Brabham spirit in the car. Interesting that in the press photos you show, the Bauer name is clear, but in the Johnny King photos I first posted, the name(s) on the side have been fogged-over, and I believe the racing number is different. Worth noting that Johnny King is wearing a VW badge on his driving suit, as he was associated with or sponsored by a big S. African VW dealership. In the UK, Johnny King had been "that close" to the 1961 championship in Britain's full-contact stock car racing, but for some long-remembered grudge on the part of a fellow racer ---- ):

#41 barrykm

barrykm
  • Member

  • 432 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:49

Mystery solved by ry6. You'll all be relieved to know that no Brabham was molested in the making of this behemoth. It was known as a Lolette Chevy and was probably the remains of a locally built SA sportscar of the same name? ry6 had actually penned a race report which pictured this very car.
Posted Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Don Hamilton, Dick Zimmermann, and not to forget my favourite, Harry van der Spuy...magical Saturday evenings at Alan Ford Stadium in Durban! :up: