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The strange tale of the F5000 Brabham BT43


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#51 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:29

I'd stick a photo of them on here, if I could work out how!

Sandy, if it's any help I'd be happy to post the photo for you. Let me know, and I'll PM you my email address.



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#52 MCS

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:49

I have just come across this: http://clubs.hemming...m/lostfound.htm

 

Did it really go to the States?  Was Roy Winkelmann involved?  He was a close friend of Chuck Jones and had a hand in Dick's sadly abortive F5000 career.

 

Parsons was entered at Riverside in October 1975 - see Allen's site: http://www.oldracing...php?RaceID=L75I -  and then drove a Talon...


Edited by MCS, 18 September 2013 - 14:39.


#53 kevinbartlett

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:11

Hello Kevin

 

I can imagine this episode does not sit well in the memory. I must admit to some feelings of, if not guilt, but regret, but then for the last 33 years I was under the impression the car had not been anything significant.  Also, there would have been no way of knowing who else had any stake in the car, other than the guy it was addressed to in the UK. I don't think I ever knew who that was, as it would have served no purpose, and it was not on my desk anyway. We regularly used to get items of cargo abandoned, especially if they were "freight forward", and the recipient was not expecting a large bill, so it was not out of the ordinary.

 

As for the state of the rose joints, as I mentioned, having slept on it, I seem to recall that the ones that seemed to be less than perfect were the smaller ones on things like the throttle linkage, clutch (did it have them on the clutch cable?) and gear linkage. They were still good enough to use on a couple of vehicles I modified back in the day. The important ones such as on the suspension, even on the damaged corner, were all pretty good, so it would not be appropriate to criticise the guy who prepped it. As for the radiators - do they sound like the ones fitted to the car at the time of the accident, or are they earlier ones? Do you want them, or will they just be a reminder of an episode you want to forget? I'd stick a photo of them on here, if I could work out how!

 

Also, thinking further on the engine, if I recall correctly, there was a small amount of damage to the bottom of one of the bores, where it looked like a daylight seeking conrod may have made a failed escape bid. the damage was very minimal, and would have just needed tidying up, to be good to go again. I suspect it  must have happened at very low revs somehow. Maybe it was old damage. I still cannot recall if there was a damaged rod with it, or a missing rod, but there was not a full useable set. I do recall that the crank and cam etc. were fine. Where all the missing bits went, I really cannot guess. I don't know if any of the dockers were racing car fans, and knew where to shift some of the bits, but I doubt it. Maybe it didn't go in the crate complete. Perhaps some of the parts are still racing in Australia? I note you say that a rear wheel centre failed on you. When I got hold of it there were certainly two good condition 13 inch diameter by 15 inch wide rims, no tyres,  which went to a mate who said he was going to cut treads in a pair of racing slicks, and fit them to a road car! I think the fronts were there, but won't swear to it. There seems to have been a certain amount of mix and match going on somewhere.

 

I know that cars have been re-created from less than a pair of rads. The old joke about there being 15 survivors from the 12 made comes to mind, but if somebody can make good use of them, I will hang back on putting them on ebay or similar.

 

Sandy

Thanks for the thought of the radiators. Cost of sending them down would be too high. Maybe a pic or two would be good. If they are the radiators from the crashed car it would help with identity, only as the originals (I suspect) are still in someones shed. The ones on the BT43 at the time were only a locally made pair just to comfirm the aero changes to the nose. Original radiators were at the front on a full width nose section. :well:


Edited by kevinbartlett, 19 September 2013 - 02:15.


#54 Piquet959

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:57

Kevin, You are welcome and it is the Derek Reed that I know. As far as I know he still does some work withe the VFRS.
He's been around the HTCAV and the MGCC for many years. His son raced a car in the Group N category for a while.

Peter

Edited by Piquet959, 19 September 2013 - 10:09.


#55 sandy400e

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 17:59

Hello Tim

 

Thanks for the offer. If you can post the photos, that would be great. It may prove useful in putting this one finally in the sorted folder for anyone who still has doubts, although I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was the BT43. Kevin says that the radiators were locally made, which is confirmed by the tags on the rads. I assume the originally fitted ones would have been UK made. Are  Newcell, the outfit who made these ones, still in business? Maybe they have a record of the job number.

 

For info the rads are 22.5 inches long inc pipe stub, while the core is 5.8 inches wide by 2.75 inches deep, plus there are the angled pipes sticking out.

 

Sandy



#56 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 18:14

Sandy, I've sent you a PM.

#57 MCS

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 18:21

Based on what I posted previously, I think the car may have gone to the States, been damaged, returned to the UK (to be rebuilt) and then shipped to Australia.

 

Doesn't anybody know?!



#58 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:36

Here are Sandy's photos of the radiators:

 

630l.jpg

 

zeoq.jpg

 



#59 kevinbartlett

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:32

Here are Sandy's photos of the radiators:

 

630l.jpg

 

zeoq.jpg

 

 

Yep, looks like the ones that were on BT43 # 9 when shunted at Sandown 09/09/79



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#60 sandy400e

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:36

Just spotted a typo in dimensions I gave earlier. The rads are 8.5 inches wide, not 5.8, which would have made them impressively efficient.

 

Another thing just came to mind. The car when I got hold of it, still had two aluminium tubes running the length of the tub, one of which was damaged, with brass compression type fittings I think, at each end. I wondered at the time what they were, and assumed something to do with cooling. Kevin, is it safe to assume these were left in place, in case the car was returned to front radiator specification? I used part of the damaged pipe on a job at the time, but the other good one sat in my workshop for many years. I'm sure I never used for anything, but don't recall seeing it recently - must have another rummage in the dark corners.



#61 Cynic2

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 15:28

From Chuck Jones, in an e-mail this morning:

 

(This thread) ANSWERS A LOT OF QUESTIONS . . .  EVERYTHING OK BETWEEN K.B. AND ME.

 



#62 BobPaton

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 20:08

I'm coming into this quite late having stumbled onto the thread through finding the BT43 radiators on Ebay. My two pence worth is that I was the person who had most of the job of building BT43 at Brabhams. It was a very interesting car in that we'd never built one with a Chevy V8 as well as a few other interesting features. The first run the car ever had was on a gloomy day at Silverstone. We went up there for some testing, with John Watson at the wheel. The car proved to be a bit troublesome at the time, mainly with a mis-matched set of tyres. Front end download was not the best either.  I have few b&w pics of the car outside the Weybridge workshop on the day it was finished. I don't seem to be able to load pics to this blog but would be happy to share via email if anyone wants them.

      



#63 BobPaton

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 20:17

Sorry, I just read how to post pics. I'll do it in the next day or so.



#64 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:48

Those I would very much like to see Bob!!! Was Robin Day involved with the car as well do you know?



#65 MCS

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:35

I'm coming into this quite late having stumbled onto the thread through finding the BT43 radiators on Ebay. My two pence worth is that I was the person who had most of the job of building BT43 at Brabhams. It was a very interesting car in that we'd never built one with a Chevy V8 as well as a few other interesting features. The first run the car ever had was on a gloomy day at Silverstone. We went up there for some testing, with John Watson at the wheel. The car proved to be a bit troublesome at the time, mainly with a mis-matched set of tyres. Front end download was not the best either.  I have few b&w pics of the car outside the Weybridge workshop on the day it was finished. I don't seem to be able to load pics to this blog but would be happy to share via email if anyone wants them.

 

Wow. Welcome Bob. Hope you find the forum of interest!

 

Very interesting to to read your initial recollections and would love to see any pictures.

 

If you have difficulty posting, the likes of Steve, Tim, myself and others can help via the Personal Message/email facility within our Profiles.

 

Looking forward to hearing more, but a couple of quick questions if I may:  who decided that the car should be built in the first place and who actually designed it?

 

Thanks again. :up:



#66 BobPaton

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 21:38

Well gang, I've loaded my only pics of BT43 below. Memories from 1973 are getting a bit fuzzy and I don't recall who or why on the decision to build a F5000 car. Perhaps Bernie had a bit of a thing about it or he saw potential for a new market. The car was pencilled by Geoff Ferris but followed the theme set by Gordon Murray with the fairly radical BT42. Descriptions of the pics are below each one.

 

2wd6.jpg

This was taken by me outside the Brabham workshop at New Haw, near Weybridge in Surrey, UK. I don't have the actual date but it was certainly 1973. The background shows Stanton's Timber, on the same trading/industrial estate.

 

tgzl.jpg

Same pace and date as above. This pic was clipped from (I think) Motoring News. The black cat was the official Brabham works cat called 'Mum'.

 

 

58la.jpg  yo32.jpg

I'm not sure who took these but perhaps it was David Phipps (motoring photographer extraordinaire).

 

Incidentally, can one load multiple pictures in one go or do they have to be loaded one at a time?



#67 arttidesco

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 23:21


 

Incidentally, can one load multiple pictures in one go or do they have to be loaded one at a time?

 

Thanks for sharing Bob, ref multiple picture uploading this seems to vary according to browser used and or picture hosting site used.



#68 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 23:28

Well gang, I've loaded my only pics of BT43 below. Memories from 1973 are getting a bit fuzzy and I don't recall who or why on the decision to build a F5000 car. Perhaps Bernie had a bit of a thing about it or he saw potential for a new market. The car was pencilled by Geoff Ferris but followed the theme set by Gordon Murray with the fairly radical BT42. Descriptions of the pics are below each one.

 

2wd6.jpg

This was taken by me outside the Brabham workshop at New Haw, near Weybridge in Surrey, UK. I don't have the actual date but it was certainly 1973. The background shows Stanton's Timber, on the same trading/industrial estate.

 

 

 

Incidentally, can one load multiple pictures in one go or do they have to be loaded one at a time?

 

Brilliant Bob...welcome and thanks for sharing.

 

My question for you is about the pentagonal air box inlet....was it done that way for technical reasons or styling?  Cheers, Mick


Edited by 275 GTB-4, 13 October 2013 - 23:29.


#69 BobPaton

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 23:51

The airbox shape was just some groovy reflection of the general tub shape (as per BT42 F1 and then BT43). Previous airbox inlets and general shapes followed traditional aerodynamic profiles (nice ovals).



#70 275 GTB-4

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:32

The airbox shape was just some groovy reflection of the general tub shape (as per BT42 F1 and then BT43). Previous airbox inlets and general shapes followed traditional aerodynamic profiles (nice ovals).

 

Far out man! (and thank you for that) :blush:



#71 ChrisJson

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 17:16

Hi Bob!

 

Welcome to TNF. It´s always very interesting to get in touch

with the persons who really was "there" in the ´70s. 

 

I was a spectator at all the Swedish Grand Prix and spent

each friday in the paddock. Perhaps we have met then?

 

Is the industrial estate you mentioned the same that´s 

named Canal Bridge Works nowadays?

 

Best regards

 

Christer



#72 BobPaton

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 20:10

Hi Christer

Yes, the industrial estate was where Byfleet Road crossed over the canal in New Haw, hence 'Canal Bridge Works'. 

 

I didn't ever get to Sweden so I guess we haven't met. I did have some dealings with Ulf Svennson though. 

Cheers

Bob 



#73 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 20:27

Well gang, I've loaded my only pics of BT43 below. Memories from 1973 are getting a bit fuzzy and I don't recall who or why on the decision to build a F5000 car. Perhaps Bernie had a bit of a thing about it or he saw potential for a new market. The car was pencilled by Geoff Ferris but followed the theme set by Gordon Murray with the fairly radical BT42. 

 

Saw Geoff today and, although he recalls very little about the car, he thought it more likely that it was a Tauranac-originated project rather than Ecclestone. 



#74 BobPaton

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 20:45

It was certainly Bernie time at MRD. Ron may have originated the project (long gestation etc) but Ron was long gone by the time BT43 became nuts and bolts. The other person around at the time was Ralph Bellamy - he too may have had a hand in the design work before he left for (In think) Trojan.



#75 ChrisJson

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:33

Thank you Bob!

 

Do you know if the building Brabham was housed in still stands?

Was it the building to the right of the BT43 in the photo?

 

Sorry for going slightly OT but my main interest is the ´70s F1

and I would like to do a tour of the remaining premises in a not

to distant future.

 

 

Christer



#76 BobPaton

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:22

Christer

I looked in Google maps and found this: http://img34.imagesh...34/8118/ric.JPG

 

I've labelled the jpg but you can see the buildings here: https://maps.google....ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg 

 

The large building with the white roof is new since the 1970's. The long grey roofed building was the main workshop that included a store, assembly workshop, machine shop and then the F1 team workshop. The building called 'The Mill' was used mainly for fibreglass bodywork and wing prototype production. This was only one-off production where bucks and moulds were produced.

 

i hope my links work - you might have to cut and paste. Let me know if you want more detail.

Bob   



#77 ChrisJson

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:50

Fantastic!!

 

Thank you very much Bob!

May I PM you so we not take over this thread completely?

 

 

Christer



#78 BobPaton

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:05

have a look at 'contact methods' and AIM



#79 oldjonesfan

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 13:56

Hello:

 

Long Time Lurker here but thought I would use this (insert appropriate adjective or expletive depending on your point of view - I would probably say "auspicious"?) occasion to be a First Time Poster.

 

As a F5000 fan of the 70s and early 80s I have tried to follow the story of the BT43 since reading about it in Racing Car News when Kevin Bartlett brought it into Australia and very much liking the "look" of the car (and not just because it wasn't another bloody Lola!).  I still have that issue somewhere (even though most of my other years and years of RCN and other Motor Racing Magazines were given away about 20 years ago) and can scan it when I find it if anyone is interested although given the quality (a nice way of saying "age" I suppose!) of the personnel here someone is bound to have it at their fingertips and scan it and post it in no time flat.

 

I seem to recall at various stages either in RCN, or Auto Action, or Chequred Flag, or one of the other publications floating around at that time that the BT43 was incorrectly described as an "ex F1 car" implying that (like John McCormack's McLaren M23 and Alan Hamilton's Tiga modified McLaren M26) the BT43 had been reengined from being Cosworth DFV powered.  I don't know how or why this incorrect perception got around but it did seem to pop up now and again (even into the 1980 season when the CAMS Rules allowed cars other than F5000 such as F1 cars and Formula Pacifics when the BT43 was still rumoured to be in the country, supposedly had been repaired, and "could" be reengined as an F1 car!) until corrected by those in the know.

 

Obviously as everyone here knows it was a "one-off" F5000 with it's basic heritage from the BT40 F2 car and some of the design philosophy/concept from initially the BT42 and then the BT44.

 

Even this Japanese website not so long ago managed to get it right:

http://blogs.yahoo.c...k/11495929.html

 

For those who never got to see it in action there are a couple of Races on (of course!) You Tube :

 

1978 Rothmans Series Round 2 Adelaide (KB)

 

1978 Australian Grand Prix Sandown (KB)

 

1979 Rothmans Series Round 4 Oran Park (CB)

 

Also before it came to Australia it "starred" (well at least made an appearance!) in the Movie "The Betsy":

http://www.imcdb.org...bham-BT-43.html

 

The race footage that I have never found (but I am led to believe is still held by the ABC) was it's final Race at Sandown in 1979 (although I suspect that KB doesn't want to see footage of that Race again!).  Also I don't know if anyone remembers but the actual crash footage featured for a year or two as part of the beginning of every ABC Motor Racing coverage (you know the one with the "Da da da da  - da da da - da da da - da da - da da da da  - da da da - da da da - da da - bom bom" theme music").

 

Anyway I will try to add constructively to what has gone before and see if any of it makes sense to anyone in the know and try my utmost not to introduce any further inaccuracies to this story.

 

With respect to who was responsible for the BT43 I too read somewhere that Geoff Ferris "penned" it however if he says he didn't then that makes it very interesting as to who did as it really doesn't "look" like anything either Tauranac or Bellamy would have done.  Also given the BT43's design timeline wouldn't Tauranac have been involved with Trojan and Bellamy with Lotus?

 

With respect to the Rollout Date I suspect that the BT43 was rolled out around the same time as the BT44.  Given that the BT44 made it's debut at the Argentine Grand Prix on January 13, 1974 then it is quite logical to place the Rollout date in late 1973.  The other reason why I say this is that I think the Photographer that Bob mentions had his collection of photographs sold in batches on ebay a number of years ago after he passed away.  I managed to bid enough to win the BT42 and BT43 Rollout Photos (can scan and post if people would like to see better quality images than those generally on the Internet) however I missed out on the BT44 Rollout Photos but I did save their ebay images.  Just judging from the photos (and I must admit I haven't looked on the back of any of the BT42 and BT43 originals yet to see if there are any clues such as Notes or Annotations) it appears that the BT43 and BT44 Photos were taken around the same time and that the BT42 photos were (obviously) taken earlier.  Also given that the BT43 didn't make it's debut until June 30, 1974 at Round 10 in Monza there must be an interesting story or two in there why it didn't debut any earlier?  A combination of sorting problems, no buyer, and/or low priority at the Works compared with the potential F1 Championship winning BT44 perhaps?

 

One last thing I will say about the photos is that the BT43 was destined to have bad luck with the Works Cat photographed walking by it (note that in most of the Internet images that original Photograph is clipped right to the nose of the car so there is no Cat) whereas with the BT44 photos someone has the Works Cat well in hand.

 

Now with respect to the missing transaxle as mentioned by Sandy I can only offer the following which may be of interest.  About three or four years ago on ebay a Seller was auctioning off a DG300 with Suspension bits (and from memory some other components possibly Brakes) from a "Brabham Car Number ??".  Now I put "??" obviously meaning a number but I can't remember what the number was but at the time I (perhaps mistakenly) associated it with the BT43.  Now it could have been "43" or it could have been "9" or it could have been one of the cars previous numbers but for some reason I associated it with the BT43.  From looking at the images on the Auction at the time and comparing it to the Photos some of the Suspension bits could have come from the BT43.  I contacted the Seller to see if he knew any details and if he could confirm anything but he didn't know only to say that he had sold a number of DG300s mostly to Speedway and Off-Road people.  Now the thing that really annoys me (apart from it being sold to Speedway and/or Off-Road people!) is that I thought I saved the Auction Page with the Seller's Name and the Images however I have just searched my backup drive from Stem to Stern and can't find a thing which really annoys me as usually I am quite pedantic about saving information and images like that.  Also at the time I unfortunately didn't have the spare dollars to bid on it (money going into the renovating the House and building a 9m x 6m Shed in the back yard) and can't recall if it went for 12, 18, or 23 000 dollars.  So there is a possible lead as to where the DG300 went.

 

With respect to the photo of the Radiators posted by Sandy I don't mean to disrespect KB's judgement but given the dimensions (and their condition) aren't they more likely the Radiators removed from the original nose mountings?  From the final photos the Radiators that KB put on the sides look larger and squarer?  The other question/s I have for KB is were the two Radiators that were either side of the rear wing uprights retained, removed, or replaced/relocated after his modifications?  Also is that a Radiator in the middle of the modified (Lola like - was it based on a T400 Nose?) Nose and if so what type of Radiator is it (or does it take the place of the two that were either side of the rear wing?)?  Just as a comparison the approximate dimensions (in inches) of the Radiators on the BT44 are : 2 off Nose mounted Radiator each 14.25 inches by 6.75 inches; 2 off Rear mounted Oil Radiator each 10.5 inches by 10 inches; and one off Rear mounted Gearbox Radiator 10.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

 

Also with respect to the Noses the rather nice (and exotic) original Nose (call this Nose 1) seemed to be a bit of a one off too as it disappeared after it was damaged in Brett Lunger's Brand's shunt.  And this is where the ex-F1 confusion might come in as there is a photo of the BT43 driven by Lunger at the next meeting in Klopfer's European F5000 book with a BT42 nose on it (call this Nose 2).  With respect to the Nose it had on it when it was in the US and when it arrived in Australia (call this Nose 3) does anyone know where it came from or what it was based on?  (And lastly we can call the last Lola like Nose - Nose 4.)

 

I find the comments about a "rebuild" very interesting.  Wouldn't it be more accurate in this case to say "replica" rather than "rebuild"?  Obviously if a BT40 was used as the basis then "rebuilt" might then be an apt description however if a BT43 was essentially built from scratch (or from the remaining Radiators!) now it would be a "replica" wouldn't it?  In either case would a rebuilt or replica BT43 be accepted for racing with "historic" F5000s?

 

Well I think I have way overstayed my First Post Welcome but look forward to reading replies and comments.

 

Many thanks for a great Thread.


Edited by oldjonesfan, 14 November 2013 - 17:00.


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#80 275 GTB-4

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 21:27

Welcome OJF,

 

Outstanding first post....were you directly involved in the racing scene yourself? in which country(s)?

 

So glad you didn't use "suspicious" in....Long Time Lurker here but thought I would use this (insert appropriate adjective or expletive depending on your point of view - I would probably say "auspicious"?) occasion to be a First Time Poster.

 

Cheers, Mick



#81 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 22:03

 

 

With respect to who was responsible for the BT43 I too read somewhere that Geoff Ferris "penned" it however if he says he didn't then that makes it very interesting as to who did as it really doesn't "look" like anything either Tauranac or Bellamy would have done.  Also given the BT43's design timeline wouldn't Tauranac have been involved with Trojan and Bellamy with Lotus?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for a very interesting post. I stay in close contact with Geoff and asked him recently about the car - specifically, whose idea it was to have the project in the first place. As I noted above, he thought it was a Tauranac idea rather than Ecclestone, but he (Geoff) did the design work (I don't know who said that he said that he didn't). He's typically very reluctant to discuss or think much about the past, and usually declines any requests to do so.

 

This new forum layout is terrible for dealing with quotes isn't it?


Edited by Nigel Beresford, 14 November 2013 - 22:04.


#82 BobPaton

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 23:47

Yes, it was a Tauranac idea but Geoff did the pencil work. Geoff had done the beautiful BT40 F2 and BT41 F3/Atlantic cars. Ralph Bellamy had left MRD in early November 1972 for Lotus (according to a Motoring News article from edition 817 of 2nd November 1972). Gordon Murray was chief designer by then and he was running the BT42 design. the BT43 was essentially a BT40 but with a different monocoque to emrace the triangular features of the BT42. this design shape was in response to the new regulations requiring crushable side structures. The horizontal apex on each side was foam filled to this effect. The challenges of tucking the heavy and bulky 5.0 litre Chevvy into what was essentially a Formula 2 car were challenging indeed. Most of the front suspension components were BT40 and the rear was a combination of F1 and BT40, slapped around the DG gearbox.

 

By the time the sole BT43 was lowered to the floor off its build stands, most of the MRD 'production' side had been closed down, with the workers 'let go'. Sad times indeed. Bernie wanted me to stay on and this involved finishing the BT43 as well as work for Gordon Murray on the then new BT44s. I did various prototype bits and pieces, including building the infamous Brabham BT44 1/2 Pit Trolley. The scanned article below (stretch your screen res out to read) tells part of the story. The previous week we had leaked a story to Motoring News about a new Brabham that was going to use an American air cooled engine. This of course was the off the shelf Briggs and Stratton engine in the Pit Trolley.

 

Finally, the track debut for BT43-1 was on a wet and misty day at Silverstone. David Wiliamson and I trailered the BT43 up there from New Haw behind a Ford Transit. John Watson was the driver and he took it out for a quiet first run, came in for a few tweaks and then out again for a significant hammering. John was fearless and gave it great stick. Thank goodness we had the track to ourselves at the time. What did show up was that the "rather nice (and exotic) original Nose" did not provide sufficient downforce - its beauty belied its capability! I'm afraid I don't recall what became of the BT43 after that.

 

I left MRD in November 1974 to return to Australia and a very different life. Those days now seem to be in another lifetime. Wrenching myself away then was very difficult and I went into denial for some years after as the only way I could deal with walking away from something I loved with a passion. This thread has given me a refreshing visit to some of my past and I'm truly grateful to be able to share some of it. 

 

Nigel - could you give my regards to Geoff. He might still remember me. Time certainly clouds the memories.

 

Cheers

 

Bob 

se2o.jpg



#83 BobPaton

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 00:06

PS - sorry about the typos in my last post but I'm sure you can fill in the gaps.

On Geoff Ferris - he was a really nice bloke. Quiet, unassuming and almost boffin-like but great to work with. His non-egotistical and quiet manner hid a keen mind and a quirky sense of humour. How he put up with BE for as long as he did I don't know. 



#84 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:03

Yes, he's a lovely fellow and indescribably modest for a man who designed GP and Indy 500 winners. As you say, he has a super sense of humour, and can do a mean Tauranac impression (I bet you can too... all of us who ever worked at New Haw can...).

Of course, working for Bernie was just a warm up for working for RP....

 

I'm due to see him for lunch next week, and will certainly pass on your regards.



#85 DogEarred

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:41

Yes, he's a lovely fellow and indescribably modest for a man who designed GP and Indy 500 winners. As you say, he has a super sense of humour, and can do a mean Tauranac impression (I bet you can too... all of us who ever worked at New Haw can...).

Of course, working for Bernie was just a warm up for working for RP....

 

I'm due to see him for lunch next week, and will certainly pass on your regards.

 

Didn't he progress from Williams, years ago?

Sounds the sort of person, like yourself, who would have much to contribute to this forum, having swum in the deep end for many years. The quirky sense of humour sounds interesting too!

 

Could you persuade him to get involved somehow?...

 

Regards

 

D



#86 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 10:38

I don't think Geoff worked at Williams. As far as I know it was aircraft industry, Lotus, March (worked on the 711, for example), Brabham and Penske.
He's a very reserved and modest man and sadly I doubt that he could be persuaded to contribute to the forum. A few years ago a journalist contacted Penske, looking to get in touch with Geoff (who had, by then, retired). I don't give out people's contact details, but I called Geoff to see if he wanted to be contacted. He politely refused, saying that he never thinks about his racing past and really didn't want to talk about it. It's a shame but there you go.


Edited by Nigel Beresford, 15 November 2013 - 10:54.


#87 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:08

Welcome OJF,

 

Outstanding first post....were you directly involved in the racing scene yourself? in which country(s)?

 

So glad you didn't use "suspicious" in....Long Time Lurker here but thought I would use this (insert appropriate adjective or expletive depending on your point of view - I would probably say "auspicious"?) occasion to be a First Time Poster.

 

Cheers, Mick

 

Thanks Mick for the welcome and the kind words.

 

No I was (and still am) just one of the many lowly Fans who inhabited the boondocks with the only Motor Racing I was directly involved in in Australia in the late 70s and early 80s being Club Level Rallying (although I think I did take part in one or two State Level Rounds?) and a little bit of Karting.  Finishing Uni was more a priority and as a Mechanical Engineer although I would have loved to have found a job in Motor Racing (as I was particularly interested in Aerodynamics) there was little chance of that in Australia at the time as as Roy Braybrook once quoted from some Survey we were all destined to be "Farmers, Miners, and/or Bartenders".  I (unfortunately) happened to get involved with the middle one probably because that's where the jobs were that is unless you packed your bags and went overseas.

 

I think "auspicious" was probably the most appropriate word for me as since the 70s in some of the areas that I was and am still interested in there have been a number of mysteries that have recently been solved - finding HMAS Sydney was one (although I still don't believe Mearns "explanation" of events and I believe Detmers did commit a War Crime) and now finally knowing what happened to the BT43 is another.

 

Once again many thanks for the welcome and the kind words.



#88 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:21

Thanks for a very interesting post. I stay in close contact with Geoff and asked him recently about the car - specifically, whose idea it was to have the project in the first place. As I noted above, he thought it was a Tauranac idea rather than Ecclestone, but he (Geoff) did the design work (I don't know who said that he said that he didn't). He's typically very reluctant to discuss or think much about the past, and usually declines any requests to do so.

 

This new forum layout is terrible for dealing with quotes isn't it?

 

Thank you NIgel for the kind words.  With respect to Geoff Ferris my apologies as that was me misinterpreting what you had written in a previous post.  It's great to know "straight from the horse's mouth" (as my Mum used to say) that Geoff Ferris did do the design work and it does make sense that it was initiated back in the Tauranac days.  It's a pity he's reluctant to discuss and declines requests as it would be great to read or hear comments from a "real" Designer and not continually some of these CAD / FE / CFD jockeys of today.  Do you think he might make an exception to contact if someone embarked on a rebuild/replica project?



#89 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:33

Yes, it was a Tauranac idea but Geoff did the pencil work. Geoff had done the beautiful BT40 F2 and BT41 F3/Atlantic cars. Ralph Bellamy had left MRD in early November 1972 for Lotus (according to a Motoring News article from edition 817 of 2nd November 1972). Gordon Murray was chief designer by then and he was running the BT42 design. the BT43 was essentially a BT40 but with a different monocoque to emrace the triangular features of the BT42. this design shape was in response to the new regulations requiring crushable side structures. The horizontal apex on each side was foam filled to this effect. The challenges of tucking the heavy and bulky 5.0 litre Chevvy into what was essentially a Formula 2 car were challenging indeed. Most of the front suspension components were BT40 and the rear was a combination of F1 and BT40, slapped around the DG gearbox.

 

By the time the sole BT43 was lowered to the floor off its build stands, most of the MRD 'production' side had been closed down, with the workers 'let go'. Sad times indeed. Bernie wanted me to stay on and this involved finishing the BT43 as well as work for Gordon Murray on the then new BT44s. I did various prototype bits and pieces, including building the infamous Brabham BT44 1/2 Pit Trolley. The scanned article below (stretch your screen res out to read) tells part of the story. The previous week we had leaked a story to Motoring News about a new Brabham that was going to use an American air cooled engine. This of course was the off the shelf Briggs and Stratton engine in the Pit Trolley.

 

Finally, the track debut for BT43-1 was on a wet and misty day at Silverstone. David Wiliamson and I trailered the BT43 up there from New Haw behind a Ford Transit. John Watson was the driver and he took it out for a quiet first run, came in for a few tweaks and then out again for a significant hammering. John was fearless and gave it great stick. Thank goodness we had the track to ourselves at the time. What did show up was that the "rather nice (and exotic) original Nose" did not provide sufficient downforce - its beauty belied its capability! I'm afraid I don't recall what became of the BT43 after that.

 

I left MRD in November 1974 to return to Australia and a very different life. Those days now seem to be in another lifetime. Wrenching myself away then was very difficult and I went into denial for some years after as the only way I could deal with walking away from something I loved with a passion. This thread has given me a refreshing visit to some of my past and I'm truly grateful to be able to share some of it. 

 

Nigel - could you give my regards to Geoff. He might still remember me. Time certainly clouds the memories.

 

Cheers

 

Bob 

 

 

Hello Bob :

 

Didn't realise that you were Australian until I read the bit about you returning to Australia in 1974.  Are you still in Australia?  From reading your post it sounds like you might like to be involved if someone embarked on a rebuild/replica project?



#90 BobPaton

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:48

Well yes, well and truly in Australia - at Leura in the Blue Mountains. I'm still working full time as CEO of the Manufacturing Industry Skills Council (www.mskills.com.au). Between that, house building (still) and restoring a 1926 Austin 12/4 I'm flat out! So, not sure about embarking on a rebuild project. However, I could offer a genuine original nose badge if you did get into that.

 

Like Nigel and all of the others, there are many many stories to tell. 

 

I've put a few more pics here.

 

Indianappolis in May 1970, post qualifying - BT32 Brabham BT32 – USAC – Indianappolis Motor Speedway

(Offenhauser 2.5 litre turbocharged, alcohol fuel)

Left to right:

Peter Henessy, Ron Tauranac, Roy Billington, Pete Wiseman (gearbox maker), Jack Brabham, Neil Trundell (of Rondel Racing fame), Bob Paton, Alan Burrows (Kiwi)
 
Qualified 13th. We were still building /finishing the car when it got to Indianappolis. Those were the days - 22 seconds for a pit stop - wow.  

 

 

jydr.png

 

Brands Hatch 1970 - Race of Champions - BT33, JBs last 'real' race. Bedford transporter at the back, Bob Paton on left, Noel something on right (he was an Aussie).

80zs.jpg

 

 

The famous BT44 1/2 Pit Trolley - in colour!

bn3w.jpg



#91 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:09

Coincidentally another photo that was just on ebay :

 

http://i.ebayimg.com...Bt(w~~60_12.JPG



#92 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:12

Bob, I'm interested why you consider the 1970 Race of Champions to be Brabham's last 'real' race. I know he went very well and was robbed of the win by mechanical failure, but he had some other great races later in the year, notably the heartbreaks at Monaco and Brands (again).

Fascinating photos - more please!

#93 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:31

The rejuvination of this thread is very welcome...

 

Even if one potential participant won't come along, there are two new posters here with some good information. Thank you, gentlemen.



#94 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:14

 

58la.jpg

 

Bigger version of the side on :

 

http://img5.blogs.ya...29_2?1322968214



#95 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:45

Bob, I'm interested why you consider the 1970 Race of Champions to be Brabham's last 'real' race. I know he went very well and was robbed of the win by mechanical failure, but he had some other great races later in the year, notably the heartbreaks at Monaco and Brands (again).

Fascinating photos - more please!

 

Ditto and ditto.

 

With respect to the first ditto was it because the Lotus 72 made it's debut at the next GP and made every thing else obsolete so every one else wasn't "really" in the race?



#96 oldjonesfan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 14:41

Of the photos I have I think this is the only one of the BT43 Rollout photos that is not so common on the net :

 

BT43RolloutUpperRight_zps0be19fc6.jpg

 

This one of the BT44 Rollout is for Bob to see if he can still name all of them :

 

BT44Rollout_zpse4b1723c.jpg

 

And this one is one of the BT42 Rollout photos which I think was obviously taken at an earlier time than both the BT43 and BT44 Rollout Photos :

 

BT42RolloutLeftFront_zps6b17cf5d.jpg

 

I'm still searching to see if I can find those ebay photos of the DG300 and bits and pieces ...


Edited by oldjonesfan, 18 November 2013 - 14:43.


#97 Gary C

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 15:00

I can spot Gordon Murray and Bob Dance...............



#98 Gary C

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 15:01

& would that be Herbie Blash just above the airbox in the black jumper?


Edited by Gary C, 18 November 2013 - 15:02.


#99 funformula

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 16:12

& would that be Herbie Blash just above the airbox in the black jumper

 

I would say so.

Same height but half of the weight than today.

 

What beautiful cars these Brabhams were. I can´t recall an ugly F1 out of Gordon Murrays pen.



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#100 MCS

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 20:17

Fantastic amount of new information, but somebody must know the answer to this...

 

 

I have just come across this: http://clubs.hemming...m/lostfound.htm

 

Did it really go to the States?  Was Roy Winkelmann involved?  He was a close friend of Chuck Jones and had a hand in Dick's sadly abortive F5000 career.

 

Parsons was entered at Riverside in October 1975 - see Allen's site: http://www.oldracing...php?RaceID=L75I -  and then drove a Talon...