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Brabham-Repco or Repco-Brabham?


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#1 Chris_Noto

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Posted 24 April 2000 - 21:43

Friends, I have always thought of Black Jack's 1967 cars as "Brabham-Repco"s, considering the proper nomenclature to be of the "Marque-Engine" format. I've notice, amongst the Grand Prix Legends community, that the "Repco-Brabham" useage is more common, even in GPL documentation.

Looking back at Peter Hoggs' 1967 Brands Hatch Formula 1 race report, I notice, to my chagrin, that Hogg also uses "Repco-Brabham"!

Have I been wrong for the last thirty years? Can anyone elucidate?

Thanks much,
Chris Noto


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#2 Keir

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Posted 24 April 2000 - 23:09

The team was officially known as Repco-Brabham. When speaking about the cars in conjunction with the competition it is acceptable to refer to he cars(not the team) as Brabham-Repcos.

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#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 April 2000 - 04:45

Here's why:
Through the fifties the Repco organisation had a lot to do with the Australian racing scene. Their PBR brake division used to re-engineer brakes to be much superior to the best on the 250Fs etc (this was done for people like Stan Jones with the Maybach, Ted Gray with the Lou Abrahams Tornado, Keith Rilstone with the incredible Eclipse Zephyr and so on), they made and sold a revised cylinder head for Holden engines which was convenient for Speedway in midgets and for replicas of Cooper Bristols at a time when Bristol engines were scarce.
Jack formed an alliance with them when he started building cars, and they supplied some parts (a minor issue - the likes of Hardy Spicer U-joints etc). They were from that time (ie. from 1962) properly known as Repco-Brabhams. Repco also bought the patterns from Coventry Climax to make all-new FPF engines in Australia. These, tragically, have now been thrown out!
So when they Repco Brabhams came to be fitted with Repco engines (starting with the Oldsmobile-block version and going through to the CAC-cast magnesium block version), they could hardly be known as Repco-Brabham-Repcos, could they?
Old Jack always had his eye on the commercial side of things, but life does get complicated. I don't really know if the later F1 cars, the BT33s & 34s, should have been known as Repco-Brabhams, but the cars sold for lesser formulae were.

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#4 Chris_Noto

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Posted 25 April 2000 - 06:21

Thanks so much for your speedy and very helpful replies! Ray, you spin the yarn very nicely, indeed.

Chris.


#5 Don Capps

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Posted 25 April 2000 - 07:56

Actually, according to a press release in the 1965/1966 era it was "Repco Brabham" the hyphen being absent. Ray probably has it somewhere. I do recall that it was how the FJ cars were referred to as early as 1962/1963. Of course, that there was a Brabham marque at all is due to the unfortunate ability of the initials for Motor Racing Devlopments - MRD - to delight fans in France as they cheered the team... Posted Image

The customer FJ, F3 & F2 cars were "officially" called "Repco Brabham-Ford" by Brabham and the Tasman cars "Repco Brabham-Climax" even though as Ray said, the FPF's used were often domestic products made by Repco.

Keep in mind, Repco Brabham beat BMW Williams to the grid by many a decade so, as Ray points out, those who pay the bills aren't exactly new to arranging the order of things. I think that starting in 1969 or 1970, when the use of the Repco engines was dropped that "Repco" dropped off the title of the cars. I don't recall seeing any reference to "Repco Brabham-Ford/Cosworth" in any of my files. So, when the BT34 came on the scene, strictly "Brabham?" Ray?

As an aside, in US racing, for many, many years in "Big Car" racing the engine always got top billing and the chassis little if any notice. Indeed, in contemporary reports from the 1930's, you find all sort of information about an entrant at Indy, but virtually zero about the chassis unless it was unusual.

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Don Capps

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[This message has been edited by Don Capps (edited 04-25-2000).]

#6 Dennis David

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Posted 26 April 2000 - 09:13

Don, that's what the French say everytime they get beat!

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#7 Don Capps

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Posted 26 April 2000 - 10:25

From what I recall, when Denny Hulme took the FJ MRD to France for its first race on the Continent, the announcer was almost in hysterics trying NOT to say what came naturally... He kept saying, "EMMMMM ARRRRRR DEEEEEE...." and giggling...

That was taken as an omen by all concerned that perhaps a name change was needed!

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Yr fthfl & hmbl srvnt,

Don Capps

Semper Gumbi: If this was easy, we’d have the solution already…

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 April 2000 - 10:53

I'll eliminate the hyphen in future... There was one MRD came to Australia (It was driven initially by Gavin Youl and won the FJr title) and many many Brabhams. Repco was here all the time...

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[This message has been edited by Ray Bell (edited 04-26-2000).]