Building on its rich heritage and positioning the iconic marque for a bright future, Brabham Automotive has today released a video showing the inception of its new emblem.
Derived from the ‘V’ that so prominently featured on the badges of Brabham’s Repco-powered championship-winning racers from the 1960s, and the fangs from the iconic ‘Hissing Sid’ snake that was synonymous with Brabham’s Ecclestone-era Formula 1 cars, the bold new emblem echoes the marque’s rich heritage with a sharp, strong and engaging device that embodies the Brabham attitude: fearless, intelligent, confident and forward-thinking.
Brabham’s new brand identity was presented at the unveiling of the all-new Brabham BT62 earlier this month at a gala event hosted at Australia House in London, a location chosen in recognition of the company’s proud Anglo-Australian roots.
With over 200 distinguished guests and global media in attendance, and with renowned TV sports commentator Steve Rider presiding as Master of Ceremonies, the atmosphere was charged with both reverence and anticipation as the legendary Brabham name prepared to reveal the start of a new era.
Introducing the event, Managing Director, David Brabham, gave a heartfelt address: “Welcome to our celebration of Brabham, which also marks the beginning of the next exciting chapter of our story. This is such an incredible day for the whole family. And by family I don’t just mean the descendants of Sir Jack. The Brabham family encompasses all of the amazing, talented and determined individuals who have contributed to the Brabham legacy over the last seventy years.”
Racing legends in their own right, many of those individuals were present to witness the BT62’s unveiling in person, including John Judd, who built engines with and for Sir Jack Brabham in the 1960s, former Brabham Formula 1 Team Manager Herbie Blash, the team’s former Race Coordinator Tony Jardine, plus drivers Derek Bell, John Watson, Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell, who each raced for Brabham and were part of its thirty-year reign in Formula 1.
Sir Jackie Stewart, a three-time Formula 1 World Champion and legend of the sport, sent a message which resonated with the audience. Reflecting on the significance of Sir Jack Brabham’s World Championship victory in a car of his own making, he added, “It is great to think that the name of Brabham Automotive is coming back to life with the creation of the BT62. What a great name and what a great brand”.
Sir Jack Brabham’s business partner, designer and co-founder of the Brabham racing team, Ron Tauranac, who at the age of 93 years old was unable to join the celebration in person, delivered a deeply-personal video message recorded at his home in Australia. “I congratulate you all on celebrating seventy years of the Brabham legacy. My connection to Jack goes right back to the 1950s. Together, our team won many World Championships and always maintained a strong connection with Australia. It’s a joy to see the ‘BT’ brand being honoured with the new and exciting Brabham BT62. I wish David all the best as he takes Brabham into the future.” With a twinkle in his eye and a hint of a smile, Brabham’s founding father concluded, “You’ve built the model of the future, now let’s see how it handles.”
After more than two years of development in complete secrecy, David Brabham proudly pulled the silk covers off the new Brabham BT62 for the world to see for the very first time.
With Brabham Automotive’s first car finally out in the open, former Brabham Formula 1 driver, Derek Bell commented, “What we have seen so far is stunning”. His reaction was echoed by fellow team drivers Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell, who said ‘The rule of thumb is that if it looks right, it normally is right. And I have to say it looks stunning. Outstanding job”.
With the evening drawing to close David Brabham reflected: “This has been made possible by the hard work, clear vision of the group and very determined individuals. My father launched his racing career seventy years ago, which is where the legendary Brabham story began. Tonight, the reveal of the BT62 proudly upholds that legacy, marking the start of our next chapter with a bold statement: Brabham is back.”
A public celebration of Brabham
In an unprecedented move, the days which followed the Brabham BT62’s global debut saw Australia House opened up to the public; the launch setting turned into an exhibition and celebration of Brabham, giving those fortunate enough to land a ticket an opportunity to be among the first in the world to see the new BT62.
With the new BT62 positioned centre-stage at Australia House, the 2018 Brabham was flanked by a breath-taking assembly of historic Brabham racing cars and memorabilia spanning the marque’s seventy-year history – the oldest example being Jack Brabham’s self-made Australian Speedcar; the very car in which he launched his illustrious racing career back in 1948, beginning a racing dynasty like no other.
Brabham’s very first Formula 1 car, the BT3, which debuted at the 1962 German Grand Prix, stood proudly alongside the BT11, which was raced by Jack Brabham, Dan Gurney and Jochen Rindt during the 1964-65 F1 seasons.
Taking a leap forward in performance terms was Brabham’s 1967 F1 Constructors’ Championship-winning BT24. Powered by the new Brabham Repco 3.0 litre V8 engine, the BT24 was the car in which Denny Hulme also won the Drivers’ Championship in the same year, and a pristine example of the car was on display, undoubtedly a highlight of the show.
The 1974 Brabham BT44, liveried in the iconic white, red and blue Martini Racing colours, earned three F1 race wins for Brabham at the hands of Carlos Reutemann, was positioned opposite its successor, the BT45, which competed over three seasons from 1976 to 1978 and was the first Brabham to use Alfa Romeo engines.
Fusing Brabham’s past, present and future, exhibition attendees were able to use a specially-developed Augmented Reality application to view the BT62 show car in a number of different liveries from the Celebration series, including the tribute to Lauda’s 1978 Swedish Grand Prix-winning red and blue BT46B fan car, and the navy and white BT52B in which Nelson Piquet won the 1983 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The Celebration series comprises thirty-five of the total seventy Brabham BT62s to be made. These unique and individual vehicles pay tribute to Brabham’s thirty-five Grand Prix victories attained over its thirty-year reign in Formula 1, each distinctively presented in honour of a specific race win, wearing the colours and race number of the winning car.
Completing the immersive experience was an incredible collection of Brabham’s trophies, helmets, race suits and memorabilia curated from around the world for this very special moment in time, each with its own story to tell and special place indelibly etched in the story of one of motor racing’s greatest dynasties. With close to a hundred items on show, the exhibition was possibly the greatest collection of Brabham racing memorabilia ever displayed in public.