Triple World Champion and constructor of winning cars, Jack Brabham is one of the biggest names in motorsport (alongside Stirling Moss).
Our previous post about British racing legend Stirling Moss, told the story of how Dents collaborated with Moss to create his own line of driving gloves. Well, he's not the only racing driver that we've working alongside; we also worked with the other great name is motor racing and Moss' rival back in the day: Jack Brabham.
Brabham is Australian and a National Living Treasure (a title which he shares with the likes of Olympic runner Raelene Boyle and actor Russel Crowe), but foremost he is a triple World Champion. His interest in cars started when he was young, when he began driving and working on his parent's delivery trucks. However by the age of 18 he decided he wanted to learn how to fly next, so he joined the Royal Australian Air force. It was a mechanic he became in the end due to the wartime shortage of flight mechanics. After serving he opened his own garage in 1946.
Brabham racing in his own car, BT19-repco 1966
He didn’t actually start racing until the early 50s, a lot later in life than many drivers, he started by racing self-prepared midgets. After moving to Britain he worked with the Coopers team, where he helped to construct and transform their cars, which led to many wins (some by Stirling Moss). His Formula 1 debut was in 1955, the same Grand Prix which Moss won at Aintree. Over the years he won 14 Grand Prix, established the company Motor racing Developments (MPD) with Ron Tauranac, and went on to start his own F1 team, the Brabham Racing Organisation.
Kangaroo Jack gloves made by Fownes 1964-74
Fownes were a fellow glove company which Dents acquired in 1970 (the same year Brabham raced in his last Grand Prix). In the mid-60s they worked with Brabham on his range of driving gloves, which keeping with his Australian heritage, had kangaroo leather palms. This relationship lasted through into the early 70s, when Dents took over the contract. We still have the amazing packaging displayed in our museum alongside the Brabham driving gloves. He was a unique driver building his own cars and contributed so much to Motorsport (hence being the first driver to be knighted for his services to the sport), it’s wonderful to look back and see a little bit of motor racing history sat in the museum next door.
The two racing legends together in one car at Goodwood
Fun Fact – There were only 5 British Grand Prix at Aintree, the first of which Stirling Moss won and the last Jack Brabham won.