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Time with a Legend

When it comes to custom car creation and engineering for street machines and hot rods, Rod Hadfield and his Castlemaine Rod Shop is one of the best in the business, revered for the quality of workmanship and amazing machinery coming out of the shop. Rod is a true legend in the scene and there is not much he hasn’t seen or done when it comes to car modification, so he sat down with Rare Spares to discuss his love of cars. [More]

Farewelling An Aussie Legend

Throughout 2014 the Australian motoring community and even the broader Australian community have dealt with a number of sombre announcements.  Earlier in the year, the announcements came through of Ford and Holden pulling out of Manufacturing in Australia. Another huge hit came on May 19th this year when news broke of the passing away of Sir Jack Brabham, an Australian motorsport legend.  Sir Jack was born in 1926 and grew up in Hurstville, New South Wales.  Through his school days, Jack was more interested in tinkering with mechanical things and learning to drive his father’s delivery vehicles than engage in the academic side of school. By 15 he was working at an engineering shop, before he joined the Royal Australian Air Force at age 18. Jack, like most young men enlisting in the Air Force in those days had a goal of becoming a pilot, however the Air Force recognised his mechanical aptitude and felt he would be better utilised as a flight mechanic. After the war, Jack opened his own engineering business and at this time, started to race on oval tracks and later road racing circuits. Eventually his racing skill was noticed and he was persuaded to move to Europe in 1955, making his Grand Prix debut at the age of 29 in the British Grand Prix, driving for the Cooper Car Company.                                 Brabham continued to use his great understanding of the mechanical side of the cars to develop the cars and by 1959 Brabham broke through with his first F1 Drivers championship driving the Cooper. This was followed up in 1960 with another Championship driving for Cooper. By 1962 Brabham had set up his own team and entered a more challenging period in his driving career as struggles with vehicle reliability and the pressures of driving and owning a team impacted race results. Brabham in the 1.5ltr 1965 Brabham BT11 Climax With the 1966 F1 rules requiring a 3 litre engine, Brabham worked with Australian company Repco to build his team new engines to suit the category. The reliable combination of the Repco engine and his own Brabham BT19 chassis took Brabham to his third world championship and is the only driver to have won a F1 World Championship in his own car. 1970 would be Brabham’s final season in F1, later selling the team to Bernie Ecclestone. Brabham the finished his time in Europe, returning to Australian with his family and spent time running a farm, a car dealership and even an aviation company. Brabham had left an indelible mark on the motorsport world and was later knighted in 1978 for services to Motorsport. Brabham’s legacy will continue and he is survived by his wife Lady Margaret and his three sons Geoff, Gary and David who are all successful racers in their own right and also their respective families.