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1966 Brabham BT18 Formula B Racecar

Posted by WindingRoad about 7 months, 1 week ago
$59,500.00

Among the finest constructors of the golden age of Formula One racing, Brabham surely set the standard for many competitors. Officially known as Motor Racing Developments Ltd., a UK company founded in 1960 by Australian Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac, the team would develop a series of cars leading up to the BT18. A short six years after opening up shop, in 1966 Jack Brabham would pilot a BT18 to win his first of four Constructors’ World Championships. And while this achievement alone would be considered significant, it is all the more remarkable as Jack Brabham remains today one of only two people in history (the other being Bruce McLaren) to ever win this championship piloting a car of his own construction. Having been the car to firmly put Brabham on the map as a serious contender in construction, the BT18 was offered with both Cosworth engines, Honda DOHC engines, and Ford Kent engines. A total of 46 cars were assembled at the factory, 32 of which were designated as B18A, constructed for Formula Three racing. 

After BT18 construction, Brabham would go on to become the largest manufacturer off open-wheel racecars constructing more than 500 cars by 1970 including racecars that won championships in Formula Two and Formula Three, competed at the Indy 500, and in Formula 5000 racing. A prodigious innovator, Brabham pioneered carbon brakes, hydro-pneumatic suspension, and in-race refueling while also developing cars with unique ground effects, unusual cooling systems, and being one of the earliest builders to use turbocharging in their cars. 

This example is a very nicely finished BT18 with excellent cosmetics, having benefited from substantial mechanical work performed in recent years. Raced in primarily CSRG events, the car is stamped with Arch Motors #116BH on the left rear shock support. There are no other supporting numbers or serial numbers on the car. Although the early history is currently unknown, the car was purchased from well-known enthusiast and mechanical specialist Jim Groom in 1999. Groom purchased the car out of southern California as a project and subsequently restored it in time to compete in the 2003 season. The logbook accompanying the car shows multiple races from 2003 – 2018 including events at Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, and Sonoma. Most recently, the car was run at the 2018 Charity Challenge. Set up with ample room in the cockpit, this BT18 easily accommodates 6’ 3” large frame drivers. 

Mechanical work on the car includes a Taylor Engineering gearbox built completely new in 2002. The gearbox was mechanically inspected and new dogs and new main shaft installed with only one hour use since servicing was completed. The engine currently installed in the car was built by Hasselgren Engineering and installed in 2014 with only 4 hours logged since installation. During the rebuild, Cosworth parts were installed with care given to all systems including overhauling the oil pump, timing chain adjustments, carburetor inspection, polished and balanced crankshaft, hot hone cylinder bore, new rings, bearings and a dyno test including break-in run and power runs. New Willans seatbelts have been recently installed, in preparation for the 2019 racing season. 

Today this BR18 presents in excellent visual condition with gleaming red paint accented by a single gold stripe originating from the enveloped gold intake. The quality of the paint is quite good with excellent gloss and clean separation between the two tones showing very nice surfacing on the main body and engine shroud. Sporting limited graphic livery, the look is both purposeful and clean. The dramatically low stance, wide Avon tires, and exposed suspension contribute to the dynamic visual presentation. 

The cockpit is purposeful and well laid out with excellent instrumentation, nicely polished gear shift and selector rod, high mounted dual side mirrors, properly positioned roll bar, Safecraft fire suppression system, and lightweight seat material. Visual inspection of the various suspension components, brakes, and gearbox show that ample attention has been afforded to this car to maintain excellent cosmetic appearance, including excellent polished hardware, painted suspension, and a purposefully detailed engine, in keeping with the quality of the recent mechanical work. The car comes with invoices outlining the engine rebuild and the CSRG logbook. 

Included with the sale is a set of original magnesium Brabham wheels, a new body belly pan, jigs for a front and rear A-arms, two good used rear uprights, and a phase 9 stainless steel muffler.

Beautifully prepared, with only minimal hours since recently serviced, this Brabham BT18 is wonderful example of a glorious era that will never come again. In the spirit of Jack Brabham’s World Championship wins, this BT18 is ready to continue the exciting tradition of competitive at many of the eligible racing vintage events held throughout the world.

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