Saturday, July 3, 2010

Brabham BT8

This is a Brabham BT8. Doesn't it have a nice smile. I've been following the fortunes of Edith Arrowsmith in historic sports car events in her BT8 for a while. She lives in Arizona but all the good race meetings seem to be in California. Last month she was at Sonoma, the opposition was formidable and she brained them.
Every time I come across a Brabham sports car I can't help thinking about a former colleague and former business partner, which is a pity because there are no fond memories. Anyway, this guy (no names), was a bit of a regular on Brian Henderson's Bandstand, Six O'Clock Rock etc. In the sixties those blokes all had flash cars. JOK for example had that Plymouth Belvedere which he famously smashed up, doing a fair bit of damage to himself in the process. "Our friend" spotted a Brabham sports car in a workshop in Sydney and had to have it just to outdo all the others. It wasn't road registered as far as I know but I'm quite sure registration was something he hadn't heard of anyway. The car was available for sale. "Our friend" bought it and paid for it in cash. The vendor couldn't have had much interest in where the car was going or the driving prowess of the new owner, which, by the way, was pretty awful. In fact we all used to say that he couldn't drive his finger up his bum. Anyhow, the car was pushed out on to the tarmac and from there the seller had no further interest. It was now up to "our friend" to take it from there. He was a tall man and step one was to figure out how he was to get into it. Eventually he managed to get that part out of the way. Next was to start it. There didn't appear to be an ignition key and there weren't any instructions and finding a gear lever isn't easy if you don't know where to look and it's not labelled. Things didn't improve and the mates were summoned to come around and help push it home. From there it never turned a wheel. I don't know where it ended up.

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