Sir Jack “Black Jack” Brabham

Sir Jack “Black Jack” Brabham

Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Death 19 May 2014 (aged 88)
Gold Coast, Gold Coast City, Queensland, Australia
Burial Chichester, Chichester District, West Sussex, England
Memorial ID 130040531 · View Source
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Racing Driver. One of his generation's premier Formula One (F1) competitors, he is remembered for his numerous wins over a long career. Born John Arthur Brabham, he was raised in the Sydney suburbs, took to cars early, quit school at 15 to work in a garage, and during World War II served as an aviation mechanic in the Royal Australian Air Force. Discharged in 1946, he worked as an auto mechanic and began racing midget cars, known locally as Speedcars, and quickly proved adept, winning his third race and in 1948 taking the Australian Speedcar Championship. He began road racing in 1952 but soon ran afoul of the establishment for putting advertisments on his vehicles; in 1955 he moved to England, though he did return home to win the Australian Grand Prix, and began gaining experience in minor F1 races. Joining the Cooper Car Company team in 1956, he built his reputation and in 1959 captured his first Formula One World Championship, along the way taking the Monaco and the British Grand Prix events and being central to one of sports' classic tales when he ran out of gas at Sebring, Florida and had to push his car over the finish line to secure the world title. Sir Jack repeated his accomplishment in 1960 and as the years passed used his engineering skills to take an ever-greater role in the building of his vehicles. He won a third world championship in 1966 and added Formula One World Constructor titles in 1966 and 1967. In 1970 he captured his final F1 win in the South African Grand Prix and at the end of that season, under family pressure, retired with 14 lifetime Formula One victories to his credit. Sir Jack returned to Australia but remained active, driving in vintage car events into his 80s. His awards were many and included designation as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1966, Knighthood in 1979, becoming the first man so-honored for motorsports, and investment with the Order of Australia (AO) in 2008. Deaf due to noise exposure without hearing protection, he stayed mentally sharp and kept busy, continuing to make public appearances until the day prior to his death despite spending his final eight years on dialysis for chronic renal disease. At his demise he remained the only F1 driver to win the world title in a vehicle built by himself.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 19 May 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 130040531
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sir Jack “Black Jack” Brabham (2 Apr 1926–19 May 2014), Find a Grave Memorial no. 130040531, citing Goodwood House, Chichester, Chichester District, West Sussex, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .