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Old 23 Feb 2008, 21:57 (Ref:2136156)   #1
Denis Lupton
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Brabham BT 1 - MRD FJunior 1961

The first Brabham/Tauranac creation,named after Motor Racing Developments
but name changed quickly when the French connotation was pointed out.
Entered and driven by Gavin Youl,an Aussie with no open wheeler experience,
under the watchful eye of Ron Tauranac.
Club meeting's used to gain experience,Mallory Park,July 23,1961,Silverstone
July 29,and Aintree, August 7, showed some promise,and then to Goodwood
August 19,1961, for the Formula Junior Championship meeting.
The car and driver were on song,4th in the first heat and 2nd in the final
showed the potential of the car.
Gavin competed in the car a few more times in the UK,but engine problems
forced DNF's.
The car was then shipped to Australia,and car and driver campaigned very successfully under David McKay's Scuderia Veloce banner ,some result's were,
Lakeside Feb 11 1962, FJ 2nd
Calder Feb 25 1962, FJ 1st
Catalina March 11 1962, NSW FJ Champ's 1st
By this time of the year, Gavin was returning to England, to drive the new Brabham BT2, so the car was offered for sale,Victorian Wally Mitchell becoming the new owner.
The car was raced regularly, many high placing's were recorded at circuits
around Australia,during 1962 - 1965,
the car was then sold on to --
'66 Trevor Merange Melbourne
'67 Ron Brownrigg Dvr Alec Corner
'68 Doug Hick's
'75 John Reid
'86 John and Roy Best
2006 Rob Hands Nelbourne
As this is being written, Rob is restoring this Icon car for more racing,
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Old 24 Feb 2008, 10:40 (Ref:2136519)   #2
275 GTB-4
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SCW Nov 1961

The car has a small write up in quoted SCW...

"second in the BARC Formula Junior Championships at Goodwood started rumours..."

"slightly slimmer than most contemporary FJs"

1100cc Holbay Ford with the latest VW four speed box. 13 inch wheels, double wishbones F&R, armstrong coil spring damper units all round. 9 inch drums at the front, 8 inch inboard drums at rear.

designed by Sir Jack and Ron Tauranac...to date only a prototype has been finished.
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Old 8 Apr 2009, 22:49 (Ref:2437042)   #3
Denis Lupton
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Urban Myth

There appears to be some stories about a second MRD chassis surfacing recently. Not right. This may be another urban myth.
From an impeccable source, there was only ever ONE MRD built, at Motor Racing developments, by factory employees, with NO subcontractors involved at all.
BT2's were a separate matter , with Buckler manufacturing chassis to MRD drawings, and MRD control.
At present, the car is being restored by current owner, Rob Hands,
and the source of these facts is Ron Tauranac. Hope this explodes another
"urban myth".
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Old 24 Mar 2010, 19:06 (Ref:2659403)   #4
Stan Hibberd
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MRD 1 Chassis

Urban myth or not somebody has got it wrong. See page 141 of the Jack Brabham story, he states quite clearly that after trying to weld up the chassis themselves the job was given to Derek Buckler who was sworn to secrecy because Jack was still contracted to Cooper.

Brian Malin of the Buckler car register has researched this bit of history very fully and has also corresponded with Ron Tauranac, who I don't think remembers too much about it, after all it must be a very small detail for someone responsible for so many race cars.

Peter Hilton who took over Bucklers from Derek is sure that at least five chassis were made for Brabham's including the MRD prototype.

So the myths abound.

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Old 25 Mar 2010, 01:16 (Ref:2659583)   #5
Denis Lupton
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MRD

The late (and great) Frank Gardner told me that Peter Wilkins and Frank , with input from Ron and Jack, put together the MRD chassis et al. There is no doubt that Buckler built BT2 chassis for MRD, but the four men mentioned were all there at that " point of time", as Frank would say, and were all car builders in their own right.
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Old 25 Mar 2010, 18:53 (Ref:2660048)   #6
Stan Hibberd
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MRD

What you are saying contradicts what is printed in Jack Brabhams Biography as I pointed out yesterday. It was common knowledge at Reading amongst Buckler's workers that the prototype was being built there and the press were poking about. the chassis had to be kept covered to keep prying cameras away.

I met John Best who owned the car a few years ago at Snetterton when he visited an FJ race. He seemed very sure that the car he owned (MRD1) was the one with the Buckler built chassis. What has happened since then that you want to change this fact unchallenged for the last 49 years and recently confirmed in Jack Brabhams remarkable life story.
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Old 6 Jul 2015, 07:08 (Ref:3556111)   #7
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BT1

Please read Motor Racing November 1967, P518 for some clarification of the MRD ( BT1) chassis. Frank told me to my face that Peter Wilkins, Ron and Frank built this chassis. Peter had worked with Ron on welding the frames on the original Ralt cars built in Australia before Ron went to the UK, and Ron brought Peter over to the UK to do the same on the MRD. Frank had rebuilt both a C type and a D type from wrecks in Australia, and was well known for his welding skills.
And going through later Motor Racing mags I can't find any letters denying Frank's statements??
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