This Brabham BT16 left the Motor Racing Developments Surrey factory after being purchased by John Coombs Racing to run in F2 with their gun driver, and future Formula One World Champion Graham Hill. Hill raced the car in 1965 and 1966 with success and which often saw tight tussles with Jim Clark for honours.
At the end of 1966 the car was returned to the factory where Frank Gardner from the Australian Alec Mildren team worked with the factory to modify the car to take a larger engine. The engine chosen was the ever-popular Coventry Climax 2.5 litre FPF which was mated to a Hewland HD5 gearbox. The uprights were enlarged, air vents were added to the body and the car was painted from “Coombes Grey” to “Mildren Yellow”.
The updated car arrived in Australia in November 1966 and was entered to race in the Horden Trophy at Warwick Farm, which it won. Frank Gardner raced the car throughout the 1967 Tasman Series where he finished in third place in a tie Jack Brabham, with Jackie Stewart in second and Jim Clark taking honours.
The best result of the 1967 season was a third at the Australian Grand Prix at Warwick Park, where Frank was the first Australian across the line after overtaking Jack Brabham.
The car was sold in 1968 to Freddie Gibson and was raced by Neil Allen (the car was painted white with red stripes which is the current livery). The car was then owned by Col Green who painted the car Maroon and Gold and raced the car in the Australian Grand Prix.
The car changed hands 3 times in the in the 70’s and was sold again in the 90’s before going to auction in 2002.
The car was purchased by a NSW collector at auction who undertook a complete, no expense spared restoration of the car to its Tasman Series Spec (car now in 1968 Livery) including a Crosswaite and Gardner Coventry Climax engine and sanctioned replacement chassis. The restoration took 6 years to complete and the car was successfully competed at the Tasman Meeting in 2009 and again in 2012.
The car has since resided in a private collection and would be an amazing addition to any Historic race paddock or collection. Car is sold with CAMS Historic Certificate of Description and Log Book.