Jack Brabham was a racer ahead of his time: commercially savvy; brusque bordering on ruthless in his on-track manners; and as adept at stripping down an engine as he was at flinging a broad variety of cars around the circuits of the day. Brabham knew what he wanted from a racing car and how to get it – little wonder that he should become the first driver to win the world championship in a car bearing his own name.
Mechanically gifted, Brabham had quit school at 15 to work in a local garage, then set up his own business buying, fettling and selling second-hand motorbikes before joining the Australian air force as a mechanic. His earliest experiences of racing came in self-built, motorcycle-engined midget cars on dirt ovals, and the reflexive driving style never left him.
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