Australian motor racing driver and three times world champion (1959, 1960, and 1966). He received a knighthood in 1979.
Born in Sydney, Brabham served with the RAAF (1944–46) and started his racing career driving Cooper cars in midget speedway events. He came to Europe in 1955 and joined the Cooper works team in 1956, driving sports cars and in Formula Two. His Formula-One debut was at Monaco in 1957 and he was Formula-Two champion in 1958, the year in which he and Stirling Moss drove an Aston Martin to victory in the Nürburgring 100 km race. Wins in the Monaco and British Grands Prix helped Brabham to the 1959 Formula One title and in 1960 he repeated his success, winning six Grands Prix. At the end of 1961 he left Cooper to run his own team and the Brabham-Coventry Climax car made its first appearance at the 1962 German Grand Prix. Brabham cars were fitted with the Australian Repco engine for the 1966 season and Brabham won the Drivers' Championship, the first constructor-driver to do so. Brabham-Repco cars also won the Constructors' Championship in 1966 and, driven by Denny Hulme, in 1967.
Brabham retired from driving in 1970 but Brabham cars continued to race competitively throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, although the team was no longer controlled by its founder. Brabham's autobiography, When the Flag Drops, was published in 1971.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).