1970 MONACO GP AND BONNEVILLE 1939 - THE LINK A TEXAN OILMAN… By Doug Nye
At the Goodwood Festival of Speed I spent some time with American enthusiast and car collector Charlie Nearburg. He was fresh from a podium finish in the Monaco Historic meeting, behind the wheel of his 1970 Formula 1 Brabham-Cosworth BT33. It’s a great car, the one driven in period by the late Sir Jack Brabham to dominate that year’s Monaco Grand Prix…
‘Black Jack’ - so tagged because of his shave-twice-a-day ‘nut-brown Australian’ looks - had won that year’s opening South African GP, now he’d just lucked-out of victory at Monaco but finished second, and he would go on to lead the British GP until the last corner of the very last lap, when his car ran out of gas, and Jochen Rindt would flash by to win again for Lotus - again at Brabham’s expense. In Formula 2 racing Jack would lead the Tulln-Langenlebarn round of the European Championship in his friend John Coombs’ Brabham BT30 until the very last lap, when an injector pipe split and Jacky Ickx’s works BMW ripped past to win instead.
Now on both occasions Jack’s misfortune gifted victory to two of his former Brabham F1 works team proteges, Jochen Rindt and Jacky Ickx - both of whom he liked and whose talents he rated enormously. Because ‘Black Jack’ was already 44 years old then - a really fully mature man, not for him any schoolboy podium sulks after being beaten. He’d enjoyed enough good luck in his long and glittering three-times World Championship-winning career to appreciate that you win some, you lose some - don’t gnaw on the losses, look towards tomorrow and beat the same people next time.
Railton Special Crew