1964 Repco-Brabham BT8 2.5L Sports RacerSOLD
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Engine Type: 2490cc Coventry Climax FPF Twin Cam
Engine Number:034 05009
Color:Red with a White stripe / Black

Reference Number 49812

as of 8/29/2009

Overview
Car 1964 Repco-Brabham BT8 2.5L Sports Racer
VIN SC-1-64 
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Known History

 

1964 Repco Brabham-Climax BT8 2.5L Sports-Racer

s/n SC1-64, Engine no. 034 05009

Red with a White Stripe

 

Certainly among the most competitive small sports racers, it is with good reason that the BT8 is so sought after. In addition to dominating its competition, the BT8 is beautiful, rare, and a pleasure to use. Originally developed for the 2-liter Coventry Climax engine, some BT8’s were fitted with 2.5 liter Coventry Climaxes, or even 8 cylinder engines. They represented significant advances over their predecessors in the departments of handling and braking, and represent what can generally be considered the pinnacle of four cylinder sports racer development, prior to the widespread arrival of 8-cylinder cars. Just 12 examples were built, making them exceptionally rare.

 

SC 1-64 was the very first BT8 built and debuted in the 1964 season with a 2-litre Climax and was introduced at Earls Court Motor Show that year. It was featured in cutaway drawing by Theo Page in Motorsport magazine and was also on the cover of Car & Driver April ‘65. It was originally supplied to Bill Knight, it was raced for him by former British hill climb champion Arthur Owen between May and August 1964. The BT8 had its first UK outing at Great Auclum (AutoSport 14 Aug 1964 p. 254), comfortably winning the 2-litre sports car class and taking eighth place in the RAC Run-off. Earlier appearances include Mont Ventoux in June (AutoSport 26 Jun 1964 p.924) where Owen was eliminated by engine trouble.

 

The car was then sold to Robs Lamplough. In May 2002, Robs explained the car’s early history:

I purchased this car from Bill Knight (father of Mike and Richard Knight, long term owners of Wingfield motor racing schools, in France etc) Arthur Owen had connections to Bill Knight somehow. Bill, he, and Tico Martini (later constructor of racing cars in Magny Cours) all had been sand racing in Jersey As I recall, it was planned that he was to have had a ‘team’ with Epstein and tackle the Targa Florio. This project was stillborn and they sold me the BT8 car (for £2,250!!). In the summer of 1964 I raced it in one event at Goodwood (winner Tony Lanfranchi in an Elva ¬BMW?) before taking it to the Canadian G.P. at Mosport; Los Angeles Times GP Riverside, and Pacific GP at Laguna Seca of that year (memory has faded as to how I fared, although recall qualifying and finishing!!). I then sold the rolling chassis to Bart Martin through Bob Winkelmann, retaining the Climax 2.5L engine/gearbox.

 

The Canadian GP at Mosport Park that Robs mentions was on 26 September 1964, the Los Angeles Times GP at Riverside was on 11 October and the Pacific GP at Laguna Seca on 18 October.

 

In 1965, Lamplough sold the car to Bart Martin and Judy Kondratieff for Martin to drive, and the car was fitted with a 289cid Ford V8. Martin crashed at Candlestick Park 1965 and Martin was killed. The car was virtually destroyed in the accident.

 

A period correct reconstruction of Chassis # SC-1-64 was undertaken by Philippe de Lespinay (US) from various remaining drive train and suspension parts for which Judy Kondratieff authorized re-construction via the documented sale of all remaining parts and rights to chassis #1 to de Lespinay. The car was featured in Vintage Motorsport in December of 1991 and Victory Lane magazine in April of 1996 issue. The car was selected for entry into the 1995 Pebble Beach Concurs and won third place. The car subsequently competed in several Monterey Historic races driven by both Robs Lamplough and Philippe de Lespinay from 1995-2002.

 

The car’s current owner, a well-known vintage racer, acquired the car from de Lespinay in 2003. He has raced the car extensively in numerous North American events with SVRA and HMSA and in Europe at Goodwood Revival and Gentleman’s Drivers Series at Spa Belgium.

 

The car is in very nice cosmetic shape, having been carefully maintained since its build. The paint is in good shape, though close inspection reveals a few cracks and rub marks where the removable panels meet one another. The car has winglets to improve its high speed stability. The interior, chassis, and engine are all in excellent shape, being nicely detailed and quite clean. Noted sports car expert Dave Veagher of Veloce Motorsports rebuilt the engine, which now just has 1.5 hours of break-in time. Veagher himself was thrilled with the performance of the finished product. The instruments are detailed and the car has a removable steering wheel to aid ingress and egress. The car has all necessary safety equipment including plumbed in extinguisher, harness, and roll hoop, and is track ready.

 

The car comes with a spares package including the following items, which are used unless otherwise specified:

2 front a-arms

1 Mirror

4 Caliper seals (new)

1 Bag of small spacers

1 Light bulb (new)

8 c57 champion spark plugs (new)

4 NGK B8EG spark plugs (new)

1 Distributor cap & wires

2 Wheel spacers

2 Clutch discs

2 Front caliper mounts 1 steel 1 aluminum

2 Tie rod ends (new)

18 Wheel studs (new)

1 Distributor

2 Coils

2 Ignition boxes

2 Sets of front break pads (one set new)

5 Wheel bearings

1 Seal

1 Smiths tach drive

1 Aluminum radiator

3 Wheels

2 Dunlop tires

13 Gear sets 17/29, 21/27, 18/30, 20/27, 19/23, 25/28, 22/24, 18/26, 17/31, 19/27, 19/22, 25/33, 17/27

 

This is an extraordinarily rare opportunity to acquire a BT8. Beautiful, highly competitive, and rare, these cars have all of the critical ingredients to make them extremely sought after. This car’s Veagher power plant furthers its on track advantage. Properly driven, they will walk away from anything else against which they might be pitted in vintage racing, and the car has FIA papers to ensure its eligibility in events around the globe.