Monday, 19 May 2014

Ex Local Garage Owner Dies


Many readers will have seen or heard today of the death of Sir Jack Brabham who was an Australian racing driver and winner of the Formula One champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966. He was also a founder of the Brabham racing team and a constructor of the Brabham race car. He is still the only person in history to have driven a championship-winning car that he designed and built himself.

But his real claim to fame and his proudest achievement must surely have been owning Jack Brabham Motors at the top of Central Road which was established in 1961. He also opened another garage in Ewell in 1965.

According to Adam Cooper in a May 1999 issue of Motor Sport:
"Through [the garages he] retained links with a little corner of suburbia which holds a lot of memories, since both Cooper and his own team were once based nearby. He’s almost certainly the only man to have driven an F1 car on the A3."
Sir Jack, who was knighted for services to motor sport in 1979 had a workshop in Chessington. The Cooper (also driven by Brabham) garage was in Surbiton.

Apparently he died at his home on the Gold Coast, Australia after a long battle with liver disease.

The site at the top of Central Road where Jack Brabham Motors used to be until around 2001, now boasts 'Brabham Court' so it is nice to see Sir Jack hasn't been forgotten. Perhaps someone might consider fixing the clock (which has been stuck at 8:46 for rather a long time) in his honour.

Rest in Peace Sir Jack.

Update

An eagle eyed reader with a good memory has pointed out that the business was actually called: "Jack Brabham (WP) Ltd". Thanks Louisiana!

Update (20th May)

Blog reader Ian has found and sent in a couple of photos of the old place. These were taken on the 9th April, 2000:



Thanks Ian.


12 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Sarah said...

They definitely need a plaque there

Gino said...

In fact it would be good to have a museum in W.P so that we can celebrate all of the past community and inspire the current and future ones.
I hope that you agree with this too.

Gino said...

In fact it would be good to celebrate the contribution that previous members of the W.P community have made.
The outcome would be an inspiration to the current W.P.community and future ones .
I hope that you agree with this as well.

Gino said...

A good idea.
I hope that there are residents of Brabham Court that will support this or do they need assistance ,l for one will be glad to help .

Guest D said...

Gino,


I like the idea of a museum, but please let it be a virtual museum, ideally created as a project with one or more of the local schools.


Bricks and Mortar museums are too expensive to construct and staff and you need to get the exhibits, whereas with a virtual museum you only have the web hosting and development costs and permission to use photos.


Incidentally, I wonder what speed he managed to hit on the A3, no speed limit after the Kingston bypass, but a hell of a lot of traffic lights in his heyday.

Gino said...

The objective I believe would be to create a place for the celebration of W.P.community ,and created by the community ,whereby both our young and senior citizens contribute with equal interest.
Something tangible ,items donated on loan. The running cost could be met by sponsorship ,membership ,donations and events.
There are vacant shops and to use one would be a good start for a museum.
The virtual aspect would be of benefit to and help with funding and the promotion of the museum.
We need an added attraction in W.P and it is in the community interest.
Together it is both conceivable and achievable .


Jon said...

A remarkable man. A true gent off and on the track. Does anyone have any pictures of the old garage, before it was turned into housing ? I awlays remember his dealership in Chessington (by the sports ground) but never knew he had one in WP.

Guest said...

Gino, the only time I ever heard Lib Dem Councillor Roger Roberts speak with such enthusiasm was about himself! I love the idea of a local museum, (which the not too distant Leatherhead community have shown can work with little funding but lots of local goodwill). Hopefully, after Thursday, this idea can begin to move forward.

Martin said...

Historic film among the Pathe Film clips recently uploaded to YouTube, showing John Cooper "testing" an early Cooper single-seater racing car on public roads in Surbiton, including the A3 Kingston By-Pass near Tolworth, Surrey. The Cooper garage was at 243 Ewell Road, Surbiton, Surrey.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNBekmexzyA

If you look carefully at the last few frames of video you will recognise the corner shop showroom and steps leading up to the Cooper flat above as seen in the link below on the Cooper Works in Surbiton.


The Cooper Works later The Traffic Police Garage In Surbiton:-
http://www.tdv.org.uk/cooper.htm

Martin said...

I have posted lots more information and photos about the local Cooper Garage and racing workshops in Surbiton/Tolworth here:
http://mk1-forum.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9638

and here:
http://mk1-forum.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7193

Martin said...

Historic film among the Pathe Film clips recently uploaded to YouTube,
showing John Cooper "testing" an early Cooper single-seater on public
roads including the A3 Kingston By-Pass near Tolworth, Surrey. The
Cooper garage was at 243 Ewell Road, Surbiton, Surrey.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNBekmexzyA

If you look carefully at the last few frames of video you will recognise the corner
shop showroom and steps leading up to the Cooper flat above as seen in
the link below on the Cooper Works in Surbiton.

The Cooper Works later The Traffic Police Garage In Surbiton:-
http://www.tdv.org.uk/cooper.htm

Gino said...

The museum in Leatherhead is a fine example ,I have been there several times . I know that the community take pride in thier acheivment .
Leatherhead museum is one of many throughout the land .
Great!

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