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For Sale Formula One Brabham

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by wkagan, May 28, 2020.

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  1. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    SF, CA
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    Walt
    "And now for something completely different";


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    Having reached the ripe old age of 70 I have decided that my onboard computer is no longer fast enough to pilot my 1992 Formula One Brabham BT60B-04. This is the car that Damon Hill drove at the start of his F1 career in 1992. It is not currently advertised anywhere else so Fchat members have the first crack at it. More details about its history and condition and multiple photos can be viewed at f1brabhams.com and I am happy to answer any further questions you may have. The car has been fully restored, everything works as it should, and it is amazing to drive. It does not require any computers to run. The price is $350,000 but I might consider "interesting" older Ferrari, Maserati or potentially other classic trades.
     
    JRE, johnr265, Rickdustoff and 29 others like this.
  2. Thecadster

    Thecadster Formula 3
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    Apr 27, 2017
    2,226
    Holy mother of... That is the coolest for sale posting I have ever seen. At 6’6” 255lbs, I am not your target audience, but someone on this board will surely scoop up that special piece of history. GLWS.
     
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  3. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    Walt
    Yes, F1 tubs were designed for trim world class 20 year old athletes, not us supersized old guys. I am 6’ and 220 lbs and remember describing what it felt like to sit in the car the first time; “Now I know what the tuna feels like when they pack it into the can”.
    I am selling all of my small collection of vintage race cars and do have one that you would fit in comfortably. If you are interested check out 1990shelbycanam.com.
     
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  4. carguyjohn350

    carguyjohn350 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 7, 2007
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    John P
    This is the MOST car for the money I have ever seen. If you have the time, please share more about owning it, running costs, etc? I am not in a position to buy, just curious. One of these days.... gotta work harder.
     
  5. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
    61
    SF, CA
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    Walt
    I feel very fortunate to have had the experience of purchasing, restoring and driving an F1 car.

    This particular car, BT60B-04 was complete, running and had been restored by a previous owner. The 2 major challenges for a happy ownership experience are 1) find someone with the appropriate knowledge, experience and personal standards to take care of an F1 car and 2) find or reproduce parts as needed. I have been lucky on both of those. 1) I was introduced to a "mechanic" who lives less than 10 miles from me whose prior experience includes working as an engineer on F1 teams, Indycar teams, LeMans teams and the care of one of the world's most important Ferrari collections. Without him none of this would have been possible. 2) I purchased the car with thousands of original spare parts. I mentioned in the ad that a computer is not necessary to run the car which makes use and service much simpler. After the early 90s F1 electronics became much more complex and thus private ownership becomes more difficult. My maintenance costs for this car have been not much more than I spent keeping my Testarossa fully serviced.

    To run the car for a track day one warms the engine up to operating temperature with a water heater for 3-4 hours. You can not start an F1 engine cold because the tolerances are too tight. Warming the tires with electric tire warmers is also very important since the tires are quite slippery when cold. A visual inspection of the entire car is performed, tire pressures checked, fresh fuel loaded and the car pushed onto the grid. The starter is attached to pressurized nitrogen, inserted in the transmission, and the V10 engine starts right up. The technique for a standing start is "interesting". It is just not possible to feather the clutch. You bring the revs to 8000, drop the clutch, spin the tires and hold on! I find it difficult to remember to breath during all of this.

    My other running F1 Brabham, BT59Y-05 was just a bare tub and a large but incomplete pile of parts when I purchased it. The restoration was a 3-4 year project that involved the inspection, restoration, replacement or recreation of every one of the approx 10,000 parts. It almost brought me to my knees financially! I would estimate the cost as being in the range of purchasing a new Ferrari. It is not recommended for the faint of heart since you really don't know how expensive it will get until you are finished. However, I am very proud of what we accomplished, the resurrection of a beautiful and historic F1 car. I am happy that it is now being enjoyed by someone else. We really are not "owners" of these cars, we should consider ourselves as their caretakers.

    Happy to answer any other questions.
     
  6. Ira Schwartz

    Ira Schwartz Formula 3
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    May 20, 2003
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    Ira Schwartz
    Your comment about standing starts brought back an amusing memory. In 1994 my ex-wife and I attended a party just before the GP de Montreal, and some self-important bozo asked Eddie Irvine how long it would take him to get down to a respectable lap time in an F1 car since, after all, he'd done several track days and was a pretty good driver. Irvine calmly replied that the guy would never get off the grid since he'd be unable to get the car rolling without stalling it repeatedly- then he walked away
    About 10 years later when I had the opportunity to (very briefly) drive two F1 cars, my only goal was to avoid stalling, which I somehow managed to do, but I tip-toed around the track at what must've been an embarrassingly tepid pace. I failed to get much heat in the tires and overshot the pit entry on my way in at Road America.
    In any case, great car- best of luck with the sale!
     
  7. rdynamix

    rdynamix Karting
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    Apr 11, 2013
    55
    Magnificent piece. What a treat. Good luck with sale! Someone will be very happy!
     
  8. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    Yes, driving an F1 car raises a whole other set of challenges. It is difficult to drive an F1 car slowly because the tires are so slippery when they are not up to operating temp and the downforce doesn’t begin until you go much faster. The faster you go the better you stick. But much faster is way beyond my brain’s experience. I have done lots of track days in fast street cars and slower race cars but they just don’t prepare you for this. Just one anecdote; it is important to check your gauges at a minimum once a lap. At 180 mph you are traveling 264 feet per second. I took one second on our 1 km straight to glance at the gauges and when I looked back up I was nowhere near where my brain remembered. In fact I was way past my planned braking point and coming up fast on the back end of an Indy car that had been a long way ahead of me. Everything happens so fast. Even the best amateurs can’t come close to what “real” F1 drivers do. I have no delusions about my ability in the car but that doesn’t take away from the intensity of the experience.
     
  9. unogib

    unogib Formula Junior
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    Jun 26, 2006
    276
    USA
    Wow just wow. This thing is so cool. If only I lived somewhere close to a place I could actually use it! Bravo!!!
     
  10. Manda racing

    Manda racing Formula Junior
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    Feb 25, 2015
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    Mark
    I almost bought a Shadow from George Fullmer years ago— I bought a Fabcar recently and build Picts in the background show a Brabham F1 at Dave Klym’s Indianapolis shop.

    you’ve lived the stuff of dreams— with those 10 gun salutes on the downshifts.
     
    Jeoka likes this.
  11. Kevin Pauza

    Kevin Pauza Karting
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    Jul 10, 2015
    51
    Naples and Texas
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    Kevin Pauza MD
    Thanks for sharing your thrilling F-1 experiences.... would enjoy seeing that at Miles Collier’s Reves collection in my Naples hometown


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  12. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    Manda Racing has good eyes! Dave Klym did take care of this car for the previous owner. He actually played a pivotal role in convincing me to purchase it. He did a FaceTime with me starting the engine to prove that it was a runner. I still remember the goosebumps from the V10 engine noise even though it came through an iphone!
     
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  13. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    Kevin, it is remarkable that we shared the same desire. I actually traveled to Naples last year to meet with the staff at the Revs Institute. I had hoped to keep my entire F1 Brabham collection together since it represents a unique combination of cars, parts, engineering and race documents from the end of the iconic team. They were interested in donations rather than acquisitions and I was not in a position to do that. So the BT59 has gone to Europe, the BT60Ys along with spares and documents to Asia, and the Damon Hill car is all that is left. If I had a bigger living room it might not be for sale.
     
    rossyl likes this.
  14. Thecadster

    Thecadster Formula 3
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    Apr 27, 2017
    2,226
    It’s official...you sir are my hero. Remarkable story. Remarkable passion. Remarkable balls of steel. Bravo. Sounds like yours has been a life well worth living. Best wishes on the your future adventures.
     
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  15. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    Thecadster is very kind but certainly wrong. No hero here and definitely no steel! Just following the old adage "Carpe Diem". Regarding your steel comment let me share another memory. One of my friends asked me after my first drive in this car if I had fun. My reply was "Yes, 5% fun and 95% sheer terror!"
     
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  16. Ak Jim

    Ak Jim F1 Rookie
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    Dec 23, 2007
    4,849
    North Pole AK
    Thanks for posting this and taking the time to answer questions. It’s a great read. Must be a blast to drive!
     
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  17. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,681
    Amazing collection and happy to hear you used the car on the track! Do you know if any Brabham BT55 cars are in private hands or do all belong to Bernie?
     
  18. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    That's an interesting question BMWSauberF1Team for which I do not know the answer. For those who are not familiar with it, the 1986 Brabham BT55 BMW was a ground breaking design by Gordon Murray while Bernie Ecclestone still owned the Brabham F1 team. I know as of the 2000s that Bernie was reported to still own all of the BT55s I but have not heard anything more about that recently. I don't think Bernie would be that easy to get through to with an inquiry but Herbie Blash might be. David Brabham would be another good source of information as he has been involved in organizing some Brabham F1 reunions recently. David was very generous sharing his knowledge and advice with us during our restoration of the BT59 as was Sergio Rinland who designed our cars.
     
    BigTex and BMW.SauberF1Team like this.
  19. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
    61
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    Walt
    All of these great questions and comments from Fchat members have led me to reflect on the many amazing experiences I have had over the past 7-8 years with these cars. It is fun for me to share them with you so here are a few more:
    Challenges;
    1) Concentration. Everything happens so quickly and with great intensity in an F1 car. One of my driving instructors once explained it to me this way; "You have one dollars worth of concentration to spend while you are driving. Plan carefully how you are going to spend it". I found it very challenging to concentrate on shifting, braking points, turn in, the apex, checking gauges and traffic simultaneously for fractions of a second at a time.
    2) Shifting. No F1 style paddle shifter here. This is an old style manual 6 speed gearbox with no synchros. Damon's car even has a wooden shift knob! How quaint. The clutch is only used when going from neutral to first. You don't touch the clutch after that. All shifts require matching the revs precisely with the throttle, either with a blip higher while downshifting or a slight lift while upshifting. The gearbox does not suffer fools lightly! Get it wrong by just a few hundred rpm and there are bad noises, expensive rebuilds and intense embarrassment while everyone in the stands is watching. Get it right and you feel great. It keeps you humble.
    3) Neck muscles. While I do not claim to have been near the cars limit, the G forces are still quite intense not only while cornering but also braking and accelerating. The acceleration phase isn't too bad because your head gets pushed against the tub behind you but I felt like Mr Bobblehead during cornering and braking. The HANS device does not really help with these forces. Our track sessions were 30 minutes long but I usually pulled in after 20 minutes from fatigue.
    Special moments;
    1) Brother. My brother and I share the passion for cars and for F1. It was wonderful to watch him drive the BT60 and pretend that his last name was Schumacher. At first I had purchased just the Damon Hill car, BT60B-04. A year or two later I decided to purchase the rest of the Brabham F1 collection with the goal of restoring BT59-05 so that my brother and I could drive F1 cars together. It was very special to have achieved this goal. The cars do not have radios so we worked out a system of hand signals to use to communicate while we were on track together. Our hand signal for "go ahead and pass me" was a one finger salute. Brotherly love.
     
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  20. ewright

    ewright Formula Junior

    Nov 17, 2003
    471
    Southeast
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    Ernest
    wow wow wow. loved reading all of your replies and insights into ownership and driving this machine. would love to hear more if you have time to share!
     
  21. Tamaren

    Tamaren Karting
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    Sep 25, 2016
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    Tempe, AZ, Westcliffe, Colorado
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    Wesley K.
    I was a bit surprised when I clicked on this ad- My name is also W. Kagan, and I was very confused on how I was selling a F1 car I didn't own. Worth a bit of adrenaline late at night.

    Gorgeous car, love everything about it! Good luck with the sale.
     
    BigTex likes this.
  22. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Dec 15, 2007
    7,694
    Chicago USA
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    Tom Tanner
    Very cool car. I suspect the Judd used in the B model is a lot easier to find parts for than the earlier Yamaha motors used in the Y model. That Judd V10 motor does sound amazing.

    I have seen owners use the Judd in place on several vintage F1 cars replacing mainly Renault power.
     
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  23. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    72,733
    Houston, Texas
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    Bubba
    What are the odds???
    :D :D :D
     
  24. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
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    ewright, if I have time? I'm retired and sheltering in place in SF. I've got way too much time. This is the most fun I have had for weeks. Let me share my favorite video of an early evening test session. Watch for the sparks under braking. We were using the full course at Miller in Utah. It is a wonderful track that is 4.5 miles long (longer than Spa) and has a 1 km straight that starts and ends with hairpin turns.

     
    Ards25, rossyl, jnunberg and 7 others like this.
  25. wkagan

    wkagan Karting
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    Sep 23, 2004
    61
    SF, CA
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    Walt
    Tamaren, send me a PM with your contact info and we'll see if we are related. What's that beauty in your avatar?
     

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