Known as the BT3 (for Brabham and Tauranac), the fledgling manufacturer's first Formula 1 car was a conventional design. A steel tubular spaceframe chassis was suspended by double wishbones at the front and links, reversed wishbones and twin trailing arms at the rear. As in the Brabham Lotus a Coventry Climax FWMV V8 engine was used. It was mated to a Colotti Francis six-speed gearbox as previously used by Brabham at Cooper.
Finished in a striking turquoise with a gold stripe, the Brabham BT3 Climax was ready by early August of 1962, in time for the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. This would be the very first start for a Grand Prix driver in a car wearing his own name. Unfortunately, the debut of Brabham as a manufacturer proved to be a bitter disappointment. Jack Brabham qualified a lowly 24th and was forced to retire halfway through the race with broken throttle cable.
For various reasons, Brabham sat out the next round in Italy but returned with the BT3 for the final two rounds of the World Championship. At Watkins Glen, the experienced Australian managed to convert a fifth place on the grid to fourth at the finish. For the season finale, the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, Brabham managed to grab third on the grid and then matched his result in the United States Grand Prix by crossing the line in fourth.
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