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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Go Vintage Racing! FOR SALE: Ex-Frank Williams Racing Brabham BT21 Single-Seater

To even the most casual of today's racing fans, Formula 1 World Champion constructor Frank (Sir Frank) Williams requires no introduction. This 1967 Brabham BT21 is one of his early racing cars, campaigned during 1967-1968 during the early era when his roster of drivers included Piers Courage and Jonathan Williams.

From introduction, Brabham's BT18-derived BT21 Formula 3 and B car was a success, winning its first race at Brands Hatch in the hands of Derek Bell in 1966. Its early competitive career continued through the late-1960s/early 1970s and the model was an early mount of eventual and highly colorful 1976 Formula 1 World Champion James Hunt.

This very special machine is Chassis 36, well known to Brabham enthusiasts as one of the 50  BT21s produced. It was originally delivered to Frank Williams Racing and campaigned circa 1967-1968 during the Piers Courage/Jonathan Williams era in European Formula 3. Next, it was sold to Canada and airfreighted via Air Canada to the new owner, Gordon Munro of Victoria, British Columbia on September 18, 1969. A Bill of Sale from Frank Williams Racing to Mr. Munro accompanies the sale of the car. It is also reported that this car went on to become the Canadian Formula B Championship winner in 1970 or 1971, but I am still searching for confirmation.

During the early 2000s, Chassis 36 received an exhaustive restoration and a complete engine rebuild by noted classic racing specialist Tony Garmey in Washington State, USA. It is currently located in New Zealand and powered by an 1,800 cc Lotus Twin-Cam with over 200 hp on tap.

While the 1,800 is larger than the original 1,600 cc MAE, the car is described by the current owner as a "screamer" that is highly competitive in vintage racing and capable of producing quicker lap times than some more powerful competitors. The BT21 is one of the most desirable and usable Formula cars from the tube-frame, non-wing era of the mid-to-late 1960s. As offered, Chassis 36 features period FWR livery and is ready to race, highly competitive and a great link to the early years of the eventual Formula 1 World Champion manufacturer, Sir Frank Williams.

Nice period image of eventual F1 World Champion driver James Hunt (at the wheel of a different BT-21) giving chase to a Lotus during his early racing career at Brands Hatch.

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