1974 Brabham BT44 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Motor Racing Developments Ltd., commonly referred to as Brabham, was founded in 1960 by two Australians, designer Ron Tauranac and driver Jack Brabham. The company focused on producing racers for Formula One competition. Tauranac and Brabham met in Australia in 1951 as they both were in the business of building racing cars. Brabham went to the United Kingdom in 1955 and later signed to driver for the Cooper Car Company works team in 1958. The Cooper Cars had revolutionized the open-wheel racing sport by placing their engines mid-ship; this greatly improved the handling and performance of the vehicles. In 1959 Brabham won the Formula One word championship with a Cooper car; he repeated this victory in 1960.

In 1959 Brabham invited Tauranac to the UK work for him at his dealership, Jack Brabham Motors. Initial duties included producing upgrade kits for the Triumph Herald and Sunbeam Rapier but the ultimate goal was to have him produce racing cars. The duo established the Motor Racing Developments Ltd and their first creation was an entry level Formula Junior racer. Since Brabham was still working for Cooper, the project was clandestine. The racer was introduced in 1961 and soon was nicknamed 'MRD'. The French saying of these initials sounded similar to 'merde', which is a crude word, so the vehicles became known as Brabham's. The naming scheme 'BT' was used in honor of both of the partners, Brabham and Tauranac.

During the 1961 season, the Brabham racer had little success, only amassing four points. Brabham left Cooper in 1962 to drive under for his own company, Brabham Racing Organization, in cars built by Motor Racing Developments.

The first Formula One car built by MRD was the BT3 and became available partway through the 1962 Formula One season. This was the same year that the Brabham Racing Organization entered the Formula One competition. The BT3 car made its inaugural race at the 1962 German Grand Prix. Its debut was less than stellar as it was forced to retire due to a throttle problem after only nine of the fifteen laps.

In 1963 Brabham partnered with Dan Gurney and the turquoise livery of the BT3 was replaced with colors of green and gold. Brabham was the first to score a victory in 1963 winning at the Solitude Grand Prix. This was a non-championship race but it was a great indicator for the cars potential. Dan Gurney scored a pair of world championship victories in 1964 at the Mexican and French Grand's Prix. There were no championship wins in the following season. In many cases the vehicles were running in strong positions and contention for podium finishes when mechanical problems forced them to retire prematurely.

In 1965 Brabham contracted with an Australian based engineering firm named Repco to produce engines for the cars since the engine capacity for Formula One competition had been raised to three-liters. The engines were all-aluminum V8's based from the Oldsmobile F85 road car project. The project was rushed and many had low expectations for the racing team. The engines proved to be light, nimble, reliable and powerful and carried Jack Brabham to a Formula One victory at the French Grand Prix at Reims-Gueux. This was a historic win as it was the first time anyone had won a Formula One world championship race in a car that bore his name. With drivers Brabham, Gurney, Denny Hulme and Giancarlo Baghetti, the team scored 27 points and finished third in the Constructors Championship. The cars used were the BT7 and BT11.

For the 1966 season the Brabham BT19, BT20, and BT22 were raced. Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme earned 42 points and the Formula One World Championship. Brabham's team mate, Denny Hulme, would earn the honor in the following season.

The BT24 was created in 1967 and powered by a three-liter Repco engine with Lucas Fuel injection producing 330 horsepower. A Hewland DG300 five-speed manual gearbox was used. The BT24 proved to be a reliable racer and provided three 1 and 2 place finishes for drivers Brabham and Hulme. Hulme finished the season in excellent fashion, being declared the Driver's Championship. Brabham came in second. The team won the Constructor's Championship for the second season in a row.

In 1968 Hulme left Brabham to race for Mclaren. Jochen Rindt became his replacement. The BT24 and BT26 were raced during the 1968 season.

The BT26 was designed by Ron Tauranac and only five were ever created between 1968 and 1969. The vehicles were powered by a Ford/Cosworth V8 in 3-liter capacity that produced around 440 horsepower. It was a quad-cam version of the Repco engine. That power was sent to the rear wheels through a Hewland five-speed manual gearbox. Weighing just 560 pounds, the vehicle produced nearly 150 horsepower per liter of displacement. Since Brabham preferred the tried-and-true spaceframe chassis, the engine was installed in a subframe rather than as a fully stressed member. There was a noticeable gap between the engine and the firewall which is testament to the compact design of the DFV engine.

A total of 10 points were scored as the Repco V8 engine had been modified to match the new Ford/Cosworth DFV engines. The engines were powerful and often gave the Brabham cars pole position but the reliability issues often forced them to retire prematurely. Only three races were finished by Brabham and Rindt and the team finished in eight place.

For 1969 the Brabham cars were outfitted with Ford/Cosworth DFV engines. Jacky Ickx came to race for Brabham as Rindt left to race for Lotus. Ickx finished second in the drivers' championship; Brabham had raced well during the first half of the season until an accident during testing crippled his potential for the season. Overall, the team was second in the constructors' championship for 1969.

Rule changes at the close of the season left the spaceframe chassis obsolete.

1970 was the final year Brabham competed. He won the opening race of the 1970 season and raced strongly throughout the rest of the season. He car often ran at the front of the pack for most of the races but was often sidelined due to mechanical problems. With help from driver Rolf Stommelen, the team came in fourth in the constructors' championship. At the close of the season, Brabham sold his share in the team to Tauranac.

For the 1971 season, Ron Tauranac signed Graham Hill and Tim Schenker as drivers. Tauranac had high expectations for Hill as he had won the World Championship twice. The BT33 and BT34 were used both powered by Cosworth DFV engines. The BT34 had dual radiator mounts located in front of the wheel which gave the appearance of a lobster's claw. There was only one example ever created. Hill was able to driver the BT34 to a Formula One victory at Silverstone which was the team's highlight of the season. The team finished the season in ninth place.

At the close of the 1971 season, Tauranac sold the business to British businessman Bernie Ecclestone. Tauranc stayed with the company as designer but only for a short while. Ecclestone and Tauranc decided to part ways. For the 1972 season the BT33 and BT34 were still in use. The BT37 was the newest addition to the team. Graham Hill, Carlos Reutemann and Wilson Fittipaldi were the team drivers. Only seven points were scored during the season which left them in ninth place.

With Tauranc leaving the company, Ecclestone promoted Gordon Murray to the chief designer position. For 1973 the Brabham BT37 and BT42 were raced. The BT42 was created by Murray and was quick enough to score Reutemann two podium finishes. A total of 49 points meant that the Motor Racing Developments team finished fourth in the Constructors Championship.

The Brabham team finished the 1974 season fifth in the constructors' championship. Reutemann scored his first thee victories of his Formula One career. The Murray designed Brabham BT44 was an updated version of the BT42 of 1973. It incorporated the minimalist design that Brabham vehicles had come to be known for and powered by a standard Ford DFV engine with Hewland gearbox. The design was aerodynamic with clean lines and well place air-dams and side skirts. The design was courtesy of Gordon Murray, Brabha's chief designer.

In total, there were four Brabham BT44 cars constructed in 1974. For 1975, there were four BT44B cars built.

For 1975 the BT44 received mild updates and in the hands of Carlos Pace was driven to a Grand Prix victory at Brazil. This was Pace's first and only GP victory. Reutemann won Nürburgring. Reutemann finished the season third in the drivers' championship and the Brabham team finished fifth in the constructors' championship. The Ferrari 312T and McLaren M23 were providing extremely stiff competition for the BT44 and for 1976 the Brabham team introduced the BT45 to help battle the competition. Unfortunately, these Alfa Romeo flat-12 powered vehicles did little to help the team. Part of their problem was that they were overweight and unreliable. For the 1976 season the Brabham Team continued to loose positions to the competition.

The team introduced carbon-carbon composite brake pads to Formula One during the close of the 1970's which reduced weight and provided better stopping power. At first the technology was unreliable. The heat generated from heavy braking boiled the brake fluid and there was no way of stopping. Within a few years the technology was perfected and within a few years carbon brakes were being used by all of the competition.

Reutemann left the team before the close of the 1976 and signed with Ferrari. John Watson took his place at Brabham. Early into the 1977 season another set back was experienced by the Brabham Team as Pace was killed in an aircraft accident. Twenty-seven points were scored by the Brabham cars which left them in fifth place.

To compensate for the heavy Alfa Romeo engines, the BT46 was introduced for 1978 which brought many new aerodynamic features and technological advancements. One of the more obvious departures from conventional practices was the flat panel heat exchanger on the bodywork which replaced the water and oil radiators. The design never made it past the testing stage and was later removed from the car. A modified nose-mounted radiator was fitted instead.

Niki Lauda was signed to race for the team and scored two race victories in the BT46. Lotus's large Type 79 wing car dominated the season but the Brabham (Parmalat Racing Team) finished in third place in the Constructors Championship.

The 'B' variant, commonly known as the Fan Car, was introduced at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. Following in the footsteps of the highly successful Lotus 79, the BT46B used down-force and aerodynamic techniques. A fan was used to extract air from beneath the car and create additional downforce for the vehicle. The fan was allowed because it was explained that it provided extra cooling for the vehicles components. The car saw competition in this configuration only once as it was declared illegal by the FIA. Its only race scored Niki Lauda a victory at the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp. The two chassis were converted back to the standard BT46 configuration. The victory remained as the car had been considered legal when it raced.

The partnership between Alfa Romeo and the Brabham team dissolved during the 1979 season as Alfa Romeo began prepping their own F1 car. Ecclestone went back to using Cosworth DFV engines which made many happy as the engines were lighter. The BT49 was introduced near the close fo the 1979 season and would stay in use for over four seasons racking up a total of seven wins, six poles, and 135 points.

Again, the BT49 followed the minimalist practices of the Brabham team. It used an aluminum alloy monocoque tub with ground effect tunnels built into the underside of the car. Carbon-carbon brakes were used, a technology that had since proven itself. Sliding skirts were used to seal the underside of the vehicle. By 1981 the FIA banned the use of the sliding skirt and introduced a 6cm minimum ground clearance for hte cars. This limited the downforce the vehicles were able to create and slowed them through the corners. Murray devised a solution around the rules which they called the hydropneumatic suspension system. The system was used on the BT49C. The hydropneumatic suspension system used compressed air to act as springs which allowed the vehicle to clear tech-inspection. When the vehicle was at speed where the vehicle could not be measured, the downforce would compress the suspension and the car would sit much lower to the track and created more downforce.

For 1980 the BT49/B was driven by Nelson Piquet, Ricardo Zunino and Hector Rebaque. They scored 55 points and finished third in the Constructors Championship. The following year they acquired 61 points and finished in 2nd. Piquet won the drivers' title with three wins.

During the 1981 season Brabham signed with BMW as their supplier of turbo engines for the 1982 season. A BT49 racer was used to test the technology which produced an very impressive and astonishing 1500 horsepower. The new car was dubbed the BT50 and ran along the tried-and-true BT49D until reliability issues were resolved in the BT50. The first victory for the BT50 came at the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix. After accumulating 76 points, the team finished second in the Constructors Championship.

For the following season, Picquet became the first to win a the F1 drivers' world championship in a car powered with forced induction. The team finished in third place after scoring 72 points. Picquet would stay with the team until the close of the 1985 season when he left to race with Williams.

For 1984 seaon the BT53 was raced. Thirty eight points were scored and the team finished in fourth. Twenty six points were scored in 1985 and by 1986 the team only scored two points. The BT54 and BT55 were used during this year. The BT55 was powered by the BMW four-cylinder turbocharged engine. It was Brabham's first fully composite monocoque, as Murray had been reluctant to design a car until he understood what would happen in a crash. The design of the vehicle was long and the car sat very low to the ground. The BMW engine was mounted at an angle to allow airflow to the rear wing. In this configuration the engine did not perform to its potential and the gearbox plagued the team with reliability issues.

The next few years the Brabham introduced the BT58, BT59, and BT60. Only a few points were scored during the rest of the seasons. Murray had since left Brabham to work with McLaren. Turbocharged engines were banned by the FIA in 1989 and as a result BMW withdrew their support from Formula One competition after the 1987 season. Ecclestone was unable to find a supplier of engines and was forced to withdrawal from competition at the beginning of 1988.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2007
Recent Vehicle Additions

1974 Canadian Grand Prix: A Maple Leaf of Hope

In his first season with McLaren, Emerson Fittipaldi enjoyed a strong start to the 1974 season. However, as the last half of the season carried on, strong results would be muted by early retirements....

Goodwood Festival Of Speed And Formula 1 Celebrate Bernie Ecclestone'S Life In Motorsport

For the first time ever, the Central Feature at Goodwoods Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard (June 29th – July 2nd) will celebrate an individual rather than an honoured marque. This year the giant...

Jochen Mass: The Mass-ter Breakthrough

The city of Munich, Germany is one of the leading academic cities in the world hosting numerous, and famous, universities within its limits. It would be against this backdrop, in September of 1946, that...

1967 German Grand Prix: Ickx Just Playing with the Big Boys

As the usual immense crowd gathered around the Nuburgring for the 1967 German Grand Prix, just a casual glance at the grid would not tell the real story. However, it wouldnt take too long before the...

1969 United States Grand Prix: The Rise of Rindt

If there was one racer in the Formula One paddock that drivers and spectators alike believed should have scored his first victory before the start of the 1969 season it would almost unanimously be Jochen...

1982 Austrian Grand Prix: de Angelis Flying Through the Thin Air

It is almost impossible to predict events and just how momentous they just might be. This would certainly be the case with the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix, a truly special and memorable moment in Formula...

1974 Formula One Season
Yardley Team McLarenMcLarenM23 United Kingdom Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood
United Kingdom David Wishart Hobbs
Germany Jochen Richard Mass 
Scuderia FerrariFerrari Austria Andreas Nikolaus 'Niki' Lauda
Switzerland Gianclaudio Giuseppe 'Clay' Regazzoni 
Elf Team TyrrellTyrrell
France Patrick André Eugène Joseph Depailler
South Africa Jody David Scheckter 
John Player Team LotusLotus Belgium Jacques Bernard 'Jacky' Ickx
Sweden Bengt Ronnie Peterson
Australia Timothy Theodore 'Tim' Schenken 
Motor Racing DevelopmentsBrabham
Brazil José Carlos Pace
Belgium Theodore 'Teddy' Pilette
Argentina Carlos Alberto Reutemann
United Kingdom Richard Robarts
Liechtenstein Frederick 'Rikky' von Opel 
Hesketh RacingHesketh
United Kingdom James Simon Wallis Hunt
South Africa Ian Scheckter 
Team Motul BRMBRM New Zealand Christopher Arthur Amon
France Jean-Pierre Maurice Georges Beltoise
France François Migault
France Henri Pescarolo 
UOP Shadow Racing TeamShadow
France Jean-Pierre Jacques Jarier
United Kingdom Thomas Maldwyn Pryce
United Kingdom Brian Herman Thomas Redman
United States Peter Jeffrey Revson
Sweden Bertil Roos 
March EngineeringMarch
Italy Vittorio Brambilla
New Zealand James Howden Ganley
Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
Sweden Reine Wisell 
10 Frank Williams Racing CarsIso-Marlboro Denmark Tom Belsø
France Jean-Pierre Alain Jabouille
France Jacques-Henri Laffite
Italy Arturo Francesco 'Little Art' Merzario
Netherlands Jonkheer Gijsbert van Lennep 
11 Team SurteesSurtees
United Kingdom Derek Reginald Bell
France Louis José Lucien Dolhem
France Louis José Lucien Dolhem
France Jean-Pierre Alain Jabouille
Austria Helmuth Koinigg
Germany Jochen Richard Mass
Brazil José Carlos Pace 
12 Embassy Racing with Graham HillLola
United Kingdom Guy Richard Goronwy Edwards
United Kingdom Peter Kenneth Gethin
United Kingdom Norman Graham Hill
Germany Rolf Johann Stommelen 
 Team GunstonLotus South Africa Paddy Driver
South Africa Ian Scheckter 
 Blignaut Embassy RacingTyrrell South Africa Eddie Keizan 
 Scribante Lucky Strike RacingMcLaren
South Africa Dave Charlton 
 John Goldie Racing with HexagonBrabham Brazil José Carlos Pace
United Kingdom John Marshall 'Wattie' Watson 
 Scuderia FinottoBrabham Italy Carlo Giovanni Facetti
Austria Helmuth Koinigg
France Gérard Larrousse 
 The Chequered FlagBrabham United Kingdom Ian Hugh Gordon Ashley 
 Team Canada F1 RacingBrabham Canada Egbert 'Eppie' Wietzes 
 Allied Polymer GroupBrabham Italy Maria Grazia 'Lella' Lombardi 
 Hesketh RacingMarch United Kingdom James Simon Wallis Hunt 
 Dempster Internacional Racing TeamMarch United Kingdom Mike Wilds 
 AAW Racing TeamSurtees
Finland Leo Juhani 'Leksa' Kinnunen 
 Dempster Internacional Team SurteesSurtees
Austria Dieter Quester 
 Team EnsignEnsign Australia Vernon 'Vern' Schuppan
Liechtenstein Frederick 'Rikky' von Opel
United Kingdom Mike Wilds 
 Trojan-Tauranac RacingTrojan
Australia Timothy Theodore 'Tim' Schenken 
 Maki EngineeringMaki New Zealand James Howden Ganley 
 Chris Amon RacingAmon
New Zealand Christopher Arthur Amon
Australia Larry Clifton Perkins 
 Pinch Plant LtdLyncar New Zealand John Nicholson 
 Token RacingToken
United Kingdom Ian Hugh Gordon Ashley
United Kingdom Thomas Maldwyn Pryce
United Kingdom David Charles Purley 
 Vel's Parnelli Jones RacingParnelli
United States Mario Gabriele Andretti 
 Penske CarsPenske United States Mark Neary Donohue, Jr. 
 Marlboro Team TexacoMcLaren
Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi
New Zealand Denis Clive 'Denny' Hulme 

1974 Season Review
RaceCircuitDateWinning DriverConstructor
 Argentine Grand Prix  Oscar GálvezJan 1974  Denis Clive 'Denny' HulmeMcLaren 
 Brazilian Grand Prix  InterlagosJan 1974  Emerson FittipaldiMcLaren 
 South African Grand Prix  KyalamiMar 1974  Carlos Alberto ReutemannBrabham 
 Spanish Grand Prix  JaramaApr 1974  Andreas Nikolaus 'Niki' LaudaFerrari 
 Belgian Grand Prix  Nivelles-BaulersMay 1974  Emerson FittipaldiMcLaren 
 Monaco Grand Prix  MonacoMay 1974  Bengt Ronnie PetersonLotus 
 Swedish Grand Prix  ScandinavianJun 1974  Jody David ScheckterTyrrell 
 Dutch Grand Prix  ZandvoortJun 1974  Andreas Nikolaus 'Niki' LaudaFerrari 
 French Grand Prix  Dijon-PrenoisJul 1974  Bengt Ronnie PetersonLotus 
 British Grand Prix  Brands HatchJul 1974  Jody David ScheckterTyrrell 
 German Grand Prix  NürburgringAug 1974  Gianclaudio Giuseppe 'Clay' RegazzoniFerrari 
 Austrian Grand Prix  OsterreichringAug 1974  Carlos Alberto ReutemannBrabham 
 Italian Grand Prix  MonzaSep 1974  Bengt Ronnie PetersonLotus 
 Canadian Grand Prix Canadian Grand Prix MosportSep 1974  Emerson FittipaldiMcLaren 
 United States Grand Prix  Watkins GlenOct 1974  Carlos Alberto ReutemannBrabham 

Formula One World Drivers' Champions
1950 G. Farina
1951 J. Fangio
1952 A. Ascari
1953 A. Ascari
1954 J. Fangio
1955 J. Fangio
1956 J. Fangio
1957 J. Fangio
1958 M. Hawthorn
1959 S. Brabham
1960 S. Brabham
1961 P. Hill, Jr
1962 N. Hill
1963 J. Clark, Jr.
1964 J. Surtees
1965 J. Clark, Jr.
1966 S. Brabham
1967 D. Hulme
1968 N. Hill
1969 S. Stewart
1970 K. Rindt
1971 S. Stewart
1972 E. Fittipaldi
1973 S. Stewart
1974 E. Fittipaldi
1975 A. Lauda
1976 J. Hunt
1977 A. Lauda
1978 M. Andretti
1979 J. Scheckter
1980 A. Jones
1981 N. Piquet
1982 K. Rosberg
1983 N. Piquet
1984 A. Lauda
1985 A. Prost
1986 A. Prost
1987 N. Piquet
1988 A. Senna
1989 A. Prost
1990 A. Senna
1991 A. Senna
1992 N. Mansell
1993 A. Prost
1994 M. Schumacher
1995 M. Schumacher
1996 D. Hill
1997 J. Villeneuve
1998 M. Hakkinen
1999 M. Hakkinen
2000 M. Schumacher
2001 M. Schumacher
2002 M. Schumacher
2003 M. Schumacher
2004 M. Schumacher
2005 F. Alonso
2006 F. Alonso
2007 K. Raikkonen
2008 L. Hamilton
2009 J. Button
2010 S. Vettel
2011 S. Vettel
2012 S. Vettel
2013 S. Vettel
2014 L. Hamilton
2015 L. Hamilton
2016 N. Rosberg


© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, and
specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook  Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

© 1998-2017 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.