BRABHAM BT14 Chassis number FL-6-65
I was talking with my friend Rodger Newman the other day, and decided to write a piece about the car he owns, a 1965 Brabham BT14.
Rodger has owned the car only for the last two years, but he has some history on it, dating back to when the car was new.
The car is chassis number FL-6-65 (i.e. chassis number 6 of 1965), the 'FL' in the number denotes it was built primarily for the Formula Libre races in Britain at the time. However, this car was one of just two or three that was uprated to Formula One specification. In that guise Rodney Bloor raced it in two 'proper' Formula One races (both non-World Championship); on the 13th March 1965 he raced it at Brands Hatch in the Race of Champions. Unfortunately, the car retired in the second heat, the race being won overall by Mike Spence in the works Lotus.
In the 19th April he raced it at the Easter Monday meeting at Goodwood in the International Trophy Race for Formula One Cars (thereby racing the car in the last Formula One race at the circuit). He finished a creditable twelfth, behind such people as Jim Clark in a Lotus 33, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Jo Bonnier and Richard Attwood - a vaguely decent top six finishers! Also taking part was John Cardwell in another BT14 (FL-8-65) in which he came eleventh. Those of you at historic meetings at Silverstone and Goodwood this year would have seen Richard Attwood in action, just as he had been in the 1965 race albeit in a BRM rather than Lotus 25, which he drove at Goodwood thirty five years ago.
Rodney raced the car under the Sports Motors Manchester colours (RAF blue with two stripes down the middle) for the rest of year in Formula Libre events in England. He must have been a decent peddlar, as he took fastest laps galore at places like Mallory Park, Oulton Park and Croft, winning three times along the way and finishing second three times too. Later that same year the car was sold to David Bridges of Red Rose Motors during whose ownership we believe that the car may have been driven by Brian Redman, who recalls that his first single seater drive was for Red Rose Motors in a Twin Cam Brabham. What happened to the car thereafter is uncertain until it passed into Alan Baillie's ownership in 1988 and was successfully driven by him in the Classic Racing Car series, a series he won with the car a few years later.
All ten BT14s were fitted with Twin Cam engines of 1600cc except for these two or three which were reduced to the then F1 limit of 1500cc at a time when almost all other competitors in Formula 1 were using 1500cc V8's. The car still runs with a 1500cc Twin Cam unit which is quite a rarity, th eonly other one known to us being the David Newton car which also competes in the HSCC Classic Racing Car series.
As I said earlier, Rodger has owned this car for the last two years, he has competed in the whole of the Classic Racing Cars Championship in 2000 and 2001, and also selected events organised by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association, which has included outings at Silverstone (Coys Int. Festival), Imola, Spa, the Nurburgring, Most and Brands Hatch.
The car still manages to get about, and what's more, you're more than likely see Rodney Bloor there making sure that the car is being looked after properly!
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