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Brabham BT20

For the 1966 F1 season, engine capacity was doubled to 3 litres. Many thought this would favour Ferrari and its V12 engine, but Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac, designer and co-founder of Motor Racing Developments (run by the Brabham Racing Organisation) had other ideas.

Power/weight ratios

They joined a light space-frame chassis to an Oldsmobile-based 3-litre Repco V8 engine, sourced from Australia. The Repco V8’s 285bhp was much less than Ferrari V12’s 360 bhp, but the lightweight BT20 used much less fuel to complete a race.


Driving BT19 and BT20 cars, Jack Brabham won the 1966 World Drivers’ Championship, and the Brabham team won its first Constructors’ Championship.

New Zealand World Champion

New Zealander Denny Hulme celebrated his first F1 victory in the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix in a BT20. He went on to win the 1967 World Drivers’ Championship, with team Brabham again taking the Constructors’ Championship.

Technical specifications

Constructor: Motor Racing Developments, England
Year: 1966
Engine: Repco Type 620 V8
Capacity: 2994cc
Power: 285bhp at 8000rpm
Grands Prix: 25

Other cars in the exhibition

Brabham BT20
Brabham BT20 1966, Donington Grand Prix Collection; Photo reproduced courtesy of The Design Museum, London

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