When Jack Brabham retired from motor racing and returned home to Australia he sold his firm, Motor Racing Developments, to Bernard Ecclestone, an enthusiastic businessman from South East London, who had been involved in motor racing for many years. Brabham’s designer and partner, Ron Tauranac, left the newly-owned MRD firm and the young South African Gordon Murray took over the design work. Ecclestone retained the name Brabham for the new cars from MRD and they have upheld the good name of the original owner in a very impressive manner. Gordon Murray’s first design for the newly-owned firm was the BT42 series, continuing the designation and number sequence started by Brabham and Tauranac, the BT part of the model number. Murray is now in At third series of Formula One designs and the histories of the cars are as follows:
BT42/1: The first Gordon Murray-designed Brabham. Appeared at the Race of Champions in 1973 driven by John Watson. It crashed and was written-off.
BT42/2: First appeared at Spanish GP 1973 for factory team. Retained as team car for rest of season. Used by John Watson driving for the Hexagon of Highgate team in 1974. Sold to Richard Oaten for Ian Ashley to drive.
BT42/3: First appeared at Spanish GP 1973 for factory team. Retained as team car for rest of season. Used by factory in 1974 on Rent-a-Car basis, driven by Piletté., Lombardi and Pace. Retained by factory as a Show Car.
BT42/4: Factory-supported car for Ceramica Pagnossin team driven by Andrea de Adamich. Written-off in multi-car accident in British GP at Silverstone 1973.
BT42/5: First appeared British GP 1973 for factory team. Retained as team car At rest of season. Sold to Italo-Swiss Scuderia Finotto in 1974.
BT42/6: First appeared Austrian GP 1973 for factory team completed with salvageable parts from BT42/4. Retained as team car for rest of season. Sold to Italo-Swiss Scuderia Finotto in 1974.
BT44/1: First appeared at Argentine GP 1974 for Carlos Reutemann. Retained as team car for rest of season. Rebuilt into BT44B/3 for 1975.
BT44/2: First appeared at Argentine GP 1974 for Richard Robarts. Retained as team car for rest of season. Still at factory.
BT44/3: First appeared at Race of Champions 1974 for factory team. Retained as team car for rest of season. Rebuilt into BT44B/2 for 1975.
BT44/4: First appeared at German GP 1974 for John Watson to drive for Hexagon of Highgate team. Rebuilt into BT44B/4 for works team.
BT44B/1: New car for Argentine GP 1975 for factory team backed by Martini.
BT44B/2: 1975 team car built from BT44/3.
BT44B/3: 1975 team car built from BT44/1.
BT44B/4: 1975 team car built from BT44/4.