Letters from readers, cont-12.2., November 1960




Sir, Some years ago, I was required to close my eyes and fold my hands in supplication before commencing a meal while the senior at the table said a few… now forgotten … words of gratitude for what ever it was we were about to sink our gnashers into, and I cannot shake off the impression that this sadly neglected ritual has a moral applicable to the Brabham nonsense which keeps erupting in your columns like an unpleasant green rash.

I feel that some of the views expressed to date are a little wide of the mark, and in an attempt to put this thing into its true perspective, the following points may be of use to would-be purists, perfectionists, and other members of the awkward squad, in arriving at what seems to be the only sensible conclusion.

(1) The days of the champagne-swilling, swashbuckling, free-living, silk-choker and leather helmet speed demons so well portrayed in pre-war boys’ papers are gone forever from big-time motor racing. Regrettable as this may or may not be, it is the price of progress in perhaps the most rapidly progressing sport of all. Much of the personal colour has gone. and in its place we have top-line craftsmen industriously charging along the good od lolly trail. There being nothing we can do about this state of affairs, we must learn to live with it.

(2) The demand for first-class conductors being such as it is any manufacturer regarding his product as being in with a ghost of a chance will lean over backwards, meanwhile distributing lucre like a man with eight arms, in an understandable attempt to secure the best services available. I don’t wish to hear about patriotism and loyalty . . . by and large those admirable qualities went out with chastity belts and mail armour. The thing to remember is that a driver on the market is open to offers and I don;t suppose the feel of folding money is any less a draw to them than anyone else! Please forgive the indelicacy of my ponderings, but at least my feet are on the ground!

(3) Another view expressed is that poor old “J B.” is a “one-make ” Champion! I honestly don’t see what this proves, beyond the undeniable fact that while motst others are hopping in and out of various makes and teams, said poor old “J.B.”, being the calm. unruffled type that he is, sits tight and goes on unspectacularly mopping up his less single-minded and often more voluble opposition! Without labouring this point too much … because to me it sounds suspiciously like sour grapes . . . have a quick check back on the habits of past Champions in this respect!

(I) I gave up reading anything written by “D. S. J.” some time ago, for quite obvious reasons. In any case, I’ve got a thing about men with beards … perhaps because beards are said to be an outward visible sign of an inward state of inferiority!

So there you are, for what it’s worth ! For my money, the “Quiet Australian” can do no wrong. So let us show that there is a little sportsmanship left in this mercenary world, and be truly grateful for what Brabham has done, for the Commonwealth in general and Britain in particular! I wish him only all the luck in the world.