Matters of moment, October 1966
WORLD CHAMPION, 1966
Although 3-litre Ferraris finished first and second in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, before that race was half over Jack Brabham, although he had retired, had won the Drivers’ World Championship of 1966.
There are those who regard this Championship, on a points basis, as something which detracts from the purity of Grand Prix racing and deflects credit from those to whom it is justifiably due.
But few, if any, amongst those who follow modern motor racing will begrudge the 40-year-old Australian his third World Championship; indeed, everyone is extremely pleased that Brabham has pulled it off and we are glad to take this first opportunity to offer this driver and those associated with his success, our warmest congratulations.
It may not work next year, but this season Brabham’s single overhead camshaft Repco-Brabhams have had the edge over the more complicated F.1 racing machinery. Not only did he start the season with 3-litre cars when other famous teams had to rely on “interim-size” power units, but so successful have the space-frame Brabhams powered by the Oldsmobile-based Repco engines proved that Brabham becomes the first driver to win the World Championship with a car of his own construction. The greatest praise is due to this modest, calculating, very fast but ieliable driver and to his clever collaborators Irving, Hallam and Tauranac. The F.1 Repco-Brabhams burn Esso fuel fired by Champion N-57R plugs and run on Goodyear tyres.
If the Formula One World Championship in the face of opposition from B.R.M., Lotus, Ferrari, Cooper and Eagle had been Brabham’s only achievement, it would have been magnificent. Coupled to the Brabham domination of F.2 and F.3 racing, it is superb.
CALLING ALL CRIMINALS
The crime situation in this country is becoming desperate. There has been the shooting of three London police men, with one of the gunmen still uncaptured at the time of writing, and witnesses and reporters being threatend in the ”torture” case, a state of affairs foreign to the British way of life.
You would expect the authorities to encourage every decent citizen to help beat the crime wave. A vast majority of such persons are motorists—yet they themselves are regarded as criminals, and continue to fill the Courts!
Our correspondence shows only too clearly that this is deeply resented and that car owners are becoming increasingly angry with the treatment they receive. Taking examples at random, there are the heavily-loaded motorists’ fines, merely for exceeding a speed limit by a few m.p.h., whereas youths throwing stones at trains, until an engine-driver was hit in the face, get off with nominal fines and no curtailment of their mobility. There was the Manchester magistrate who misjudged across a main a motor pulling out of his gate across a main road, causing a police motorcyclist to collide with his car. According to the Daily Telegraph the Bench ” found there were special circumstances for not endorsing” and granted an absolute discharge—which looks like a special Law for the Establishment!
There is the reader who received from the Greater London Council a photostat “Dear Sir/Madam” communication telling him that over six months ago his car was seen by a police officer on a public road without a current licence and that unless he sent the Council a penalty payment of £4 12s. within 15 days legal proceedings would follow, although at the lime the person addressed did not own the vehicle, as its Log Book showed—a startling instance of the encroachment of bureaucracy and the Police State on the freedom of the individual and proof that we have passed into a situation where motorists are assumed to be guilty until they prove their innocence! The official who issued this threat is an M.B.E. . .
Then there were the two young men fined £10 each at Beckenham for displaying a roadside notice RADAR TRAP AHEAD. After it had been removed (by the Police) the trap soon caught 20 drivers, whereas previously it had only caught one in 40 minutes, vide The Daily Telegraph. Although in defence it was said that R.A.C. signs had been seen warning of radar traps, these young criminals, who had effectively slowed down the traffic, were not reprieved. This is clear proof that radar traps are intended to extract fines, not make the roads safer. We now find ourselves wondering, if we lock a parked car, whether we are breaking the Law, by preventing some constable who is tramping the beat looking for thefts from vehicles or of the vehicles themselves, from doing his duty ?
With so much terrible, violent crime engulfing us, it is time for a clear distinction to be made between motorists and the real, desperate criminals.
MOTOR SPORT AT EARLS COURT
Motor Sport occupy Stand No. 4 on the Ground Floor at the London Motor Show from October 19th-29th.