The usually poker-faced Brabham named the one-of-one BT19 ‘Old Nail’ in a rare show of romanticism, the faithful machine which helped him to make history.
“He would always talk about that one,” says David. “The BT19 is the one where he got the jump on everyone.
“That’s where he was really good. He could take a look down the road – from an engineering point of view –and going ‘Oh, actually, that’s probably going to be the best solution.’ And he was the only one that really went down that route.”
However David admits that compared to the monster Le Mans prototypes he campaigned in the ‘90s and ‘00s, the BT19 isn’t quite as refined.
“The thing’s just so raw,” he says. “It’s got three pedals, a five-speed gearbox, H-pattern and a steering wheel with no buttons. You’re sitting between two fuel tanks which scares you every time you jump in it.”
Brabham sold the “priceless” car to Repco in 1978 – “dude, why the hell did you sell that one?!” – but the car has been kept in meticulous condition by the Australian engineering company, all the more impressive considering chassis F1-1-1965 is the only example.
The famous BT19 will be joined by a host of other Brabhams, including Stefano Modena’s 1989 podium-finisher and Damon Hill’s first F1 car – the BT60B – with over 15 F1 machines present, nearly all of which would have competed at Adelaide during its grand prix heyday.
The festival is now taking over other parts of the city, with Stefan Johansson having blasted his fire-breathing 1985 Ferrari F156/85 through the downtown area last night as part of an add-on street party festival.