Jacky Ickx's ultra-rare Brabham F1 car goes up for sale


One of Jacky Ickx's race-winning Brabhams, also driven by Jochen Rindt, is now up for sale

German GP winner Jacky Ickx in works Brabham BT26A. Nurburgring, Germany 1969. (Photo by: GP Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Ickx took two victories in a Brabham BT26A, including one in this chassis for sale

GP Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It’s relatively rare that a Formula 1 car comes into contact with one grand prix legend. Two is even more unusual. But three?

That’s exactly the claim which the Brabham BT26A can make. Built for Jack Brabham’s eponymous squad, it was raced by Jochen Rindt and made a winner by Jacky Ickx. Described by its seller, Speedmaster’s James Hanson, as a real “collector’s item”, it now could be yours, as they say, for £1.5m.

The car, one which visually stood out even in an era of beautiful F1 machinery, was originally created by three-time world champion Brabham’s design and business partner Ron Tauranac for the 1968 season as the BT26.

Brabham BT26A CHassis No3

The car has a rare provenance, even amongst F1 machinery


This Brabham represents the end of an era, being one of the last spaceframe chassis F1 cars with Tauranac designing a partial monocoque on this effort before moving to a full monocoque for its successor the BT33.

The mercurial Rindt was at the wheel of both chassis No2 and 3 (of five) during ’68, but lumbered with the unreliable Repco engine in the back he only managed one finish. However, the design is thought to be one of the best handling of its generation, demonstrated by the fact that its Austrian driver’s one finish was a third-place at the German Grand Prix held round the Nürbürgring in No2, before putting this car, No3, on pole for the ’68 Canadian GP.

From the archive

Come 1969 though, it was all change. Brabham dumped Repcos for Cosworth DFVs, and with the renamed BT46A, the Aussie’s eponymous team was back in business. Rindt made his ultimately fateful move to Lotus, and so was replaced by Ickx.

The Belgian would switch between Chassis 3 and 4 throughout the season, but it was this one with which he would take victory at Canada that year and ultimately end the season as runner-up to Jackie Stewart. Ickx would also claim Oulton Park’s non-championship Gold Cup race that season in the same car.

Brabham BT26A Chassis No3

Chassis No3 is fully restored and ready to race

After that the No3 went on to have a colourful post-Brabham history. American Gus Hutchinson would purchase the car and compete in the US-based SCCA championship, winning two races as well as qualifying it for his home race at Watkins Glen in 1970.

This car, which was eventually sold at auction three years ago for £800,000 ($1.1m), is currently in storage in Miami, but is more than ready to compete in historic events should its owner wish to, says Hanson.

From the archive

“If you wanted to race at Monaco, it’s just one of a handful of cars with a Cosworth engine that would be able to run in the late ’60s class for 3-litre F1 cars,” Hanson says. “You might use a Lotus 49 or similar, but after that you’re getting a bit more obscure.

“It’s a really cool collector’s piece, but you can also go and use it and race it.”

Such is the niche nature of such an investment, the car might be sitting in Miami for a while longer.

“I’m talking to people, they’re interested, but these kind of cars don’t tend to sell quickly,” says Hanson. Could this be your chance to own a piece of grand prix history, driven by legends?

Brabham BT26A Chassis No3

DFV turned the BT26A into a winner