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Lance Carwardine at Snetterton in the Jane Brabham 2013

Lance Carwardine in battle with Neil at Snetterton 2013


This car is subject to many a discussion. This is a live document and for any  errors, inaccuracies and new information please email andrew@warm.org.au .
Further information and research can be found at ‘The Nostalgia Forum’ on the following link. (Click Here)

In 2001, Neil McCrudden of the West Australian Racing Museum acquired the ex Bob Jane Corp. Jane Repco which was built in 1969, from Dominic Mannello of Perth W.A.

This story starts when Bob Jane had bought the Jack Brabham BT23E/1 Tasman car complete with 740 series Repco V8 engine at the end of the 1968 Tasman season for his driver John Harvey.  John’s first race in the BT23 was the 1968 Easter Bathurst Gold Star round where in Q1 the car broke ‘something’ on the rear suspension and John became a passenger in a huge high-speed crash. Following John’s recovery he raced the car at Warwick Farm in December ’68, the Tasman Series event at Sandown February ’69 and some other races during 1969 and early 1970. 
By all accounts the  BT23 was last raced by John at the 1970 Gold Star Series round 1 at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on the 2nd March 1970.
(Art Valdez of the USA as recently as June 2009 owns  BT23E/1 which remains in his collection)

During 1969 having decided the team required a new chassis, Bob Jane reasoned a Bob Britton built chassis would be less expensive than a genuine unit. Bob and his team were also well aware of the quality and high standard of Bob Britton’s workmanship, as John puts it himself, it was first class! This new chassis ‘The Jane Repco’ this is a partial replica of a Brabham BT23. The chassis has modifications to the engine bay providing space for the Repco V8 ‘830 Series’ engine which had cross flow cylinder heads and therefore exhaust pipes that exited through each side of the engine bay. This is unlike the Brabham BT23E/1 which used the ‘740 Series’ engine having the exhaust system exiting up top between the ‘vee’ then to the rear above the chassis. The Jane chassis also has modified suspension pickup points to accommodate the higher loads imposed by wider tyres and the ‘soon’ to be released treadless slick tyres and wings.

This new car appears to have debuted at Gold Star Series round 2 at Lakeside on the 7th June 1970. (edit… evidence appears that it may have been infact at a Sandown meeting during 1969)

As pointed out initially the car was refered to as the Jane Repco.
Over the years during the cars early competition life it has been called a variety of differing names. 
When fist sold on by the Jane Corp it became known as the Jane Brabham, and then over the next few years it was referred to as a variety of names including Brabham BT23E, BT23D, BT35 and then BT36. Only more recently during research has the car re-found its original named identity.

It was September of 1971 that Bob Jane put the car up for sale as a rolling chassis and it was bought by Fred Wheelhouse of Victoria . Fred fitted the car with a Ford Lotus twin cam engine and registered the car with CAMS for a new log book as a 1969 Brabham BT23D. This was on the 16th March 1973.

In 1974 the car was then sold to Rod Housego. Work brought Rod from Victoria & brought the car with him to Western Australia .

Dominic Mannello purchased the car in 1975. Dominic was a motor vehicle dealer in Perth & he fitted a Fiat 1600 twin cam engine which the car still runs currently.

Now log booked with a Certificate of Description with CAMS as the Jane Brabham it was restored to its current configuration in 2006 by Neil’s friend and the current driver of the vehicle, Lance Carwardine.

With time, money and ongoing research to this cars history it is envisaged that eventually the car with undergo a full restoration back to the original body style complete with Repco 830 V8 just as John Harvey last her back in 1969/70.

Major Competition Events
1970 Gold Star Series
Gold Star Round 2 – Lakeside – Entered as Repco Brabham – Finished 2nd
Gold Star Round 3 – Oran Park – Entered as Repco Brabham – Finished 6th
Gold Star Round 4 – Warwick Farm – Entered as Repco Brabham – DNF – Fuel Pump
Gold Star Round 5 – Sandown Park – Entered as Jane/Repco – Finished 1st
Gold Star Round 6 – Mallala – Entered as Jane/Repco – DNF – Suspension

Note: Gold Star round one at Symmons Plains Tasmainia, Harvey was entered using the old car.
This being the ex Jack Brabham BT23E-1 chassis. The new Jane chassis & bodied car appears to have officially debuted, round two at Lakeside in Queensland. (or possibly sandown 1969?)
For some reason (as found to date)the media never picked up on this new chassis or car until Round 5 at Sandown Park.

Pictorial info – links to Autopics website
Image Sandown 1969 – 69557 – J. Harvey Repco Brabham V8 BT24
Image Oran park 1970 – 70513 – John Harvey – Jane Repco V8
Note: Exhaust systems on car

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Following story as told by John Harvey to motorsport historian Ray Bell
(Dec 2007)

Those tapered fuel tanks…
“The idea was to get the weight down lower,” John Harvey told me today.
And he told me about the ones with the extreme shape:
“This was the cause of a huge dispute between myself and the mechanics, in particular John Sawyer,” John said. “We had these huge tanks, and there was also a scuttle tank with plastic lines feeding down into them,the thing must have held 40 gallons, I was driving a potential bomb!” After trying to get them to see reason on it, he was forced to watch as they came out onto the grid after the Oran Park warm-up lap and top it up!”The car was just terrible in that race. I don’t remember where I finished, but I know I ran the distance, it was a long race too, it must have been a Gold Star event.” he continued. “The thing wouldn’t turn, it wouldn’t stop, it just wouldn’t do anything right because of the weight. So after the race I had them pump out the unused fuel – and there was twenty gallons!” So that’s why the tanks were simplified to the triangular shape of the later races.
On the subject of it being called a ‘Jane-Repco’ he told me that it was supposed to be called that most of the year. Bob was trying to promote the idea but ‘the journos took no notice until Sandown.’
________________________________________

Racing Car News magazine references
October 1970 – p58, 59 – 1st, Bob Jane Shell Racing : John Harvey, Jane Repco V8,
1 hr. 04m.39.5 [ 68.2] fastest lap.
October 1970 – P59 – Great debut for the new Jane Repco with John Harvey
November 1970 – p30 – Grid report from Mallala Oct. 12th 1970 , J. Harvey , Jane Repco V8
November 1970 – p41 – Article by Doug Hicks ” Enter the Jane Repco ” 
September 1971 – page 88 – For sale advert of the Jane Repco

Recent History

2009 Formula Classic Championship winner – West Australia

More historical information and images to be added at a later date (23.11.2010)

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