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The 1969 Brabham-Cosworth BT26A that Jacky Icks drove to victory in the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix will be offered up for bidding when Bonhams stages its annual auction at Amelia Island, Florida, on March 7.
The car, chassis No. 3, was driven by Ickx in a dozen races during the 1969 season. In addition to winning in Canada, he and the car were second at Mexico and third in France. They also won the non-championship race at Oulton Park in England.
The car had raced in 1968 as well, with an Australian-built Repco V8, with Jochen Rindt as its driver. The model designation changed to BG26A with the engine transplant. Repco engines propelled the Brabham team to back-to-back F1 titles in 1966 and 1967, it was overtaken by the Ford-based Cosworth powerplant.
The Brabham BT26A was part of the last hurrah for Formula One cars with multi-tubular welded spaceframe chassis. Cars with monocoque construction would dominate from 1970 onward.
Ickx finished second in the drivers standings in 1969, behind Jackie Stewart. He was second again in 1970, behind Rindt.
After the 1969 season, the Brabham-Cosworth was sold to American team owner Doug Chaplin, for whom Gus Hutchison drove it in the SCCA L&M Championship series for F5000 vehicles. Hutchinson won at Sears Point and Dallas. He also drove the car in the 1970 U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
Ickx went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times and also took the Can-Am series title in 1979, and he also won the Paris-Dakar Rally.
“Aside from being a winning chassis and having been driven by two of the most charismatic drivers of the period (Icks and Rindt), the BT26A is so usable today,” Bonhams global director of motorsports, Mark Osborne, was quoted in the auction house news release.
“Whether the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, or the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship, chassis no.3 will be as active as the next owner determines.
“I’d also note – having been in the old Brab myself – that the brilliant Ron Tauranac (spaceframe) design caters for today’s drivers more adequately than almost any other manufacturer of the period.”