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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Jack Brabham

1967 (printed 2012)
Brian McInerney

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 27.2 cm x 50.2 cm, image: 17.5 cm x 40.2 cm)

Sir Jack Brabham OBE (1926–2014), racing car driver, studied mechanical engineering before working as a RAAF mechanic during World War II. After some years building midget racing cars, Brabham took to driving, winning the Australian midget-car title in 1951. Switching to road racing, he moved to England in the hope of becoming a Formula 1 driver. Racing in a Cooper Climax, Brabham won the World Championship in 1959 in sensational style. In the last lap of the deciding race he was leading the field when his fuel ran out. Undaunted, he pushed the vehicle over the finish line to take the Championship – his first of three. In 1966 he became the first driver in Formula 1 history to win the title in a car of his own design, the Repco Brabham. Australian of the Year in 1966, he won a career total of 14 Grand Prix events before retiring in 1970. In 1979 he became the first person to be knighted for services to motor sport. The longest lived Formula 1 driver to date, he became a Sport Australia Hall of Fame Legend in 2003 and sections of the Sydney Motorsport Park circuit were named for him in 2012.

Brian McInerney (b. 1946) was a young assistant photographer at Channel Seven in Sydney in the 1960s. He was not assigned to cover the Tasman Series races in 1967, 1968 & 1969, but he nonetheless acquired press photographers’ passes, giving him unbridled access to the drivers and the track. As a result, his is the definitive set of images of the events, which attracted drivers from the northern hemisphere in the Formula 1 off season. He took this shot of Brabham at Warwick Farm, where a motor racing track coexisted with the horse racing track from 1960 to 1973. The race that day was won by the ‘Flying Scot’, Jackie Stewart.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012
© Brian McInerney

Artist and subject

Brian McInerney

Sir Jack Brabham OBE (age 41 in 1967)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Start Your Engines...

Magazine article by Catherine McDonough, 2006

The bronze sculpture by Julie Edgar reflects through both the material and representation the determined and straight-forward nature of Brabham. 

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency