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Jack Brabham’s special edition Ford

Australian race fans all know the credentials of Sir Jack Brabham, but before retiring from Formula 1 after the 1970 season, he established a Ford dealership in Bankstown.

Taking over what was originally Wright Ford, Brabham’s dealership became a flagship outlet for the Blue Oval as it sold a record 64 XW GTs ad 31 GT-HOs in 1970, but it also spawned a special edition model bearing his name.

Still the only driver to win a World Championship in a chassis of his own name, Brabham entered the dealer market at the height of muscle car fever during the early-1970s and also had a loyal lieutenant in Barry Sharp.

A racer in his own right and an ingenious engineer, Sharp’s partnership with the dealership owner led to some hot rods emerging from the Jack Brabham Ford workshop.

Customers purchased one of the 351ci models in either a four-speed manual or three-speed auto with their selected options through Jack Brabham Ford where it was modified to be as fast as a GT-HO. Reportedly.

A Fairmont was chosen as a sort of ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ to not raise the ire of police and insurance companies like the GT-HO nameplate had done. Once the customer’s Fairmont had arrived at Jack Brabham Ford, they then chose the level of modification wanted.

The paintwork was first to get attention where a unique, smart two-tone scheme was applied as next was the high performance engine modifications completed at Sharp’s high performance division.

Parts available included front and rear spoilers, a carburettor tune, camshaft, valve springs, head port and polish, rocker covers, wheel alignment, mags, dropped front end in addition to stabiliser bars to the front and rear at a cost of $1100.

If it was ordered by the customer with all the options it was just $898 providing a significant saving compared to the GT-HO, but this was variant was rarely taken up ensuring it was a very rare breed.

Outside of building this rare road cars, Sharp was also in charge of building, developing and racing a series production specification XY GT and a sports sedan both emblazoned in Jack Brabham Ford liveries.

Records are hard to find on these special Fairmonts as it is thought only 60 or so were built.

Brabham divested out of the dealership in the late-1970s when it later became Dale Ford.