In 1961, Australian Grand Prix driver Sir Jack Brabham brought a lightweight rear engine F1 Cooper-Climax car to the Speedway. Although down on horsepower to the Offy powered roadsters, Brabham used the superior corner handling of the Cooper to finish a respectable 9th place in the 500 and in the process, usher in the modern rear-engine era.
With the door open, several teams developed rear engine cars with the most notable being the Colin Chapman designed Ford powered Lotus 29’s of 1963 driven by Dan Gurney and Jim Clark. Clark would qualify 5th and in the race he moved up in the field to become the first rear engine car to lead the 500 and even though he would finish 2nd to Parnelli Jones, the rear engine car could no longer be ignored.
The rear engine car has returned with a vengeance in 1964 and the question has to be – has the roadster gone the way of the dinosaur, or would this be its last triumph?
Color – Approx. 60 minutes + cars that missed the race and 8 mins. of B&W Bonus footage