Brabham BT44B With Etch – (12042):
The Brabham BT44 was a Formula One racing car designed by Gordon Murray, who was Brabham’s chief designer. It was the successor to the moderately successful BT42 of 1973. The BT44 was of simple design, fitted with a standard Ford DFV/Hewland gearbox combination. Where it excelled was its innovation in the area of aerodynamics.
Gordon Murray had a particular eye for clean, straight lines, and the BT44 was extraordinarily graceful. Murray also paid great attention to minor details such as the side skirts and airdams on the car, which was a precursor to ground effects aerodynamics.
Behind the wheel for the 1974 season was Carlos Reutemann, the Argentinian racing-driver turned politician. It turned out to be a successful season for Brabham, as Reutemann took three wins with the all-white car. Brabham managed a respectable fifth place in the Constructor’s Championship after fighting hard throughout the entire season.
In 1975, the BT44 was modified, and Reutemann won at the Nürburgring, whilst his teammate, Carlos Pace, won his first and only Grand Prix in Brazil. After a string of some more solid performances, Reutemann finished third in the Drivers’ Championship that season, whilst Brabham came fifth again in the Constructors’ Championship.
Had the BT44 been racing in a different era to the ever-dominant McLaren M23 and Ferrari 312T, it may have gone down as one of the most revolutionary and exceptional Formula One cars ever made.