Wiltshire glove maker Dents recalls special relationship with Sir Jack Brabham (From This Is Wiltshire)
Wiltshire glove maker Dents recalls special relationship with Sir Jack Brabham
11:43am Monday 19th May 2014 in News
Wiltshire company Dents has special memories of motorsport legend Sir Jack Brabham, whose death was announced today.
Sir Jack Brabham, Australia's three-time Formula One champion, died at the age of 88, at his home on the Gold Coast.
And it was gloves made by Dents and its fellow company Fownes, the leading glove makers during the 1950s and 1960s, which were used in many of his victories.
Attention to detail was a byword for Sir Jack Brabham, not just on his car but right down to his clothing and even his gloves.
And Dents and its fellow company Fownes, the leading glove makers during the 1950s and 1960s, made a selection of specific driving gloves for Jack Brabham.
“It was our reputation not only for soft flexibile leather but also for the special 'secret fit' of our gloves that first caught Jack Brabham’s attention,” said Dents chief executive Deborah Moore.
“By knowing Jack Brabham’s hand size, we could make his leather driving gloves fit like a second skin to ensure nothing detracted from his control of the car.
"We provided driving gloves for him for many of his championship races.”
But Brabham’s eye was always on business as well as speed and in the 1960s he also collaborated with the glove company to design and make a range of Jack Brabham driving gloves.
In keeping with his Australian heritage, they had palms made from kangaroo leather and sold well.
Dents still has a glove worn by Sir Jack Brabham in its museum at its head office in Warminster, along with gloves from Stirling Moss and other famous sportspeople of the era.
Today Sir Jack's youngest son, David, said in a statement: "It's a very sad day for all of us. My father passed away peacefully at home at the age of 88 this morning.
"He lived an incredible life, achieving more than anyone would ever dream of and he will continue to live on through the astounding legacy he leaves behind."
Brabham won the F1 world title in 1959, 1960 and 1966 and was constructors' champion in 1966 and 1967.
He won his first two crowns in the Cooper Climax, but with his third became the only driver in history to win a World Championship in a car he himself had manufactured - the Brabham BT19.
The first driver to be knighted for services to motorsport, Brabham was a skilled and innovative engineer as well as driver. He was responsible, with compatriot Ron Tauranac, for more than 500 Brabham racing cars being build at the team's Surrey base in the 1960s.
The Brabham name continued in F1 for 30 years.
Brabham, whose final win came in the 1970 South African Grand Prix, is survived by his wife, Lady Margaret, and sons Geoff, Gary and David and their families.
The Australian Grand Prix paid tribute to Brabham, saying in a statement he would "forever be remembered as one of motorsport's most influential figures, not only in Australia but around the world".
The chairman of the Australian Grand Prix corporation, Ronald J Walker, and its chief executive, Andrew Westacott, said on www.grandprix.com.au: "The contributions that Sir Jack made to the sport as well as the Australian Grand Prix will never be forgotten and his legacy will continue to resonate amongst drivers and fans alike."