(Left to Right) Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Jack Brabham, party host Art Evans, Rodger Ward and Tony Adamowicz enjoy a good laugh at “Black Jack’s” expense.
On April 7, an illustrious list of racing luminaries gathered together in Southern California to help 3-time Formula One World Driving Champion Sir Jack Brabham celebrate his 76th birthday.
The guest list read like a virtual “Who’s Who” of motorsport history, including Sir Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Rodger Ward. Chuck Daigh, Bill Murphy, Jim Jeffords, Jack McAfee, Dick Guldstrand, Tony Adamowicz and a handful of historic racers and friends from Evans’ Fabulous Fifties racing group.
Highlight of the evening was an informal “roast” where many of Brabham’s friends and competitors relayed stories about their relationship with Brabham over the years. Dan Gurney recalled how active Brabham had been in the maintenance of his cars, noting, “Of course, I don’t know if that was just because he was too tight to pay anyone else!”
Two-time Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward also regailed the assembled group on his first encounters with Brabham and how they eventually led to the rear-engine revolution at Indy.