Just 70 will be made to commemorate the 70 years that passed between Sir Jack’s first race in 1948 and the project’s announcement in 2018. Each will cost £1.2 million, or £1.35m if you choose to have the road version. To be clear, that buys you a road-legal version of a pure racing car, so those expecting civility on the school run will likely soon be disabused of that notion.
Except that it’s not a racing car, insofar as there is no series in which it is suited to race. Instead, it’s a track day toy. So now you may be wondering why, if you simply want to be quickest at the track day, you wouldn’t just buy a fairly fruity Radical and go almost as fast for a fraction of the money. And the answer is because that’s not the market for this car: the multi-millionaires who will order a BT62 are buying not a car so much as its name, scarcity and heritage.
But surely it still has to be a credible thing to drive? It’s what I’m at Silverstone to find out. A finger describing a circle in the air from the man standing in front of the car tells me it’s time to fire it up. Master on, ignition on, starter pressed and jump straight out of your skin. The noise is like putting your head in the bass bin at a Motorhead gig. And it’s only idling.
Pull a paddle, lift the clutch, try not to stall, and with enough proficiency to make it at least appear that I know what I’m doing, the Brabham and I roll down Silverstone’s old pit lane and onto the National Circuit. I am lap limited so there’s no time for easing my way into this. Someone else has kindly warmed the slicks, so there’s no excuse not to go flat out straight away. Apart from the fact that this prototype is worth millions and, at this time, is the only functioning BT62 in the world. But we’ll just ignore such small details and press on regardless.
It is an utterly brilliant car, and I say that from the fortunate perspective of having driven a large number of GT3 racing cars, which in terms of track performance are the machines to which the BT62 comes closest. Actually, it’s far quicker than any GT3 car because it has more power, better brakes, a lot less weight and, I expect, more downforce, but that’s not why I loved it.