Brabham was a racing icon for six decades before becoming a car company, and the first product of its new endeavor is the $1.3-million Brabham BT62—a 700-horsepower track monster that produces way more downforce than a NASCAR race car. But, because track cars aren’t as cool if you can’t drive them around town to brag, Brabham will make this car street legal for just $200,000 more.
None of that, of course, applies to us normal folk. Brabham said the production run on the BT62 will stop at 70 models, and odds are, the 70 people getting one don’t read the internet. They have people to read it for them.
Brabham announced the conversion for the BT62 on Monday, saying nearly $200,000 would get owners tweaks to the car for the sake of practicality and road legality with “minimal compromise to its race-bred circuit dynamics.” The road version of the car will weigh more and sit a little higher off of the ground, but it’ll keep the same 700-HP output from its naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8.
The announcement said Brabham decided to make a road option based on the requests of customers who want to drive it to and from the track, and that the company expects the first road-legal BT62 to be delivered this summer. Here’s what all will be different when that car arrives, via Brabham:
Each BT62 with this option selected will be put through the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test. This test ensures it has been designed and constructed to meet and achieve all regulatory and legal standards to see the BT62 on the open road.
In addition to the regulatory requirements, specification changes will also be made to make the vehicle more usable on the road. This includes raising the ride height with a front and rear axle lift kit, increasing the steering lock range, adding air conditioning, fitting door locks and immobilisers, and including additional high-quality upholstery in the interior.
It wasn’t clear how many markets Brabham is offering conversions in, but the announcement said they’ll take place “for the European market” in the UK and “for a similar conversion in other jurisdictions” in Australia. (The company consolidates its offices, with the UK one housing the U.S., European and Middle Eastern branches and the Australia one also taking care of the Asian market.)
We’ve known about Brabham’s plans to offer a road-legal conversion for the BT62 since last summer, but we just haven’t known any of the details. Jalopnik contributor Alex Goy learned last year Brabham could feasibly make the car road legal, and that the company told clients about it. The company also said it would consult with customers about road legality where they wanted to drive the car, so buyers outside of Europe and Australia—all 23 of them, probably—aren’t out of luck with the $200,000 conversion yet.
That’s a good thing even for us commoners, since our chances of actually seeing the cars in person go up when the owners don’t have to trailer them to and from the race track every weekend. And, to think: It didn’t cost us a thing.