World motorsport and Aussie legend, Sir Jack Brabham, is reportedly furious over the unauthorised use of his name by German tuning company Brabham Racing, who recently debuted their E92 BMW M3-based BT 92 sportscar at the Essen Motor Show.
Aside from naming the company after Sir Jack, the people at Brabham Racing also appear to be trying to capitalise on the racing driver's accomplishments by explicitly referring to them in the BT 92's press release.
Here's the contentious paragraph:
One of the most illustrious names of automotive history has returned. After numerous successes in Formula One and being dormant for nearly sixteen years, the legendary motor racing brand was relaunched.
Kind of sounds like Sir Jack's back in business, right? Wrong. Brabham's Formula One Team went bankrupt back in 1992 whilst under the ownership of the Japanese Middlebridge Group, after which Brabham bought back the rights to the company. The company has not been revived by Sir Jack since then.
As for Brabham Racing, they've legally registered both the company name as well as the 'Brabham' trademark, however they've done so without any consultation with the Brabham family. Their PR campaign in the lead up to Essen has also deceived many, with countless websites (including us) suckered into believing that Brabham Racing was in some way linked to the F1 champ himself. Hell, even the 'BT' nomenclature is the same as that used by Sir Jack's company, back when it was in the business of constructing Formula One racecars.
Brabham (the man, not the imposters) will be taking legal action against Brabham Racing in order to ensure the German company can't cash in on his venerable name. It comes at a bad time for the 82 year-old who's currently battling kidney cancer, but he maintains that action must be taken to protect his family.
"The Brabham family is a big family. There are some Brabhams still racing and we want to protect our name. I am extremely upset about this," Sir Jack said.
We have to wonder why Brabham Racing thought the unauthorised use of such a famous name (and reputation) to market their cars was a good idea. One look at the BT 92 M3 and its delicious carbonfibre bodywork, big brakes and adjustable suspension (above) is enough to convince us that such underhanded tactics were entirely unnecessary.
The thing generates more than enough publicity for itself without having to resort to corporate identity fraud.