The company gained fame for developing the engines which powered the Brabham Formula One cars in which Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme won the 1966 and 1967 World Championship of Drivers titles respectively. Brabham-Repco were awarded the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers in the same two years.
Repco currently runs a series of stores across Australia and New Zealand specialising in the sale of parts and aftermarket accessories.
The company was founded by Robert Geoffrey (Geoff) Russell in 1922 and first traded under the name Automotive Grinding Company, from premises in Collingwood, Victoria.
It currently has over 2,000 employees in almost 400 stores.
Repco was briefly a publicly traded company being first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2003, however following acquisition of all shares by CCMP Capital Asia, Repco has been delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange.
Repco engine in F1 
In 1963 the international motor racing body, the FIA, announced that the maximum engine capacity for the Formula One category would be doubled to three litres to start from the 1966 season. Despite calls for a "return to power" having been made, few teams were prepared as the main engine supplier Coventry Climax decided to get out of race engine building.
Jack Brabham exploited his existing relationship with Australian automotive components manufacturer Repco. He proposed they design and build a simple, reliable racing engine based on aluminium V8 engine blocks from the British/American Rover V8 /Buick 215. The Repco board agreed to his proposal. A small team developed an F1 engine, fitted with 2-valve per-cylinders SOHC heads. The first advantage of this "Repco 620" V8 was its lightness, which allowed it to be bolted into an existing 1.5 litre Formula One chassis. With no more than 310 bhp (231 kW), the Repco was by far the least powerful of the new 3 litre engines, but unlike the others it was frugal, light and compact. Also unlike the others, it was reliable and, due to low weight and power, the strain on chassis, suspension, brakes, and tyres was low.
Four world titles for the single-camshaft 16-valve 
In 1966, the Repco engine was good enough to score 3 poles for Jack Brabham. In his one-off BT19, it helped him get 4 consecutive wins and both titles in the 9 races long season, a unique accomplishment for a driver and constructor. This was his third title.
The 2,995.58 cc V8 Repco had a bore and stroke of 3.50 x 2.375" (88.9 x 60.3 mm). Initially it gave about 285 bhp (213 kW; 289 PS). A test bed figure of 310 bhp (231 kW; 314 PS) at 7,800 rpm with 230 lb·ft (310 N·m) torque at 6,500 rpm was obtained. In race trim, about 299 bhp (223 kW; 303 PS) was available. In 1967, the bore and stroke remained unaltered. In that year, 325/330 bhp at 8,500 rpm was often quoted. A test-bed figure of 327 bhp (244 kW; 332 PS) at 8,300 rpm was recorded. For 1968, a 32-valve version with 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS) at 9,500 rpm was planned. But only about 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS) at 9,000 rpm was achieved.
In 1967, the competition had made progress. Repco produced a new version of the engine, the 700 series, this time with a Repco designed block. Brabham scored 2 poles early in the year, but then the new Ford Cosworth V8 appeared in the Lotus 49, setting a new pace with its 410 hp (310 kW) at 9,000 rpm, with Jim Clark and Graham Hill taking all poles in the rest of the season. As the Lotus was still fragile, the Brabham pilots scored 2 wins each. Brabham used new parts on his cars, which was not always helpful, so Denis Hulme collected more results and the title, followed by Brabham himself, who again won the constructors title.
No success for the double-camshaft 32-valve 
The new Ford engine, which was made available to other teams in 1968 also, convinced Brabham that more power was needed. With hindsight Brabham commented that the single cam motor's reliability may have been enough to supplant the more powerful Coswoths as late as the 1968 season. A new version of the Repco V8, with gear driven double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, was produced for 1968 to maintain its competitiveness. A figure of 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS) at 9,500 rpm was targeted but only about 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS) at 9,000 rpm was achieved. The season was a disaster as it proved very unreliable due to unsurmountable valve gear unreliability. There was also a 4.2 litre derivative for the Indy 500. Jochen Rindt, who had moved to Brabham at the wrong time, managed to score two poles and two podiums that year, while Brabham himself collected only two points. The Repco project had always been hindered by the lengthy lines of communication between the UK and Australia, which made correcting problems very difficult. Repco, having spent far more money than originally envisaged and having sold very few customer versions of their engine, stopped the project.
For 1969, the works Brabham team and most of the private Brabham entries also used the ubiquitous Cosworth powerplant. A pair of older Brabham-Repcos were entered in the season opening 1969 South African Grand Prix by local drivers Sam Tingle and Peter de Klerk, but no points were scored on the engine marque's last appearance in the world championship.
Other racing 
Repco had been involved in Australian motor racing many years prior to the association with Brabham. Most famous had been development of the engine of the series of Maybach Specials in the 1950s to various wins including the 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix.
The Brabham-Repco project was initially aimed at the Tasman Series, where Coventry-Climax's obsolete FPF 4-cylinder engine was dominant in the mid-1960s. The 2.5 litre version of the Repco V8 was never very successful in this series, initially producing no more power than the FPF. It did however record one Tasman Series round win with Jack Brabham driving his Repco powered Brabham BT23A to victory in the 1967 South Pacific Trophy at the Longford road circuit in Tasmania.
Further versions of the V8 engine were produced, including a 4.3 litre variant for sports car racing and a turbo-charged version intended for United States Automobile Club races. Neither version met with any international success, the turbo in particular being labelled 'Puff the Tragic Wagon' by its development team due to its lack of horsepower (cf Puff the magic dragon). The sports car engine was however dominant domestically, powering cars to several wins in Australian Sports Car Championship and its predecessor the Australian Tourist Trophy, most notably powering the Matich sports cars built by Frank Matich.
Repco-Holden Formula 5000 engine 
Repco also developed and built the Repco-Holden Formula 5000 engine for Formula 5000 racing. Repco used the block and head castings of the Holden 308 V8 engine as its basis, but it featured many modifications including Lucas fuel injection and dual coil Bosch ignition and more than 150 special components designed by Repco. The engine first tasted success in the 1970 Australian Grand Prix which was won by Frank Matich driving a Repco-Holden powered McLaren M10B.
The engine was then used extensively in racing vehicles including cars competing in the Tasman Series, the Australian Drivers' Championship, the Australian Sports Car Championship and the Australian Sports Sedan and GT Championships.
By 1976, power for the 5.0 L Repco-Holden V8 was rated at approximately 500 bhp (373 kW; 507 PS).
The list of Repco-Holden's Formula 5000 engine race and championship wins includes:
Australian Grand Prix
Australian Drivers' Championship
Australian Sports Car Championship
Australian Sports Sedan Championship
International Cup for F1 Manufacturers – results 
- 1966 Brabham-Repco – 1st
- 1967 Brabham-Repco – 1st
- 1968 Brabham-Repco – 8th
- 1969 Brabham-Repco – Unplaced
World Championship of Drivers – results 
|Year||Team||Driver||# of GPs||WC|
|1966||Brabham-Repco||Jack Brabham||9||World Champion|
|1967||Brabham-Repco||Denny Hulme||11||World Champion|
|Brabham-Repco||Kurt Ahrens, Jr.||1|
|1969||Brabham-Repco||Peter de Klerk||1|
- 1974 FIA Yearbook, Grey section, pages 120–121
- Setright, L.J.K. "Lotus: The Golden Mean", in Northey, Tom, ed. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 11, p.1232.
- Pinder, Simon (1995) Mr Repco Brabham Frank Hallam pp. 20–23 Pinder Publications
- Fearnley, Paul (May 2006) "The powerhouse that Jack built" Motorsport p.36
- Repco advertisement, “Guide to the Gold Star, Supplement to Racing Car News, August 1972, page xvi
- 1970 Tasman Series Retrieved from www.sergent.com.au on 13 September 2009