Cooper's rear-engined racing cars were powered by JAP motorcycle
engines and dominated the 500cc Formula 3 scene in the 1950s.
Charles and John Cooper's post-war racing car was based on a
crashed Fiat Topolino with the single cylinder JAP engine
positioned behind the driver offering good weight distribution.
Cooper's innovative design was well received and offered a number
of future racing drivers' their first taste of success, including
Sir Stirling Moss. It wasn't long before Coopers were the car to
beat and orders flooded in. The JAP engine was a reliable and
trusted unit however, over the course of the next few years,
Coopers improved a number of aspects of their cars by using a
tubular chassis, rack and pinion steering and transverse leaf
spring independent suspension.
This Cooper Mk. VIII Formula 3 was originally sold to Bob
Gerard, famous for racing Rileys in the 1930s. In 1948, he finished
3rd in the British Grand Prix in a ERA. Bob Gerard
continued having success at national level and he sold this Cooper
to Henry Taylor in 1955. Henry Taylor won the Autosport and JAP
trophies in this Cooper Mk. VIII. The car changed hands a number of
times and eventually was purchased by Richard White in 1974 and he
won the Kent Messenger trophy at Brands Hatch in 1976, the
inaugural race for 500cc Formula 3 cars. Again the car changed
hands a number of times although it continued to appear at historic
events and was driven to 3rd place by Nick Leston in the
Earl of March Trophy at the first Goodwood Revival meeting.
Restored in 2005, this Cooper is now fitted with an AMC gearbox and
has only covered minimal miles since the rebuild. A comprehensive
history folder accompanies this Cooper including a MSA logbook, a
current 500 OAVIF and a VSCC 'buff form'. This is an opportunity to
own a piece of genuine British motoring history.
For sale by auction on Saturday 26 November 2016 with Historics at Brooklands, Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit, Weybridge, Surrey, Call 01753 639170