The Cooper Car Company is car manufacturer based out of the United Kingdom and is known for their high-quality automobiles. Its history dates to the 1940s and has become a staple in British culture. They started out as being known for their race cars, but they also produce cars for consumers. Here’s more information about this company:
History of the Cooper Car Company
The Cooper Car Company was founded by Charles Cooper and his son John in 1947. John Cooper and his friend Eric Brandon began building racing cars in Charles Cooper’s garage in England in 1946. The first cars built by the Coopers were single-seat 500-cc Formula Three racing cars.
They were powered by a JAP motorcycle engine. Because supplies following World War II were in short supply, prototypes of the car were made by joining together two old Flat Topolini front-ends. The engine would be located behind the driver for practical reasons, but John Cooper said that would lead to the Coopers becoming an automotive legend.
The Coopers would lead the way in what would become the dominant arrangement for racing cars. This car would be called the Cooper 500 and would do well during the first postwar races. Eric Brandon would, in fact, win the 500 Race at Gransden Lodge Airfield. This would create a demand from other racing drivers for the car. During the 1940s and 1950s, Cooper would build up to 300 single and twin-cylinder cars.
They would dominate the F3 category, winning 64 of 78 major races from 1951 – 1954. In 1952, the front-engine Formula Two Cooper Bristol was introduced. After the death of Charles Cooper, his son sold the Cooper Formula One team to the Chipstead Motor Group in 1965, but he would continue to co-direct the F1 team before it closed in 1969. In 1969, they could not find sponsorship for the new Cosworth DFV-powered car, which marked the beginning of the end for the company.
Racing Cooper Cars
In 1957, Jack Brabham, an Australian racing driver took sixth place at the Monaco Grand Prix in a rear-engined Formula 1 Cooper. In 1958, Stirling Moss won the Argentine Grand Prix in Rob Walker’s privately entered Cooper. Maurice Trintignant would accomplish the same at the next race in Monaco.
The racing world was beginning to take notice of Cooper Cars and the rear-engine revolution began. In 1959, Brabham and the Cooper Cars team would be the first to win the Formula One World Championship in a rear-engine racing car. The 1969 Monaco Grand Prix would be the last race entered by the Cooper Cars Company.
The Mini Cooper
The Mini Cooper was introduced in 1961. The idea was conceived by John Cooper as a development of the Alec Issigonis-designed British Motor Corporation Mini. The Mini Cooper could win the Monte Carlo Rally three times. Production of the Mini would cease in 1971. Production would begin again in 1990 and cease in 2000. Since 2000, the Mini marque has been owned by BMW. They have created a series of small cars including: the Mini Hatch, the Mini Coupe, and the Mini Roadster.
The Cooper Car Company was built on a passion for cars as well as racing. Even though now owned by BMW, the name Cooper lives on in the Mini Cooper.