COOPER BRISTOL (1952)

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Description

The Cooper Car Company is a British car manufacturer founded in December 1947 by Charles and John Cooper. Together they began by building racing cars in Charles's garage in Surbiton, Surrey in 1946. Through the 1950s and early 1960s they reached motor racing’s highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars competed in both Formula One and the Indianapolis 500. The Cooper name still resonates for motorsport fans thanks to the treatment Cooper achieved on the popular Mini Cooper which dominated in rally racing but also in its class on racetracks.
Cooper built up to 300 single-and twin-cylinder cars during the 1940s and 1950s, and dominated the F3 category, winning 64 of 78 major races between 1951 and 1954.
The front-engined Formula 2 Cooper Bristol model was introduced in 1952. Various iterations of this design were driven by a number of legendary drivers - among them Juan Manuel Fangio and Mike Hawthorn- and furthered the company's growing reputation by appearing in Grand Prix races, which at the time were run to F2 regulations. The company also began building sports cars derivated from the F2 single seaters bringing some more success to the Cooper company. In 1955, a new era of rear-engined sportcars started, powered by a modified Coventry Climax. With the centre of gravity closer to the middle of the car, the "Bobtails” opened the way to a new era of rear-engined single-seater which started in Formula 2 races.
Our car, T20 CB/7/52 is no exception to this strong link between single seaters and sports cars as it started its life as a Formula Two car. Bought by active F3 Cooper-JAP 500 racer, John Barber, in early 1952, he campaigned the car in various single seaters races in Scotland in UK and Scotland. Its first race ever was in Boreham in August 1952, before the car is entered in the 1st Scottish National Trophy in Turnberry. The car retired from the Class Libre race among the F1 cars but finished 2nd in the F2 "Grand Prix". Later races include an 8th position at Goodwood before the car is back to Scotland at Charterhall at the end of the season, where it was heavily crashed.
Barber rebuilt the car over the winter as the Golding-Cooper with Disco Volante bodywork and road registration “NXH586” (which is still with the car today), radiator slung under the nose, and left-hand drive. It was based on a concept that Cooper had been considering for a Mille Miglia effort, but which never happened. Barber finished 4th at Snetterton in May '53. He then took the car to the Douglas circuit in the Isle of Man for the British Empire Trophy after which he did another race at Snetterton finishing 3rd, but the car failed to start its last race as a "Disco Volante" at Silverstone.
At the end of 1953, the car then passed through the hands of "MacKenzie-Lowe" who sent the car back to the Cooper works who sent it to Peel Coachworks. The weird Disco Volante body is removed in favor to a more modern and elegant body based on the DB3S design. Today the car retains this end of 1953 body specs.
CB/7/52 was then sold to Sir Clive Edwards who used it extensively in hill climbs and sprints from 1955 to 1960. Sir Edwards sold the car to Alistair McClelland, a garage owner who club raced and sprinted the car for a couple of seasons until he sold it in 1963 to former RAC/MSA CEO John Quenby. Quenby, 21 years old at that time raced the car for a year and a half and then sold it to an unknown stockbroker from Dulwich when Quenby went to Australia to work for a while. The car then went to various owners, some of which raced CB/7/52 in VSCC Historic races until it was bought again by John Quenby in 1997. He decided to start a body-off restoration of the car including its Bristol Type 100B engine. After several years of work, in 2006 Quenby sold his car to current owner, a Dutch enthusiast and accomplished historic racer, who will successfully race the freshly rebuilt Cooper in major historic races including regular entries in the Goodwood Revival.
As of today, the car is sold a perfect race-ready conditions, with a valid HTP. Engine and gearbox have been fully rebuilt by Classic Auto Finburgh. It also comes with the 1953 period UK registration NXH586 which could prove very useful for road rallies including the prestigious Mille Miglia an € tax paid.
With is one off body, CBB/7/52 is a rare opportunity to race a car that will attract race organizers and is eligible to numbers of race series such as Fifties Legends, Woodcote Trophy or Goodwood events.
Ownership History :
52: John D Barber, Billingsgate, London, UK
Born as Cooper-Bristol T20 Mk1 Formula 2 single-seater
rebodied as Golding-Cooper sports car with “Disco Volante” style body by Golding-Lucas Barwell Engineering
left-hand drive
road registration plate GB "NXH 58653" (which it retains today)
53: MacKenzie-Lowe, UK
rebodied with “DB3S” style body by Robert Peel Coachworks
Golding “Disco Volante” body scrapped
54: Cooper Car Company, Surbiton, Surrey, UK
rebodied with “DB3S” style body by Robert Peel Coachworks
for trade and resale only
not raced by factory
55: Sir J. Clive Leighton Edwards Bt, Bicester, Northamptonshire, UK
purchased less engine
hill climbed and sprinted 1955 to 1960
60: Alistair MacLellan, Foster St, Bedford, UK
garage owner
63: John R Quenby, Bedford, UK
purchased when only 21 years old
raced
64: Unknown Stockbroker, Dulwich, UK
66: Bill Wilks, UK
VSCC historic racer
67: John Bateson & Tony Statham
traders
70: Frank Rout
97: John R Quenby, Bedford, UK
RAC/MSA Chief Executive (1990-2001)
second term of ownership
full restoration
01/03/2006: current owner
raced for the last 10+ years on the historic racing scene
new FIA HTP in 2016

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Specs

Essentials

  • Mileage: 100
  • Year: 1952
  • Doors: 2
  • Body type: Convertible
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Green

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