c1960 Cooper Climax T53 Low Line Race Car
|Engine||2467cc Climax four-cylinder|
|Gearbox||Borg & Beck manual|
|Body Work||Single-seat racing car|
The Cooper Car Company is a racing car manufacturer founded by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together with John's boyhood friend, Eric Brandon, they began building racing cars in Charles's small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England, in 1946. Through the 1950s and early 1960s they reached motor racing's highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars altered the face of Formula One and the Indianapolis 500. Jack Brabham raised some eyebrows when he took sixth place at the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix in a rear-engined Formula 1 Cooper. When Stirling Moss won the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix in Rob Walker's privately entered Cooper and Maurice Trintignant duplicated the feat in the next race at Monaco, the racing world was stunned and a rear-engined revolution had begun. The next year, 1959, Brabham and the Cooper works team became the first to win the Formula One World Championship in a rear-engined car. The Cooper T53 is a single-seater designed for Formula 1 and Formula 2 competition in the early 1960s, and it is the car that enabled Brabham to win the World Driver’s Championship in 1960 and Cooper to claim the World Constructors Championship the same year. Brabham also took one of the championship-winning Cooper T53 "Lowlines" to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a test in 1960, then entered the famous 500-mile race in a larger, longer, and offset car based on the 1960 T53 F1 design, the unique Type T54. Arriving at the Speedway 5 May 1961, the "funny" little car from Europe was mocked by the other teams, but it ran as high as third and finished ninth. It took a few years, but the Indianapolis establishment gradually realized the writing was on the wall and the days of their front-engined roadsters were numbered. Every Formula 1 World Champion since 1959 has been sitting in front of his engine.