Lot 203 - 1954 Cooper Jap Mk. VIII Formula 3 Single Seater
|Estimate||£28,000 - £32,000|
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.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.