1960 Cooper T52 Formula Junior

The over-the-top factory team cars like the Lotus 27 and Lola Mk 5 were
the reason Formula Junior died off

Powered by JAP and Manx Norton motorcycle engines, Cooper’s innovative mid-engined racing cars dominated the 500-cc Formula 3 scene in the 1950s. These cars provided many future stars, most notably Stirling Moss, with their first taste of “real” motor racing.
What had been a strictly pragmatic solution to the problem of accommodating the motorcycle transmission’s chain final drive resulted in a superbly balanced car, and this demonstrably superior arrangement was continued on the next generation of Coopers built for the nascent Formula Junior. The first of these was the T52, one of which was driven by future Formula 1 World Champion John Surtees in his four-wheel debut.
The T52 followed Cooper’s established layout, built around a tubular steel spaceframe with independent suspension at both ends. Double wishbones and coil-spring dampers were used at the front, with a single lower wishbone and transverse leaf spring at the rear. BMC’s A-Series engine was the standard fitment, driving via a Jack Knight-modified Citroën ERSA four-speed gearbox.
This 1960 Cooper T52 Formula Junior was rediscovered and renovated by Neville Howes circa 1985, the chassis being restored by Peter Denty and the body by Maurice Gomme. The car was acquired by the vendor less than twelve months ago, and has not been used since. We are advised that the engine runs and the car is in good condition throughout. Nevertheless, careful re-commissioning is advised before returning it to the track.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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