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Series: Jaguar

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About Cooper

The Cooper Car Company was founded in 1946 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together with with John's boyhood friend, Eric Brandon, they began by building racing cars in Charles' small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England in 1946. Through the 1950s and early 1960s, they reached auto racing's highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars altered the face of Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and their Mini Cooper dominated Rally racing. Thanks in part to Cooper's legacy, Britain remains the home of a thriving racing industry, and the Cooper name lives on in the Mini Cooper production cars that are still built in England but are now owned and marketed by BMW.

From Shortage, Innovation

The first cars built by the Coopers were single-seater, 500cc Formula racing cars driven by John Cooper and Eric Brandon and powered by a JAP motorcycle engine. Since materials were in short supply immediately after World War II, the prototypes were constructed by joining two old Fiat Topolino front-ends together. According to John Cooper, the stroke of genius that would make the Coopers an automotive legend -- the location of the engine behind the driver -- was merely a practical matter at the time. Because the car was powered by a motorcycle engine, they believed it was more convenient to have the engine in the back, driving a chain.

Called the Cooper 500, this car's success in hillclimbs and on track, including Eric winning the first post war motor race at Gransden Lodge airfield, quickly created demand from other drivers (including, over the years, Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Jim Russell, Ivor Bueb, Ken Tyrrell and Bernie Ecclestone) and led to the establishment of the Cooper Car Company to build more. The business grew by providing an inexpensive entry to motorsport for seemingly every aspiring young British driver, and the company became the world's first and largest post-war, specialist manufacturer of racing cars for sale to privateers.

Cooper built over 300 500cc Formula 3 cars and dominated the category, winning 64 out of 78 major races between 1951 and 1954. This volume of construction was unique and enabled the company to grow into the senior categories, it was with a modified Cooper 500 chassis, a T12 model, that Cooper had its first taste of top-tier racing when Harry Schell retired on the first lap of the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix. Although brief in duration, this entry marked the first appearance of a rear-engined racer at a Grand Prix event since the end of WWII.

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2-seat
S6 12v 3.4L DOHC M-5
186.4 kW / 250.0 hp / 250.0 hp  328.0 N·m / 241.9 lb·ft / 241.9 lb·ft
   

Cooper Jaguar (1954)

2-seater roadster, petrol (gasoline) 6-cylinder 12-valve straight (inline) engine, DOHC (double overhead camshafts, twin cam), 3442 cm3 / 210.0 cu in / 210.0 cu in, 186.4 kW / 250.0 hp / 250.0 hp @ 5750 rpm / 5750 rpm / 5750 rpm, 328.0 N·m / 241.9 lb·ft / 241.9 lb·ft @ 4000 rpm / 4000 rpm / 4000 rpm, manual 5-speed transmission, rear wheel drive, 219 km/h / 136 mph / 136 mph top speed

Infobox

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