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Thread: For folks who appreciate early motorsport heritage

  1. #1
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    For folks who appreciate early motorsport heritage

    John Cooper testing car in 1946 on the A3 road near Tolworth in Surrey England close to the Cooper Works.

    https://youtu.be/gNBekmexzyA
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  2. #2
    Moderator Chuck Miller's Avatar
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    WOW !!!! ... How cool is THAT !!!! .... Thanks
    Chuck Miller
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    A number of years later Bruce McLaren joined Cooper then later again set up the eponymous business. A stretch of road I know well but things have changed a bit. Looks to be close to Tolworth. If Cooper had turned at the next junction on A3 that road goes to New Malden the place where McLaren first set up his business in a shed that housed earthmovers. Said to be so rough the floor from the equipment it was essentially earth. Lived in house same town.

    Later Brabham moved quite near Coopers and set-up a racing factory other side of that same A3 road off what I think is same junction visible in background. Close to the main road too - about a similar distance as Coopers from the A3 but on the opposite side of carriageway in Chessington.

    Lot of world class motorsport spawned in a tiny unprepossessing area around the Tolworth, Surbiton, Chessington and New Malden area. Probably easily fall inside a mile circle — must be something in the water there


    Address probably quarter of a mile from that 1946 road test. Roots of the sport run deep . Attachment 571398No coincidence just a couple of junctions on A3 from Brooklands the the world's first purpose-built 'banked' motor racing circuit — a track that wasn’t a repurposed horse-racing cycling or motorcycle track before cars raced in them I believe.

    Steve
    Last edited by 911MRP; 03-17-2022 at 05:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    Herbie Blash?
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    '73 S Targa #0830 2.7 MFI rebuilt to RS specs

  5. #5
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    He worked in that locality, certainly
    Blash worked for Bernie Ecclestone among others. Long associations with the Chessington premises even after Brabham and MRD I believe.

    Bernie was a customer of Coopers sportscars this is him standing to left of a Cooper Jaguar — he owned it I believe but wasn’t in driving seat at photo. Name:  03552741-B19A-4D14-9A05-8285B1D627AF.jpeg
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    Later Bernie was the team owner who moved Brabham/MRD to the Chessington area from its location near Brooklands. Jack Brabham had a garage complete with petrol pumps Chessington Hook area too so not new territory for them. The petrol station is still there

    The Cooper Works F3 team was run by Ken Tyrell who set-up in his eponymous business a couple of junctions Down the A3 and did pretty well in 70s

    In addition to own world championships an incubator for Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren Ken Tyrell — all multiple F1 world constructors championships winners themselves.

    Drivers of Cooper machines included: Fangio, Moss, Collins, Hawthorne, Surtees, Brabham, Hill, McLaren, Stewart, Rodriguez, Rindt …not too shabby a legacy for a little place off on corner of the road from the A3 to Surbiton, Surrey England.
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    Another little pathe film

    https://youtu.be/mjHOvxoMz-w

    From 1960 to 1972, the Mini as developed by Cooper won over 30 significant rallies around the world, including three wins at Monte Carlo — only one less than Porsche in the principality and many would argue Mini Cooper should’ve had one more win there in ‘66.
    Steve
    Last edited by 911MRP; 03-17-2022 at 05:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Miller View Post
    WOW !!!! ... How cool is THAT !!!! .... Thanks
    This was cool road test on British public roads too
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    More recent précis here:
    https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/m...ph-m1-motorway

    Caused quite a stir, some think it contributed to introduction of national road speed limits here.

    The king established AC Cars factory was just a mile or two away from Cooper Car Company at the Ferry Works Thames Ditton in business over 50 years before the idea of putting a Ford v8 in one of their motor cars.

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    Lest anyone thinks the AC motorsport racing success only began with the fitment of Ford v8 engines to crate the famous Cobra this is a picture of their trophies 1925
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    I think 24hour and 2000 mile speed record holders in 1925 And AC won the Monte Carlo rally the following year, 1926. Carol Shelby the man whose idea was to put a v8 in the AC to create the most famous AC model the cobra would’ve been aged around 2 or 3 at the time of these earlier motoring awards.

    Coincidentally I once worked in the famous Ferry Works building that had been home of AC from 1911 until in the mid eighties.
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    Situated on the bank of Thames overlooking an island with private houses that are accessible by footbridge, directly across from the grounds of Hampton Court Royal Palace of Henry VIII fame … My old office window (circled) overlooking river and Hampton Court grounds handy having “ye old swan” riverside pub right next door
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    View from the footbridge
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    It is said Henry VIII was responsible for the shape of the islands by clearing the water so his royal barge could move on the river Thames to his palace and go hunting. Nice to know that he had another hobby beyond torturing people and cutting off their heads. I’ve certainly had worse office locations.
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    Steve
    Last edited by 911MRP; 03-18-2022 at 06:16 AM.

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