1959 Cooper T51 By Taylor & Crawley
- May 14, 2019
- Posted by Simon Streich
F2-23-59 started life in 1959 as a works car for the Cooper Grand Prix team. The car was used by Bruce McLaren throughout the year. The Cooper team won the World Constructors championship and McLaren in his ﬁrst full season took his maiden Grand Prix victory in the US Grand Prix at Sebring.
For the 1960 season the T51 was replaced by the “lowline” T53 thus making F2-23-59 redundant for works use. The car was sold to Fred Tuck & Horace Gould. Tuck privately entered the car in numerous Grand Prix in 1960 with various drivers taking the wheel including Roy Salvadori and Lucien Bianchi. Bianchi scored a best result of 6th at Monaco.
In 1961 the Formula 1 regulations changed and the car was ﬁtted with a 1.5 litre Coventry Climax engine but little is known about the races it did. At the end of the season American Frank Dochnal bought the car and shipped it to the States where he won ﬁrst time out at Riverside Raceway. Dochnal continued to use the car and even entered the 1963 Mexican Grand Prix where he failed to start due to a practice accident. National racer Ed Mackey purchased the car from Dochnal and campaigned the car nationwide. His relentless determination and the Cooper’s amazing reliability won him the 1966 SCCA Southern Paciﬁc Division Formula A championship.
After another ownership change Steve Froines purchased the car in early 70s. He restored the car to the correct speciﬁcation and reunited her with the correct 2.5 litre Coventry Climax engine and ERSA gearbox. After thirty years of ownership he sold the car to well known historic racer Murray Smith in 2006.
The current owner purchased the car in 2008 and with Neil Twyman’s preparation F2-23-59 has achieved tremendous results in HGPCA events including outright wins in the Monaco Historique.
The car is referred to and documented in Doug Nye’s Cooper Cars book.
Report by taylorandcrawley.com