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Help With Cooper Ser. Number


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#1 Snakedriver

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:27

Howdy Folks,

I have been wanting to get into vintage racing for quite sometime now, well I think that time has come. For the last year or so I have been looking around for a nice Formula Ford. Well, in my travels a friend of a friend has a Cooper T72 which he is ready to part with for a very reasonable sum. It does need some love and affection all around plus the original BMC engine has been replaced with a Screamer, that is needing some tending to as well.

Here is the problem: Its known to share the same serial number as another T72 that is in Europe. As a matter of fact it was just posted for sale! F3-17-64. As I understand it, it was not unheard of for there to be some hijinks surrounding the data plates back in the day...Im OK with that. Also, the car, or F3-17-64 doesn't have any real race history that Im aware of, so...

Question #1: What I really want to know is the history of the machine in my friends garage(in the USA), good, bad, or ugly. Question #2. Was/is it practical to build a reproduction F3 car...with the wrong, more expensive engine?

The car was bought by my pal from a company in England called "Strait Six" from Edgware on the 13th of June 1989. Im aware that F3-17-64 left the factory with a BMC engine and was bought by a Swiss guy. When my pal joined the Cooper Car Club, The President, Woody Neale, via email, called the car all but a fake, stating that F3-17-64 never left Europe and is a 2 owner machine as of 2006 with FIA papers...ect. As well as the data plate being in the wrong location and not a genuine Cooper data plate at all. Its all very interesting to me, and a puzzle I would like to solve.

I realize that you don't have any direct answers, but Im sort of just fishing for comments to help educate and enlighten. Anything you can share or relate to me would me most welcome. Its turning into kinda of a who done it type of mystery that I would like to solve as best a possible.

Cheers from across the pond,

Leo





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Edited by Snakedriver, 27 August 2013 - 05:47.


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#2 D-Type

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:36

Whatever this car may be, it is certainly not chassis F3-17-64.  It may be a Cooper 'parts car' or it may be a clone.

 

If you want to race in Formula Ford, a Cooper is not the car to have.  A F3 car it will be too heavy for the lower Ford power. .

 

Because of the Mini Cooper connection, Cooper were more or less forced into using BMC engines for the works cars (one of the reasons BMC produced the Mini Cooper S was to give them a suitable engine).  Some privateers did fit Ford-based engines - is that what you mean by a "Screamer"?.

 

What is considered 'original specification' and an 'acceptable substitutuion' by race organisers varies from country to country and series to series so you should consult the organising bodies. 

 

It would be worth asking competitors in your chosen series what car they suggest - there will be some that are only suitable for big budget operators as they need constant fettling while there will be others that are slightly slower but more dependable.  They will also know which cars have problems with spares availability and the like.



#3 Allen Brown

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:32

We shouldn't read too much into it having a dodgy plate.  It's highly unlikely that anyone would build a T72 from scratch before 1989 - unless they had substantially more money than sense - so it is more likely that it is a real Cooper that has been misidentified.  Maybe somebody just guessed the chassis number so they could get a HVIF for it - that sort of thing was unfortunately all too common in the 1980s as the HSCC insisted you knew the chassis number of your car even when you didn't.

 

If Straight Six had it in 1989 then it should appear in its adverts in Classic & Sportscar and in Autosport.  From there I would suggest working backwards owner by owner until you can find out where it came from.  I would check out whether it raced in England before 1988.

 

What's the earliest information you have on it?  Is an HVIF still with it?  

 

Allen



#4 Snakedriver

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:32

Allen,

Thanks for the quick reply!

I agree with you...It would be silly to build a faux Cooper. I cant seem to get past Strait Six. I was hoping that somebody in the UK might know how to contact somebody from Strait Six. Or have some back issues of Classic & Sportscar or Autosport. I believe that they are out of business?? Its tough trying to sort this from the US, while working in Saudi Arabia...LOL

D type,

I wanted to get into something like FF. The F3 car has a Ford 1000 with a modified head. Those engines are called Screamers due to the high operating RPMs. When this car became available I was attracted to it. In the US F3 class is non-existent. So I made some calls and Ill have no problem running the car in FJ with some tweeks.


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Edited by Snakedriver, 27 August 2013 - 10:35.


#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:30

Here's an ad for the car (from Autosport 27th April 1989):

 

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#6 Snakedriver

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:38

Holy Moly! That's it alright! Thanks Tim!

Now we (if I may) just need to find out who sold it to S6.

Does anybody know if S6 did restorations?

Leo

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 13:44

Straight Six had that Cooper T72 on their books for a very long time. It featured regularly in their ads from as far back as July 1985. This is the earliest ad of theirs I've found in Autosport, so they probably had it before then, too.



#8 Snakedriver

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 20:02

Interesting. Thanks again Tim.

Leo

#9 Andrew Fellowes

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:20

Straight Six was Tony Hildebrand, not that it helps much! Very affable and always carried a huge amount of cash with him, and I mean huge!



#10 David McKinney

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:56

He might still be around - or was until recently. I believe he was at Gerry Marshall's funeral (though that was more than ten years ago...)



#11 Snakedriver

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:38

Any suggestions on where to go now to look for information?

Leo

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 13:24

You could try sending a PM to Gregor Marshall, Gerry's son



#13 Snakedriver

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 13:52

Very good. Thanks David.

Leo