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A 500cc Cooper question


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#1 m.tanney

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 21:10

  Most of my books are packed away in boxes right now, including my copy of Doug Nye's Cooper Cars. In the edition I have (Osprey, 1999), one of the appendices gives chassis numbers, first owners, etc. for Cooper's 500cc F3 cars. IIRC, one or two of those cars went to Canada. I'd be grateful if someone could provide me with the details.

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#2 Richard Neale

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 21:35

There are very few details of 500cc F3 Cars except Mk 5's. I just had a quick scan and I can't see any delivered to Canada. The only other records are of Mk11 and Mk13 ~ again none went to Canada.

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 21:43

The book happens to be on my desk....
The schedules, which are far from complete, do not list any Canadian buyers as such. Several destinations are given simply as 'America', which could cover some for onward transportation. Also some of the customer names listed, without countries, are not familiar to me, so could possibly be Canadian. If you have any names of importers I'd be happy to look again.

#4 Richard Neale

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 21:53

David ~ Is that Book ever off your desk ?

I have one upstairs and one downstairs to save my legs ! :up:

#5 m.tanney

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 22:40

Gentlemen,

  Thanks for the lightning fast responses. I could have sworn there was a reference to a car sent to Canada in Doug's book. My memory must be playing tricks on me.
  The car I'm interested in was owned by Charles Wheaton of Toronto. It made its first Canadian appearance at Edenvale on September 3, 1950 with Paul White driving. The following month, Wheaton drove an Aston-Martin DB2 at the first Sebring race, partnered by Peter Dillnut. In 1951, Dillnut won a race or two in Florida driving an F3 Cooper - probably the same car. In 1952-53, there seems to have been only one F3 Cooper racing in Canada. It scored some outright wins against mixed fields at Edenvale and a class win at Watkins Glen with Russ Moodie driving. That, too, may have been the Wheaton car. I was hoping to find out the mark number.
  Thanks again, for the help. Sorry for sending you on a wild goose chase.

#6 Richard Neale

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:16

None of those names come up with a result on my database search ~ However I have a 'Sleuth' in Canada who may be able to come up with something.

#7 Rupertlt1

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 23:03

None of those names come up with a result on my database search ~ However I have a 'Sleuth' in Canada who may be able to come up with something.


Does James 'Jim' Fergusson, Toronto car dealer, feature anywhere?

#8 Rupertlt1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:00

Does James 'Jim' Fergusson, Toronto car dealer, feature anywhere?


Researchers have pointed to there only being one Cooper F3 car in Canada in the early fifties.

I think there were at least two – a white one, originally owned by Charles Wheaton, which is fairly well known – and a blue one. There could have been a green one also.

The possibility of cars being repainted causes confusion, but I think the white one stayed white until at least 1956, when run by Don Clark, and is thought to be the original Wheaton car.

Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb, June 2, 1956:
5th O/A Don Clark, Cooper JAP, #1, 52.10 sec
Don Clark is the mystery man, the last known keeper of the Jordan Special, 1962/1963.

GIANTS DESPAIR HILL-CLIMB [1952]
The only Canadian entry was Russ Moodie driving the
ex-David Knight Cooper JAP. In the hill climb on Friday
the Cooper was driven by Gord Holloway of Montreal.
Gord had the bad luck to spin out on his first try and
on the second run the JAP found the highly potent blend
a shade too explosive and as a sign of protest coasted
over the finish line with a hole in the piston.
However, his time was only 4 sec slower than the fastest
Formula 3 car. After another engine was installed,
Russ drove into a very good third in the Road Race and
qualified for the big one at the Glen.
Source: B.E.M.C. Bulletin, October 1952, Vol 5, Issue 10, Page 19.

So who, in all the world, was David Knight? What colour was the Moodie car? Green?
Moodie went on to finish fourth in the Seneca Cup at Watkins Glen, #96.

RGDS RLT



#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 21:59

When I compiled the book I reproduced verbatim every entry from the vestigial works record books that John Cooper had loaned to me. What's in the Osprey Cooper book should be a faithful record of everything that was in the original ledgers that I saw. JNC did admit to me, entre nous, that the ledgers possibly omitted as much as they dared hope the taxman might let them get away with.

Real life, boys, real life...

DCN

#10 Rupertlt1

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:05

When I compiled the book I reproduced verbatim every entry from the vestigial works record books that John Cooper had loaned to me. What's in the Osprey Cooper book should be a faithful record of everything that was in the original ledgers that I saw. JNC did admit to me, entre nous, that the ledgers possibly omitted as much as they dared hope the taxman might let them get away with.

Real life, boys, real life...

DCN


I will keep digging here in Ontario. BTW Doug, check out "Firle Hill Climb help needed" thread - I have recently turned up a win for Arthur Owen, Cooper, at Firle, 29 May 1960 - previously obscure.

#11 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:01

I will keep digging here in Ontario. BTW Doug, check out "Firle Hill Climb help needed" thread - I have recently turned up a win for Arthur Owen, Cooper, at Firle, 29 May 1960 - previously obscure.


I went to North York Library today to look at the '1954' Edenvale programme held
there; it turned out to be from 1952. Here are two interesting quotes:
Official Programme: The Sports Car Club, Sports Car Trophy Races, Edenvale,
August 2nd, 1952:
"Peter Dillnutt-Peter is usually seen driving Trident Motors 500 c.c. Cooper in
which he won the Formula III at Palm Beach in Florida last December. There is
some doubt whether front end parts will come from England in time but Peter will
be driving something perchance even his 1931 Stutz.
"Our climbs are held at Rattlesnake Point about 4 miles southwest of Milton,
Ontario where Peter Dillnutt (Cooper) holds the record and Peter Hayes
(T.C.M.G.) is 1952 champion."
Trident Motors was a Ford dealer - imported Charles Wheaton's Aston Martin DB2.
We are missing when Dillnutt set the Rattlesnake record in the Cooper? Must keep
digging.

For more Rattlesnake go here.
RGDS RLT

Edited by Rupertlt1, 04 December 2012 - 11:11.


#12 rbm

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:10

I went to North York Library today to look at the '1954' Edenvale programme held
there; it turned out to be from 1952. Here are two interesting quotes:
Official Programme: The Sports Car Club, Sports Car Trophy Races, Edenvale,
August 2nd, 1952:
"Peter Dillnutt-Peter is usually seen driving Trident Motors 500 c.c. Cooper in
which he won the Formula III at Palm Beach in Florida last December. There is
some doubt whether front end parts will come from England in time but Peter will
be driving something perchance even his 1931 Stutz.
"Our climbs are held at Rattlesnake Point about 4 miles southwest of Milton,
Ontario where Peter Dillnutt (Cooper) holds the record and Peter Hayes
(T.C.M.G.) is 1952 champion."
Trident Motors was a Ford dealer - imported Charles Wheaton's Aston Martin DB2.
We are missing when Dillnutt set the Rattlesnake record in the Cooper? Must keep
digging. RGDS RLT


Rupert, whilst a tad O/T can you keep your eyes open for the Revis in the 500cc F3 results though I would guess late 60's/70s

Richard

#13 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:14

Rupert, whilst a tad O/T can you keep your eyes open for the Revis in the 500cc F3 results though I would guess late 60's/70s

Richard


Richard, Have you got a copy of Formula III Racing in North America? The car turns up in there. I'm in contact with the author Harry C. Reynolds, who likes corresponding. PM me at rupertlt at sympatico.ca

Edited by Rupertlt1, 04 December 2012 - 11:17.


#14 rbm

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:36

Richard, Have you got a copy of Formula III Racing in North America? The car turns up in there. I'm in contact with the author Harry C. Reynolds, who likes corresponding. PM me at rupertlt at sympatico.ca


Rupert, yes I know Harry quite well, the Revis was the first 500 he ever saw at a local garage in the USA.

With the Revis turning up in Kelowna BC via Vancouver, maybe it competed in Canada?

Richard

#15 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 14:30

Rupert, yes I know Harry quite well, the Revis was the first 500 he ever saw at a local garage in the USA.

With the Revis turning up in Kelowna BC via Vancouver, maybe it competed in Canada?

Richard


Reynolds' book says:
1952 REVIS
(A variety of engines used)
Trevor Wright
Winfield, B.C., Canada
Ex- <To Calif. <Jones raced at Glen Nat. in 59, <hill-
climbed in 1958 by Warner and Seifert, <raced by
Mion in 1957 (s. by M. 1957) <advertised in U.K.
by Bicknell winter of 1955-56.
Car is only one produced.
H-D gearbox.

If Tom Johnston doesn't know re Canada, I don't know who does?
He has written a book: Sports Car Road Racing in Western Canada.

#16 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 14:41

Back on topic:
Official Programme: The Sports Car Club, Sports Car Trophy Races, Edenvale,
August 2nd, 1952:
An F3 race was scheduled for this event – there is no evidence that this took place.
We know the Dillnutt car was doubtful. Surely they did not plan this race for just one car?
They may have hoped for cars from the US, but this also suggests a second Canadian car?

In the GD article the ex-David Knight Cooper JAP was referred to as if the reader would know full well who was referred to.
Step forward D.H. Knight, Treasurer of the S.C.C. Toronto.
More likely him than some obscure/unknown racer in the UK?

R.P.M., Journal of The Sports Car Club, June 1956, Vol.IV, No.3:
Don Clarke's (sic) Cooper 500 was in good shape and made very good time once the engine was started. That compression! Incidentally, it is the first time we have actually seen this car in competition, and the aroma of Castrol R brings back memories."

This suggests that the Clark car was not the same as the Dillnutt car – which as we have seen set a record at some unknown meeting at Rattlesnake in 1951?

RGDS RLT

#17 TEJ

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 15:34

Reynolds' book says:
1952 REVIS
(A variety of engines used)
Trevor Wright
Winfield, B.C., Canada
Ex- <To Calif. <Jones raced at Glen Nat. in 59, <hill-
climbed in 1958 by Warner and Seifert, <raced by
Mion in 1957 (s. by M. 1957) <advertised in U.K.
by Bicknell winter of 1955-56.
Car is only one produced.
H-D gearbox.

If Tom Johnston doesn't know re Canada, I don't know who does?
He has written a book: Sports Car Road Racing in Western Canada.


The Revis returned to the UK several years ago and has been retstored

#18 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:24

The Revis returned to the UK several years ago and has been restored


I think Richard is the guy that currently owns it in the UK?

#19 David Birchall

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 21:33

Rupert, yes I know Harry quite well, the Revis was the first 500 he ever saw at a local garage in the USA.

With the Revis turning up in Kelowna BC via Vancouver, maybe it competed in Canada?

Richard


I remember it arriving here-in dreadful condition-I am fairly sure it never raced in Canada- TEJ can comment on that. :cat:

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#20 rbm

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 21:45

yep I have the Revis, it was in fairly poor shape when we brought it back - we think we gained the first 500cc F3 win for the Revis since 1954 this year (at Pembrey).

back OT

I have Bill Brunt in a Cooper Norton at Harewood Acres reported in Autosport October 4, 1957

#21 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 22:48

yep I have the Revis, it was in fairly poor shape when we brought it back - we think we gained the first 500cc F3 win for the Revis since 1954 this year (at Pembrey).

back OT

I have Bill Brunt in a Cooper Norton at Harewood Acres reported in Autosport October 4, 1957


I've got that - strangely he doesn't feature in the results.

Bill Brunt, Cooper-Norton 500 c.c. d.o.h.c., raced at Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb 1957.

Mike Tanney says: " It appears to be a MkVIII. The later models had the engine exposed to facilitate cooling, especially of the head."

Eve White, Small Torque, B.E.M.C., September 1959: “The ex-Bill Brunt Cooper is now owned by Bill McDonald, New Toronto lawyer. Bill also drives the kitted Ford Zephyr. He’s been up to one of the local courses in company with Eddie Stidolph to do a spot of practicing with the Cooper.”

Brunt went to Europe as a team manager. The car was converted to a Cooper-D.K.W. FJ car.

Per Mike Nilson: So if Bill McDonald owned the car, that would have been the one converted by Autosport into the Cooper DKW, of which I have the engine and Phil Lamont has the car.

I believe the car is being converted back to FIII spec.

Edited by Rupertlt1, 04 December 2012 - 22:52.


#22 HiRich

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:56

I think we can now add some more to this

1) The Trident Motors - Charles Wheaton - Phil Dillnutt Car, aka The Blue Car
The emphasis here has to be on the Dillnutt part. This car is a Mk IV, and was painted a drab blue (think a bit darker than RAF dress blue). We can't be sure that this is the car that appeared at Edenvale in September 1950, but by Giants' Despair, 1951 (driven by Wheaton) it is definitely blue. The last sighting I have so far is Edenvale, August 1952.
As will become clear, I believe that this was a brand new car from the factory.


2) The Trident Motors (sic) - David Knight - Russ Moodie Car, aka The Green Car
This car has been identified as a mid-periood (Mk V-VII) chassis, in a drab green (similar to the blue car).
We can be very confident that Knight is the David Knight you suggest - there is no GB driver that matches. That in turn supports the idea that the car is brand new.
I am now pretty confident that this is a Mk V, and appears in the build list as chassis V/30/51 (although Doug's notes record this number twice). The entry is "Trident Motors - 500cc 'with engine' (=JAP) - green with natural upholstery - extras 'long range tanks, trailer with 500x14 wheels, car to be fitted with 400x15 wheels all round..."
Other than confirming that Moodie's car matches this description reasonably well, I've no hard evidence to support or counter. But several elements make good sense. The word has gone out to see whether there's any Canadian evidence to support this (or anything that places chassis 30 elsewhere), or any trace of the chassis still existing. So far we've turned up no other claimants for this chassis plate.
I was intrigued that the order does not mention Canada (unlike other countries), and I think this might be because:
- Canada is a lot closer to the UK than America is
- Trident were already known to Cooper Cars, because they had already bought a car or more (ie the Blue Car was ex-factory)
The first sighting I have for the chassis is at Giant's Despair/Brynfan-Tyddyn in July 1952, running through to the same meeting 12 months later.
My theory is therefore that this car was ordered by David Knight of the SCC, through Trident Motors, and fairly quickly sold on to Moodie. Later fate is completely unknown.


3) The other Charles Wheaton (?) Car, aka The White Car
Now this one gets tricky - I have no catalogued images of a white car, although I have vague memories of seeing one (and an early-period model at that). Can we confirm its existence and/or timeframes?
If it was a Mk IV as I suspect, the obvious question is whether it is distinct from the Blue car, or an earlier or later colour scheme?
Presuming it is a distinct chassis, I would expect this also to have come through Trident. I can see a situation similar to John Crouch in Australia - driving/demonstrating the cars to generate demand, then selling them on.



The common theme here seems to be Trident Motors of Toronto, who I suspect were acting as de facto agents for Cooper Cars. What more do we know about them? Do any of the names associated with this adventure (especially Wheaton, it would seem) have any involvement in the company?

Another useful element on the American side is that on the East Coast most Coopers were bought factory-fresh (at least until much later). Therefore any early-model (Mk II-IV shape) cars should be of interest. To my knowledge, the Joe Blaser Car (Ohio) and Milo Kibbe Mk IV don't have any early heritage, and might be part of the story of one of the Trident Cars.

#23 Rupertlt1

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 21:38

I think we can now add some more to this

1) The Trident Motors - Charles Wheaton - Phil Dillnutt Car, aka The Blue Car
The emphasis here has to be on the Dillnutt part. This car is a Mk IV, and was painted a drab blue (think a bit darker than RAF dress blue). We can't be sure that this is the car that appeared at Edenvale in September 1950, but by Giants' Despair, 1951 (driven by Wheaton) it is definitely blue. The last sighting I have so far is Edenvale, August 1952.
As will become clear, I believe that this was a brand new car from the factory.


2) The Trident Motors (sic) - David Knight - Russ Moodie Car, aka The Green Car
This car has been identified as a mid-periood (Mk V-VII) chassis, in a drab green (similar to the blue car).
We can be very confident that Knight is the David Knight you suggest - there is no GB driver that matches. That in turn supports the idea that the car is brand new.
I am now pretty confident that this is a Mk V, and appears in the build list as chassis V/30/51 (although Doug's notes record this number twice). The entry is "Trident Motors - 500cc 'with engine' (=JAP) - green with natural upholstery - extras 'long range tanks, trailer with 500x14 wheels, car to be fitted with 400x15 wheels all round..."
Other than confirming that Moodie's car matches this description reasonably well, I've no hard evidence to support or counter. But several elements make good sense. The word has gone out to see whether there's any Canadian evidence to support this (or anything that places chassis 30 elsewhere), or any trace of the chassis still existing. So far we've turned up no other claimants for this chassis plate.
I was intrigued that the order does not mention Canada (unlike other countries), and I think this might be because:
- Canada is a lot closer to the UK than America is
- Trident were already known to Cooper Cars, because they had already bought a car or more (ie the Blue Car was ex-factory)
The first sighting I have for the chassis is at Giant's Despair/Brynfan-Tyddyn in July 1952, running through to the same meeting 12 months later.
My theory is therefore that this car was ordered by David Knight of the SCC, through Trident Motors, and fairly quickly sold on to Moodie. Later fate is completely unknown.

3) The other Charles Wheaton (?) Car, aka The White Car
Now this one gets tricky - I have no catalogued images of a white car, although I have vague memories of seeing one (and an early-period model at that). Can we confirm its existence and/or timeframes?
If it was a Mk IV as I suspect, the obvious question is whether it is distinct from the Blue car, or an earlier or later colour scheme?
Presuming it is a distinct chassis, I would expect this also to have come through Trident. I can see a situation similar to John Crouch in Australia - driving/demonstrating the cars to generate demand, then selling them on.

The common theme here seems to be Trident Motors of Toronto, who I suspect were acting as de facto agents for Cooper Cars. What more do we know about them? Do any of the names associated with this adventure (especially Wheaton, it would seem) have any involvement in the company?

Another useful element on the American side is that on the East Coast most Coopers were bought factory-fresh (at least until much later). Therefore any early-model (Mk II-IV shape) cars should be of interest. To my knowledge, the Joe Blaser Car (Ohio) and Milo Kibbe Mk IV don't have any early heritage, and might be part of the story of one of the Trident Cars.


At last we are getting down to business!

1) They ran a race at Edenvale on 3 September, 1950, where Paul White demonstrated Charles Wheaton's FIII Cooper. The only known photograph at this event in the Globe and Mail newspaper is b+w, but is consistent with it being blue. I have colour film of it at Bridgehampton in 1951, #99, driven by Peter Dillnutt - it is blue.
The Trident Motors ref in the 2nd August 1952 Edenvale programme unlocks the door to Doug Nye's book. The Cooper was doubtful/DNS at this event. They must have anticipated at least three cars in order to stage a separate FIII event.
1951 is a 'black hole' in Ontario racing - there was an SCC event at Edenvale about which little is known - although we have evidence Peter Dillnutt set a lap record (see Palm Beach Shores programme).
We also know that Dillnutt (F3 Cooper) set a record at Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb in 1951, but we don't know when. (I am on the trail re Rattlesnake and this might turn something up.)

2) On the subject of David Knight the following turns up:
Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb, May 7, 1950: 7th, D. Knight, M.G. TC, #6
Edenvale race 1, June 25, 1950: 15th, Dave Knight, Standard Vanguard
(The first race run at Edenvale.)
This establishes that he is David Knight (not just initials). I think Knight may have owned (and possibly campaigned) a Cooper F3 in 1951, that he then passed on to Russ Moodie for 1952.

3) The 'White' Cooper. Earliest sighting is at Edenvale, 8 August 1953. I have b+w film of this event plus photographs taken from it. A race report appeared in Autosport, 4 September 1953, which refers to the F3 Cooper MKIV-J.A.P. - I have a copy inbound - watch this space.
There are two pictures of the 'white' Cooper from 1956 on Page 94 of Harry Reynolds book "Formula III Racing In North America." Both when the car was in the hands of Don Clark.
I have two colour pictures of this car as follows:
Don Clark, #1, Cooper-J.A.P., Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb, 1956, at the hairpin
Don Clark, Cooper-J.A.P., Hockley Valley Hill Climb, 1956, on the startline
Both pictures by Al Sands. The car is white.

P.S. Did the blue car become the white car?

P.P.S. R.P.M., Journal of The Sports Car Club, June 1956, Vol.IV, No.3:
Rattlesnake: Don Clarke's (sic) Cooper 500 was in good shape and made very good time once the engine was started. That compression! Incidentally, it is the first time we have actually seen this car in competition, and the aroma of Castrol R brings back memories." This suggests that the Clark car was not the same as the Dillnutt car – which as we have seen set a record at some unknown meeting at Rattlesnake in 1951? Or was the reporter fooled by a change of colour?
Trident Motors was a Ford dealer - imported Charles Wheaton's Aston Martin DB2.

Update: Autosport, 4 September 1953:
"The sole Formula 3 entry, a Mark IV Cooper, was also allowed to run, but its J.A.P. engine was not giving of its best, so this car also appeared to be in the pits more than on the circuit."

Edited by Rupertlt1, 12 December 2012 - 11:11.


#24 Rupertlt1

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 21:25

At last we are getting down to business!

1) They ran a race at Edenvale on 3 September, 1950, where Paul White demonstrated Charles Wheaton's FIII Cooper. The only known photograph at this event in the Globe and Mail newspaper is b+w, but is consistent with it being blue. I have colour film of it at Bridgehampton in 1951, #99, driven by Peter Dillnutt - it is blue.
The Trident Motors ref in the 2nd August 1952 Edenvale programme unlocks the door to Doug Nye's book. The Cooper was doubtful/DNS at this event. They must have anticipated at least three cars in order to stage a separate FIII event.
1951 is a 'black hole' in Ontario racing - there was an SCC event at Edenvale about which little is known - although we have evidence Peter Dillnutt set a lap record (see Palm Beach Shores programme).
We also know that Dillnutt (F3 Cooper) set a record at Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb in 1951, but we don't know when. (I am on the trail re Rattlesnake and this might turn something up.)

2) On the subject of David Knight the following turns up:
Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb, May 7, 1950: 7th, D. Knight, M.G. TC, #6
Edenvale race 1, June 25, 1950: 15th, Dave Knight, Standard Vanguard
(The first race run at Edenvale.)
This establishes that he is David Knight (not just initials). I think Knight may have owned (and possibly campaigned) a Cooper F3 in 1951, that he then passed on to Russ Moodie for 1952.

3) The 'White' Cooper. Earliest sighting is at Edenvale, 8 August 1953. I have b+w film of this event plus photographs taken from it. A race report appeared in Autosport, 4 September 1953, which refers to the F3 Cooper MKIV-J.A.P. - I have a copy inbound - watch this space.
There are two pictures of the 'white' Cooper from 1956 on Page 94 of Harry Reynolds book "Formula III Racing In North America." Both when the car was in the hands of Don Clark.
I have two colour pictures of this car as follows:
Don Clark, #1, Cooper-J.A.P., Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb, 1956, at the hairpin
Don Clark, Cooper-J.A.P., Hockley Valley Hill Climb, 1956, on the startline
Both pictures by Al Sands. The car is white.

P.S. Did the blue car become the white car?

P.P.S. R.P.M., Journal of The Sports Car Club, June 1956, Vol.IV, No.3:
Rattlesnake: Don Clarke's (sic) Cooper 500 was in good shape and made very good time once the engine was started. That compression! Incidentally, it is the first time we have actually seen this car in competition, and the aroma of Castrol R brings back memories." This suggests that the Clark car was not the same as the Dillnutt car – which as we have seen set a record at some unknown meeting at Rattlesnake in 1951? Or was the reporter fooled by a change of colour?
Trident Motors was a Ford dealer - imported Charles Wheaton's Aston Martin DB2.

Update: Autosport, 4 September 1953:
"The sole Formula 3 entry, a Mark IV Cooper, was also allowed to run, but its J.A.P. engine was not giving of its best, so this car also appeared to be in the pits more than on the circuit."


This from Harry C. Reynolds:

Rupert- Good sleuthing! It sounds like you're getting closer. Incidently, you mentioned the Blaser MkIII that I owned at one point and know of its subsequent history. It remains in the U.S. and is, therefore, the oldest Cooper in N.A. As to the possibility that it was formerly in Canada - not impossible. When I had the car, I tried to trace its history without success and Canadian origin is a possibility. The MkIII was pretty much identical to a MkIV. I could find no record of Blaser racing the car, but that's not unusual - it could have been used for hilllclimbs or autocross. It'll be interesting to see if any more information emerges on Trident. It seems possible that they were the first Cooper dealer in N.A., a bit earlier than Breeze in S.F.
The image I sent of Moodie with the green car (at Watkins Glen?) indicates the color was a shiny dark green, but it did have natural color upholstery. More later.



#25 Rupertlt1

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 22:30

It seems certain that Trident Motors and Charles Wheaton are one and the same.
A 1952 Advertisement says:

"See Charlie Wheaton
and Al Baker
the original sports and foreign car
specialists
for repairs to all makes competition tuning
sleeves, manifolds, heads, supercharger
installations
WHEATON BAKER
ENGINEERING
2868 Dufferin Street RE.3866
Toronto Ontario
Dufferin at Glencairn"

In 1952 Wheaton is listed in a directory as general manager of the above.
In the Bell telephone book:

Trident Motors Ltd
2868 Dufferin
REdfern 3866

By 1957 trading as:
Wheaton Motors Ltd

Edited by Rupertlt1, 17 December 2012 - 22:42.


#26 Rupertlt1

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 21:18

Ref:
‎1950: Allard J.2 and K.2 models are to
be exhibited at the Canadian
National Exhibition, which is to be held
in Toronto, from August 25 to
September 9, by Messrs. Trident Motors,
of Toronto, recently appointed Allard
distributors.

1950 Canadian National Exhibition Programme, List of Exhibitors, page 127:
Trident Motors, 2868 Dufferin Street,
Toronto – Allard, Aston-Martin,
Lagonda Motorcars – Automotive
Building, Mezzanine Floor . . . . 1, 2 (No. of Booth)

END

RGDS RLT

#27 Rupertlt1

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 14:03

First Annual Canadian International Hobby and Homecraft Show,
Coliseum at the Exhibition grounds, Toronto, Feb 6-14, 1953.
The British Empire Motor Club had a booth:
"In the far corner was a blue Cooper-J.A.P., a 500 c.c., 14 to 1 compression ratio, Formula 3 Grand Prix Race Car. We certainly would like to have seen it in action."

Hockley Valley Hill Climb, May 23, 1953:
"The Cooper-J.A.P. did not
make it and was abandoned part
way to Orangeville by the dis-
appointed owner."
Alice Fergusson, Canadian Speed Special, Friday June 5, 1953,
Page 6.

Edenvale, July 4, 1953, entered:
Fraser Dewar, Cooper-J.A.P.
Russ Moodie, Cooper-J.A.P.

Edenvale Aug 8, entered:
white Cooper-J.A.P., #8
Autosport, 4 September 1953:
"The sole Formula 3 entry, a Mark IV Cooper, was also allowed to run, but its J.A.P. engine was not giving of its best, so this car also appeared to be in the pits more than on the circuit."

Hockley Valley Hill Climb, August 29, 1953
4th O/A, Jock Campbell, Cooper-J.A.P., 1.2255 mins
13th O/A Fraser Dewar, Cooper-J.A.P., 1.345 mins

This is believed to be the same white car, driven by Don Clark, in 1956:

Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb, 1956

RGDS RLT

Edited by Rupertlt1, 08 January 2013 - 11:05.


#28 HiRich

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 19:01

Now I've scouted some more images, we can be sure the blue car and the white car are different chassis

The blue car has something of a Mk III-style nose (still drooping) and twin fillers on the headrest.
The white car has a pure Mk IV nose (more bullet-shaped). It has a long headrest (standard on both 500 and 1100 Mk IV's, standard only on 1000 Mk IIIs), but curiously it has a Mk II-III tank, with a single filler (all Mk IVs should have twin fillers).
The colour film also makes it unlikely the white car is also the Joe Blaser chassis. I have a very blurry image of this car around 1958, and whilst it is white and probably has the Mk IV nose (crumpled), there are a number of issues with colours, compared to your colour film.

So we definitely have three chassis in Eastern Canada in the early 1950s.

The additional cars
Fraser Dewar car: With no references yet, this could be any of the three Coopers (shared or not), or indeed a fourth car, although it seems likely to be one of the Mk IVs
Jock Campbell car: The programme for the Glen, 09/53 lists this car as a Mk IV (Campbell being from Willowdale, Ontario, if that helps). So this is presumably the blue or white car
The unknown car (Hockley 23/05/1953 and Edenvale 8/08/1953): In both cases the engine troubles suggest to me one of the Mk IVs, perhaps the same car and (from bitter experience) probably someone who's just bought one
So I don't think we have a fourth chassis, but for now we can't really say which car was which. For now I've added a Jock Campbell Mk IV and a a Dewar car (unknown model type) in my records, until we can tie them back in. It is still intriguing how all three cars seem to disappear so suddenly, only one reappearing after a gap.

Other Comments
The reference at Rattlesnake Point, June 1956 to "the first time we have actually seen this car in competition" intrigues me. My first guess is that it means the white car had never appeared at an SCC meeting (with Clark or other) - how do the events we do know for Mk IVs around 1953 stack up? Are they all BEMC events? It also suggests neither of the other two cars were running in Canada for some time - perhaps 1954 onwards.
Another intriguing possibility: For the 1959 Commander Yorke meeting at Silverstone, we have a unique entry for a G Holloway - no other records exist for this chap so far. There is a very small possibility Gord Holloway was on a trip to the motherland and took the opportunity to have another go in a rented car. We have several similar one-offs, including Lex DuPont coming to collect his Cooper Mk XIII, so it's not completely stupid.

#29 Rupertlt1

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 19:43

Now I've scouted some more images, we can be sure the blue car and the white car are different chassis

The blue car has something of a Mk III-style nose (still drooping) and twin fillers on the headrest.
The white car has a pure Mk IV nose (more bullet-shaped). It has a long headrest (standard on both 500 and 1100 Mk IV's, standard only on 1000 Mk IIIs), but curiously it has a Mk II-III tank, with a single filler (all Mk IVs should have twin fillers).
The colour film also makes it unlikely the white car is also the Joe Blaser chassis. I have a very blurry image of this car around 1958, and whilst it is white and probably has the Mk IV nose (crumpled), there are a number of issues with colours, compared to your colour film.

So we definitely have three chassis in Eastern Canada in the early 1950s.

The additional cars
Fraser Dewar car: With no references yet, this could be any of the three Coopers (shared or not), or indeed a fourth car, although it seems likely to be one of the Mk IVs
Jock Campbell car: The programme for the Glen, 09/53 lists this car as a Mk IV (Campbell being from Willowdale, Ontario, if that helps). So this is presumably the blue or white car
The unknown car (Hockley 23/05/1953 and Edenvale 8/08/1953): In both cases the engine troubles suggest to me one of the Mk IVs, perhaps the same car and (from bitter experience) probably someone who's just bought one
So I don't think we have a fourth chassis, but for now we can't really say which car was which. For now I've added a Jock Campbell Mk IV and a a Dewar car (unknown model type) in my records, until we can tie them back in. It is still intriguing how all three cars seem to disappear so suddenly, only one reappearing after a gap.

Other Comments
The reference at Rattlesnake Point, June 1956 to "the first time we have actually seen this car in competition" intrigues me. My first guess is that it means the white car had never appeared at an SCC meeting (with Clark or other) - how do the events we do know for Mk IVs around 1953 stack up? Are they all BEMC events? It also suggests neither of the other two cars were running in Canada for some time - perhaps 1954 onwards.
Another intriguing possibility: For the 1959 Commander Yorke meeting at Silverstone, we have a unique entry for a G Holloway - no other records exist for this chap so far. There is a very small possibility Gord Holloway was on a trip to the motherland and took the opportunity to have another go in a rented car. We have several similar one-offs, including Lex DuPont coming to collect his Cooper Mk XIII, so it's not completely stupid.


To clarify:

Hockley Valley Hill Climb, B.E.M.C., May 23, 1953:
"The Cooper-J.A.P. did not
make it and was abandoned part
way to Orangeville by the dis-
appointed owner."
Alice Fergusson, Canadian Speed Special, Friday June 5, 1953,
Page 6.

Edenvale, July 4, B.E.M.C., 1953, entered:
Fraser Dewar, Cooper-J.A.P.
Russ Moodie, Cooper-J.A.P.
(two different cars)

Edenvale Aug 8, S.C.C. (Toronto), entered:
white Cooper-J.A.P., #8
Autosport, 4 September 1953:
"The sole Formula 3 entry, a Mark IV Cooper, was also allowed to run, but its J.A.P. engine was not giving of its best, so this car also appeared to be in the pits more than on the circuit."
The Tom Pearce/Campbell/Dewar car

Hockley Valley Hill Climb, B.E.M.C., August 29, 1953
4th O/A, Jock Campbell, Cooper-J.A.P., 1.2255 mins
13th O/A Fraser Dewar, Cooper-J.A.P., 1.345 mins
(the same car shared)

Jock Campbell was the Buckler agent in Toronto circa 1954, and raced a Buckler Mk V sports car at Edenvale and Hockley Valley Hill Climb, fall meeting, that year.

Gord Holloway died at the wheel at Edenvale in 1955 - I think heart attack - so that rules that out.

RGDS RLT

Edited by Rupertlt1, 10 January 2013 - 09:10.


#30 Rupertlt1

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 14:24

Two further sightings of what we now know is a historic Cooper MkIV:

2nd Annual O'Keefe Sundown Grand Prix, Sept 30-Oct 1, 1960
#94 Cooper Panhard MkIV Class 6 Auto France Ltee J. Mitchell/N. Shier Montreal
Quebec
GVCC Mosport Park, Aug 5, 1961 Canada Class
#100 Mitchell-Shier Racing Norm Shier Montreal Cooper Panhard
RGDS RLT

--- In CMSHG@yahoogroups.com, "hockleyvalley" wrote:
>
> St. Eugene, 9.7.1961, #27 J. A. Jack Mitchell (CDN), Valois, Cooper-Panhard
850 c.c. Can anybody shed more light on this driver and car? RGDS RLT
>

#31 Rupertlt1

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 16:16

R.P.M., Journal of The Sports Car Club (Toronto), July 1953, Vol. I, No.9. Page 46:
DAVID KNIGHT
Our watchdog of the treasury, was one of the club's founders.
While he was brought up in England, he only acquired an interest in
things automotive when he came to Canada in 1948. He then concentrated
on making up for lost time and in the space of three years he owned so
many cars he had the rest of us dizzy trying to keep track of them. He
has had three MGs, two XKs, one Mk.V, a Vanguard, a Cooper, an Aston
Martin, a Triumph 1800 and others. David made the same mistake as the
rest of us and is now a married man and owns a tired old Morris Minor
and an MG TD. David is one of our keenest enthusiasts and has
consistently supported all our events by either competing or organizing.
He has a fine motoring library and has acquired much motoring lore
in a very short time. He is a first class photographer and owns more
fine photographic equipment than anyone we know. He also owns one of
the finest collections of recorded music in these parts. He dabbles
in carpentry and has a daxie named Rudolph in honour of the one and only
Caraciolli. (sic)

CT&T October 1962, Page 55, report of Fort Macleod races, Alberta, September 2:
“Most frustrated man of the day was Roy Nixon from Edmonton who vainly tried to get his Cooper 500 running properly.”

END

RGDS RLT

Edited by Rupertlt1, 09 November 2013 - 16:37.


#32 Rupertlt1

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 12:45

R.P.M., Journal of the Sports Car Club (Toronto), Nov-Dec, 1953, Page 17:
"Don Clarke has shifted the sphere of his personal
activities and is now on the staff of the Campbell Sports Car
Co., Willowdale. Efforts at this concern at the moment centre
around the early completion of an R.G.S.-Atlanta (sic) (2½ Litre Riley
engine) for a club member who for the present wishes to remain
anonymous, and the fitting of a very neat fibreglass body to an
M.G.-T.D. chassis. The Company is also supplying and fitting a
black "hard-top" conversion to another club member's red T.D."

 

This story connects Don Clarke to the 'white' Cooper, which by this stage was probably sitting around at the Campbell workshop - Jock Campbell turned his attention to campaigning a Buckler in 1954. (First I have heard of an R.G.S.-Atalanta in Canada? See: http://www.rgsatalan...-are-they-.html)

 

CT&T October 1962, Page 55, report of Fort Macleod races, Alberta, September 2:
“Most frustrated man of the day was Roy Nixon from Edmonton who vainly tried to get his Cooper 500 running properly.”
This car was not a Cooper 500, but a Joe Potts Special.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 16 May 2014 - 13:09.


#33 rbm

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 12:53

 

 

.....“Most frustrated man of the day was Roy Nixon from Edmonton who vainly tried to get his Cooper 500 running properly.”
 

 

 

 

ah Cooper 500's - good to see nothing changes


Edited by rbm, 17 May 2014 - 17:57.


#34 Charlieman

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 16:01

Reynolds' book says:
1952 REVIS
(A variety of engines used)

For the Revis, I presume that the owner would have made their own engine mounts in order to accommodate anything non-standard. But what if a driver had bought a Cooper? The chassis was sold in various configurations (complete with JAP or Norton engine, chassis with gearbox but no engine etc). so presumably adapter kits were available for known-working set-ups? (I read the relevant chapters in DCN's Cooper book recently and do not recall anything pertinent.)



#35 rbm

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 17:51

For the Revis, I presume that the owner would have made their own engine mounts in order to accommodate anything non-standard. But what if a driver had bought a Cooper? The chassis was sold in various configurations (complete with JAP or Norton engine, chassis with gearbox but no engine etc). so presumably adapter kits were available for known-working set-ups? (I read the relevant chapters in DCN's Cooper book recently and do not recall anything pertinent.)

Cooper supplied engine plates etc.

 

from the sparse Cooper chassis records " MK5/12/51... ...Norton g'box, spare set Norton mountings."

 

However I don't think that the records support that really anything other than the Norton or JAP were supplied so this would suggest that these would have been the only standard set ups.


Edited by rbm, 17 May 2014 - 17:56.