The Cooper T43 was a Formula Two and Formula One racing car designed and built by the Cooper Car Company in Surbiton, England, for the 1957 season. First appearing in international competition at the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix in a factory-entered car for Jack Brabham, the T43 earned a significant place in motor racing history when Sir Stirling Moss drove the Rob Walker Racing Team T43 to win the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix, the first World Drivers Championship race win for a mid-engined Formula One car. The T43 is considered to be the car that started the F1 mid-engine revolution. The last appearance of the T43 in the World Championship was at the 1960 Italian Grand Prix.
Chassis # F2/26/57 was ordered new by Englishman C.T. Atkins still retains its period motor, transaxle, chassis and body. The Doug Nye Cooper book lists 32 1500 cc Racing cars for 1957: The first 4 on the list were T41s; F2-21-57 was a T44; and the last two were T45s. That leaves 25 -T43s with original factory chassis numbers + 1 that is believed to have been sold without an original chassis number and thus is not listed. A few were subsequently upgraded/converted to T51 spec in order to keep them competitive for a little longer. Pleasingly, there seems to have been quite a good survival rate for this model; we are aware of about 50%. This car competed in both F1 and F2 races frequently driven by front-ranking drivers of the day. With four active racing seasons on record, it is recognized as the longest serving 1.5 litre F2 car in international competition and likely the most original T43 in existence. The T43 is considered one of the 20 most important cars ever:
Engine: mid-mounted Coventry Climax FPF 4 Cylinder, Twin overhead cam 1475cc; compression ratio 10:1; 140 b.h.p @ 7000RPM; two twin choke SU DU6 carburetors; dry sump lubrication. The Cooper Car Club says “…this T43 is interesting because it has the original (now rare) twin double choke S.U carburetors and the engine is original from F2-22-57 which is in South Africa.”
Transmission: Four speed Citroen - Cooper ERSA gearbox. No reverse; final drive ratios 3.10, 3.7, 4.1, 4.5; Borg and Beck 7.5” clutch.
Chassis/General: Front/Rear Lockheed drum brakes; independent front and rear suspension by transverse leaf spring and lower wishbone; rack and pinion steering; Armstrong telescopic shock absorbers. Signed by Sir Jack Brabham.
Documented Racing History
• Apr 7, Lavant Cup, Goodwood – driven by Roy Salvadori – retired
• Apr 7, B.A.R.C. “200” Aintree – driven by Ian Burgess – finished 11th
• May 3, International Trophy, Silverstone – driven by Ian Burgess – finished 11th
• June 8, B.R.S.C.C. Formula 2, Brands Hatch – driven by Ian Burgess – 1st heat finished 2nd, 2nd heat finished 4th
• Jun 15, III Prix de Paris, Linas-Montlhery - driven by Ian Burgess – finished 4th
• Jul 6, Couple Internationale de Vitesse, Reims – driven by Ian Burgess – finished 4th
• Jul 27, Vanwall Trophy, Snetterton – driven by Ian Burgess – finished 1st. Set fastest lap – 1.43.8 - 93.64 mph.
• Aug 3, German Grand Prix, Nurburgring - driven by Ian Burgess – finished 7th winning the Formula 2 class
• Aug 3, Kent Trophy, Brands Hatch – driven by Ian Burgess – 1st heat finished 6th, 2nd heat finished 4th
• Aug 30, Kentish 100, Brands Hatch – driven by Ian Burgess – 1st heat finished 7th, 2nd heat retired
• Sept 21, IV Grosser Preis Von Berlin, Avus Berlin – driven by Ian Burgess – retired
Mar 30, Lavant Cup, Goodwood – driven by Roy Salvadori – finished 2nd
• Apr 11, British Empire Trophy, Oulton Park – driven by Roy Salvadori – finished 6th
• Apr 18, B.A.R.C. “200” Aintree – driven by Jack Fairman – 19th on grid and retired
• May 2, XI International Trophy, Silverstone – driven by Ian Burgess – finished 9th
• May 18, London Trophy, Crystal Palace – driven by Roy Salvadori - finished 1st
• Jul 3, Coupe Internationale de Vitesse, Reims – driven by Roy Salvadori – retired
• Jul 12, Grand Prix de Rouen, Rouen-les Essarts – driven by Roy Salvadori – retired
• Jul 18, XIV British Grand Prix, Aintee– driven by Jack Fairman – retired
• Aug 3, John Davy Trophy, Brands Hatch – driven by Roy Salvadori – finished 2nd
• Aug 29, Kentish 100, Brands Hatch – driven by Roy Salvadori – finished 6
• Apr 8, Grand Prix de Bruxelles, Heysel – driven by Wolfgang Seidel – retired
• April 18, Grand Prix de Pau, Pau – driven by Wolfgang Seidel – retired
• May 15, V Prix de Paris, Linas-Montlhery – driven by Wolfganfg Seidel – retired
• June 15, XXX GP de Frontieres, Chimay – driven by Wolfgang Seidel – finished 6th
• July 24, IX Grosse Preis de Solitude, Solitude – driven by Edgar Barth – finished 13th
• Sept 4, Italian Grand Prix, Monza – driven by Piero Drogo – finished 8th
• Oct2, VI Grand Premio de Modena, Modena – driven by Wolfgang Von Trips – did not qualify
• Oct 8, I Preis von Tirol, Innsbruck – driven by Wolfgang Von Trips – finished 2nd
At the end of the 1960 Season, the car was returned to racing mechanic Alf Francis and placed in long-term storage. The car remained with him until 1983. IN the late 1990’s, Jack Brabham did a demonstration at Goodwood. Brabham signed the chassis tube and that signature remains protected to this day.
The current owner purchased the in 2018 and it has been only raced two times in West Coast vintage car events, in addition to winning two race car concourses. It has been extensively serviced and maintained by Phil Reilly Restorations in California and stored properly always. It comes with an extensive set of books, original letters from drivers including Ray Salvadori and others. It comes with a few spares including an Ersa gearbox and is in race-ready condition.