A modified Cooper 500

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Motor Sport

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From the point of view of the chassis the 1951 Cooper remains virtually unchanged retaining the box-section frame with transverse leaf spring and it isl bone suspension at each end. The Norton or J.A.P. engine, fitted to customer’s requirements, is still mounted at the rear, as is the motor-cycle gearbox. It is in the design of the bodywork that the 1951 Cooper differs and, while this has been mainly a question of improving the looks of the car as well as accessibility, it has at the same time provided a much stiffer chassis and consequent improvement, in roadholding. Previously the strip steel formers for the bodywork have been welded direct to the chassis frame and the aluminium panels attached thereto. On the new car short I this rise front the side-members at approximately 2-ft. intervals and to these is welded allot her tube of small diameter, running parallel to the frame. The object of this tube is to form the basis for the bodywork, for the fuel .tanks, which are now slung outboard of the chassis and along each side of the cockpit, are attached to this tube, while the nose and tail of the car are each in one piece and rest on the top of this longitudinal member. In building the body in this fashion the chassis frame was automatically stiffened throughout. its length, with a subsequent improvement in stability. The cockpit is now much more compact and the sides hold one firmly in the driving seat. The squab awl headrest are all in one piece and the seat cushion is nicely shaped to give support under the knees.

The short lever for the gear-change pro­trudes through the cowling surrounding the off-side petrol tank, the filler of which protrudes a little farther forward, while on the near side a “matched ” band-brake lever protrudes in a like manner. A tubular framework carries the dashboard and steering column and the whole nose cowling is hinged about a line on the front of the chassis by means of a ” piano­type ” hinge. When the nose is swung forward the front suspension, pedals, braking system and steering are all readily accessible. Similarly, the complete tail hinges about a line on the rear of the chassis, thus giving unobstructed access to the engine and gearbox and all other components beneath the cowling. The familiar Cooper headrest is retained and is blended very nicely into the tail, the actual fairing being hollow. The car has been designed to take the V-twin and the tops of the cylinders will comfortably fit into this space. The entire cooling air for the engine is obtained from a scoop under the belly of the car, and behind the seat squab i:s mounted the oil tank, which acts as a deflector for the incoming air, at the same time keeping the oil cool, on the dry-sump power units. Although the characteristic Cooper grille is retained on the front of the car it serves no purpose other than giving the car a finished look and, conscious of the fact that their cars are seen in many European countries and represent this country, the Coopers have kept a watchful eye on the aesthetics of the new model.

At the time of viewing the new car it had already covered over 100 miles of testing at Goodwood and the second new model was well under way. Also in the making, and nearing the chassis comple­tion stage was a highly exciting two­seater road car using a forward-placed, transversely-mounted, 1,100-c.c. J.A.P. twin, with a special crankcase cat with a flange to take_ a bell-housing. To this is fitted a Jowett Javeln gearbox and a Hardy-Spicer propeller-shaft drives to the E.N.V. differential. Frarr,e and suspen­sion units are as on the racing cars, while, as with the new ” 500,” rack and pinion steering of Cooper manufacture is used. This new road car will be bodied on the lines of the well-known M.G.-engined two-seater and should prove an extremely lively vehicle, some 65 b.h.p. being produced by the J .A.P. engine on normal pump fuel.

***********

Arrangements have been made for branch organisers and branch secre­taries, i.e., two officials from each B.R.M.A. branch, to visit Bourne and Folkingbam during the winter. Twenty­five branches will be accommodated at each visit.

If branch secretaries have not received notification of these arrangements, will they please write to the Hon. Sec., B.R.M.A., 118, Park Street, London, W.l.

Over 200 B.R.M. Association branches are now in active operation. Write for the address of your nearest branch, and help support this national project.

*****

K. D. McDowall, 1, Halesworth Road, Lewisham, S.E.13, hopes to form a Singer Car Club, catering especially for the earlier sports models. Will those in­terested please contact him at the above address?

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