I was pleased to read Nigel Roebuck’s tribute to John Cooper and, in particular, his view that this great man’s achievements may have been underrated. John Cooper, together with his father, founded the British motorsport industry as we know it today, and I believe the abiding reverence for Colin Chapman has tended to unfairly cloud Cooper’s massive influence upon the sport.
I was very fortunate to be present at the final meeting at Snetterton in 1955 and watch the race which surely provided the clearest signpost to the future when Jack Brabham, driving his special single-seat Bristol-powered version of Cooper’s ‘Bobtail’, had his famous dice with Stirling Moss’ Maserati 250F.
Those who witnessed Brabham’s progress through Coram Curve could not have been in any doubt that something very special was happening. The car was able to carry higher speeds through the corners and respond to the driver in a way no current front-engined car could. One can only wonder why it took Chapman and others five seasons, from 1955 to 1959, to see the light
I AM, YOURS ETC,
Peter Nichols, Malmesbury, Wiltshire