Harry Schell, while an off-season fuel
change from alcohol to Avgas had
spooked Vanwall and BRM into skipping
the race to allow more time to adapt.
But Vanwall’s absence freed Stirling
Moss to drive elsewhere. In this case,
“elsewhere” turned out to be the Cooper
entered by privateer Rob Walker. And
while the Maseratis were well-sorted
enough to be taken seriously even in
privateer form, any member of Ferrari’s
crew could close their eyes, throw a rock
in the general direction of the Cooper,
and hear it clang off one of the car’s
many apparent shortcomings.
Power, for starters. The tiny, 1.96-liter
Coventry Climax engine put out 105hp
less than its 2.4-liter rivals. The car’s tires
were only expected to last half of the race
distance before they needed changing,
and when that happened, the Cooper
would lose around a lap and a half
because it still used four-stud wheels
instead of the single knock-off hubs on
the Italian cars. The gearbox, which was
Originally an evolution of Cooper’s first F2 car, the T43
signalled its potential in 1957 when a recalcitrant fuel
pump denied Jack Brabham a likely podium in Monaco.
The T43’s compact layout and unconventional curved
links gave it a substantial weight advantage at Argentina
in 1958 - at 1,060lb, it was 200lb lighter than the Ferrari.
The Coventry Climax engine
mounted behind Moss
arguably had the most
humble beginning of any
powerplant - it was originally
designed to power fire pumps.
TIPPING THE SCALES
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Like all its Cooper brethren, the
T43 was small, simple – and
completely bereft of a huge
lump of metal between the
driver and the front axle.
Cooper cars were
born in a garage in
suburbs owned by
(ABOVE) and his
claim to fame was
on the original Mini.