1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax 'Mark II' Type 57
Estimate: £300,000 - £350,000
The Ex-Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Roy Salvadori, Tommy Dickson, Bruce Halford, Jimmy Blumer, 1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax 'Mark II' Type 57 Rear-Engined Sports-Racing Prototype
Chassis no. DM/773/W
*Le Mans 24 Hours and Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometres participant
*Ecurie Ecosse's first rear-engined car
*Original Coventry-Climax FPF 2½-litre engine
*Known ownership and competition history
*Restored in the mid/late 1990s
This Cooper Monaco sports-racing prototype, entered and run in the 1960 Le Mans 24-Hour race by David Murray's Ecurie Ecosse organisation, was the latter's first rear-engined car. While only two coil-spring (as opposed to the earlier transverse leaf spring) rear-suspended Type 57 'Mark II' Monaco models are recorded in the factory chassis book, at least two more were supplied in kit form to respected and capable customers.
The Ecurie Ecosse mechanics, headed by technical celebrity 'Wilkie' Wilkinson, already had extensive car assembly and reconstruction experience with their 'Monzanapolis' single-seat Lister-Jaguar of 1958, and with repairing their Lister-Jaguar sports car after American guest driver Masten Gregory's assorted excitements in 1959. Their brand-new Cooper Monaco was delivered to the team's Merchiston Mews workshop in unassembled kit form and quickly completed and race-prepared there.
It was fitted with a 2½-litre Coventry Climax FPF twin-cam four-cylinder engine, and was first UK road-registered on 5th May 1960 – as the original buff logbook records – with its chassis number being recorded as 'DM/773/W'. This does not comply with normal Cooper Car Company chassis numbering practice and it has been suggested – probably quite correctly – that the 'DM' initials were David Murray's own, aping the normal Cooper form for these sports cars of 'CM', 'Cooper Monaco', and the 'W' stood for 'Wilkinson'. The '773', meanwhile, probably derived from three of the Climax engine's serial number stampings.
The 'Monaco' name itself had been adopted by Charles and John Cooper back in 1959, after Jack Brabham's remarkable performance in winning the Monaco Grand Prix in the works team's Type 51 Formula 1 car. As a retort to Cooper's adoption of the Monaco model name, Colin Chapman celebrated the following year's Monaco GP victory by Stirling Moss in Rob Walker's Lotus 18 by naming his new rear-engined Lotus 19 sports car the Lotus 'Monte Carlo'.
Ecurie Ecosse's new Cooper Monaco made its racing debut on 28th May 1960 at Charterhall aerodrome, driven by Tommy Dickson – immediately winning two races. It won again at Goodwood on 6th June and back at Charterhall on 3rd July before Dickson failed to finish in the British Grand Prix-supporting sports car race at Silverstone on 16th July.
The Cooper was then shipped across the Atlantic to compete in the 1960 Formule Libre Watkins Glen Grand Prix in upper New York State. Roy Salvadori drove there, finishing very strongly in 3rd place as the first sports-racing car to finish, behind the two Formula 1 cars of Stirling Moss (winning in Rob Walker's Lotus 18) and Jack Brabham (2nd in the works-entered Cooper-Climax T53 'Lowline').
The Ecosse Cooper Monaco was then flown across the United States to compete in the annual 'Los Angeles Times' Grand Prix for sports cars at Riverside, California. There he finished 6th after being delayed by a mid-race spin. The car was then entrusted to now double-World Champion Jack Brabham for the Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca near Monterey, but a burst tyre damaged the rear brakes, forcing retirement.
Back in the UK for the 1961 season, diminutive little Tommy Dickson finished 3rd behind the UDT-Laystall Lotus 19s at Easter Monday Goodwood, then 4th at both Oulton Park and Aintree before the end of April '61. He won at Charterhall on 23rd April and placed 4th again at Silverstone on 6th May.
Tommy Dickson finished 3rd in the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood on Easter Monday, 4th at both the Aintree '200' and Silverstone May meetings, and David Murray then invited former Maserati, Lister and BRM driver Bruce Halford to handle the car in the Whit-Monday Goodwood meeting. Halford won handsomely and on 28th May he co-drove the car with Dickson in the ADAC 1,000-Kilometre race at the Nürburgring in Germany, only to be sidelined by suspension failure.
In its 1961 form the car had necessarily been adapted to conform to contemporary FIA Appendix J regulations, which demanded a tall minimum-height windscreen and mandatory luggage trunk space, which was provided in the Cooper Monaco by an unsightly hump above the rear engine cover. The car was entered by Ecurie Ecosse at Le Mans on 10th June 1961, again to be co-driven by Bruce Halford/Tommy Dickson. The notoriously 'difficult' French scrutineers perceived the Cooper Monaco as a 'two-seat racing car' rather than a 'proper' sports car, and it took all of David Murray's diplomatic skills and special relationship with organising ACO Secretary Raymond Acat to get the car accepted.
In the race the Cooper was running well until the evening and its 34th lap, when Halford went missing. Un-sighted by the mixture of rain, oil film, and parallax through the tall regulation windscreen, he had crashed heavily under the Dunlop Bridge and been hurled out onto the road as the Monaco clattered along the safety bank at high speed. Happily, Bruce Halford survived to race another day. The Ecosse Cooper Monaco was similarly rebuilt after its Le Mans misfortune and reappeared at Aintree on 7th August, Dickson finishing 3rd. The car's 1961 season was then completed with two further wins for Dickson at Charterhall on 24th September.
During the year, this Cooper Monaco's ownership title had been transferred to Ecurie Ecosse's long-time supporter and benefactor, Major Gordon Thompson. In 1962 the car lay unused after its Climax FPF engine had been removed and installed in the team's new Tojeiro Coupé.
During 1963 – as American V8 engines were preferred for the team's two Tojeiro Coupés – the elderly Monaco was revived for use in Ecurie Ecosse's home-events race programme. Bruce Halford finished 6th in the Silverstone May Meeting before Jimmy Blumer took three 3rd places and a 9th in four June-July events at Ouston aerodrome, Charterhall, Snetterton, and Oulton Park.
David Murray then entrusted the car to a young newcomer from Dumbarton named Jackie Stewart, younger brother of erstwhile Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar and Cooper-Bristol driver, Jimmy Stewart. He promptly won his first six races in a row: at Snetterton on 5th August 1963, Oulton Park on 31st August, Goodwood on 21st September, and Charterhall on 29th September.
These startling performances in the ageing Cooper Monaco famously prompted Goodwood track manager Robin McKay to recommend Jackie Stewart to Ken Tyrrell and John Cooper. They gave him a test drive back at Goodwood for their embryonic Formula 3 racing team, and Stewart was immediately signed-up, launching his career as a full-time professional racer and ultimately three-time Formula 1 World Champion Driver.
Between May 1960 and April 1964, the Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco contested no fewer than 32 races, of which it won 16. But at Oulton Park on 11th April 1964, Jackie Stewart was driving during practice when he lost control on cold tyres and hit a track-side tree. He was wracked with remorse for having damaged the Cooper '...for it was a wonderful car, and I had won a lot of races with it...'
Ecurie Ecosse then made the most of the opportunity to rebuild the damaged, but self-evidently far from obsolescent, sports-racing car as an open-wheeled Formule Libre single-seater. As the 'Ecosse-Climax' it then proved sensationally successful in the hands of another promising Scottish driver, Bill Stein. Competing on Scottish and northern English circuits, he achieved nine race wins and three 4th places, and at the end of 1966 the car was retired into Major Thompson's private collection.
There it remained until 27th August 1970, when it was sold by auction - among other Thompson Collection cars - at the Gleneagles Hotel. In the audience was a holidaying American family with a 9-year old son named Todd Jenkins. He was entranced by the Ecosse-Climax and convinced his father that he should bid for it. The hammer fell in his favour and the Jenkins family became the Ecurie Ecosse Cooper's owners.
The car was promptly shipped to the USA where it remained until 1995 when its now-adult owner Todd Jenkins decided to have it fully restored to its original 1960 sports-racing configuration. Beginning in 1995, Akin Motorsports of Ossining, New York, restored the car, Bob Akin having owned and raced his own Cooper Monaco since 1972. All surviving components were either restored or replaced by matching-specification as-original items. New aluminium bodywork and fuel tanks were crafted by Steve Hall's Panel Shoppe of Stratford, Connecticut, using templates taken from an un-restored original Cooper Monaco.
Ted Wenz rebuilt the car's original Coventry Climax FPF engine and Cooper-Knight 'C5S' five-speed transaxle-type gearbox, while the bodywork was finished in original-style Ecurie Ecosse Flag Metallic Blue paintwork. Todd Jenkins, who had been competing in Porsche cars for several years, gave the restored Cooper Monaco a fine debut when he qualified it on pole position and won his race at the 1998 Lime Rock Park Vintage Festival meeting. The car also won its class at the Lime Rock Concours, and into 2000 it again qualified on the front row of the starting grid and won overall at the SVRA Virginia Beach Air Base races.
Subsequently, the car was acquired by Mr Dick Skipworth for his Ecurie Ecosse Collection and raced in selected Historic events, including by Barrie Williams at the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca in both 2002 and 2006. The car was demonstrated in the Sir Jack Brabham Tribute parade at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in 2005, and again - by Dick Skipworth - in the 2007 Revival Meeting's Roy Salvadori Tribute.
The car's overall racing record through its Ecurie Ecosse career as the original sports-racing Cooper Monaco includes no fewer than 17 first places, one 2nd place, five 3rd places, and 28 top-ten placings overall – against only five retirements – from a total of 34 race starts.
As the open-wheeler Ecosse-Climax in 1965-66 it then contested a further 15 races, driven 12 times by Bill Stein and in three final events by Bill Dryden. Bill Stein scored no fewer than nine wins in the car – at Ingliston, Croft, and Rufforth - plus one 4th place, and posted only two retirements, while Bill Dryden achieved a further two 4th places and only failed to finish once – all at Ingliston outside Edinburgh.
The current vendor purchased the ex-Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco at Bonhams' New Bond Street Sale in December 2013 (Lot 91). Since then it has been extensively restored - the engine, differential, clutch, passenger's seat, and roll bar all receiving attention. The present owner has competed with the car at Solitude, the Salzburgring (finishing 2nd), and at Rossfeld, where it won.
So here we offer a potentially highly competitive late-series Cooper Monaco, with coil-spring rear suspension and a 2½-litre Climax FPF engine, which has well-established provenance, including the Le Mans 24 Hours and Nürburgring 1,000-Kilometre races. Above all, it has been preserved and campaigned for many years as the unique Ecurie Ecosse car: ex-Sir Jack Brabham, ex-Roy Salvadori, and ex-Sir Jackie Stewart, for whom it proved instrumental in setting him on the road to three World Championships in Formula 1.
Please refer to Bonhams Motor Car Department for further information.