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Cooper T53
Autosport Plus
Formula 1 Monaco GP
Special feature

How Brabham overcame tedious battles to get an F1 title-winner and Indy pioneer built

Sketched on a plane, tested in secret, the car the team boss didn’t want to make was exactly what Jack Brabham needed to win a second world title. DAMIEN SMITH delves into the history of the Cooper T53 that conquered Formula 1 in 1960

On the plane home from Argentina, Jack Brabham was busy frantically plotting, in cahoots with his friend and comrade John Cooper. Complacency is the work of the devil in motorsport and, just two months after pushing his frumpy little back-to-front car over the line at Sebring to become an unlikely (and exhausted) world champion, Brabham knew he and Cooper needed to work fast if they were to stand any hope of retaining their hard-won crowns in 1960.

By the time they landed in London, the concept of the car you see here had been sketched out. The Cooper T53, aka the Lowline, was the fully justified result of good old-fashioned competitive paranoia.

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