How production giants cemented Britain's racing pedigree
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How production giants cemented Britain's racing pedigree

By:
, Marcus Pye

They're two companies that carried and influenced generations of junior single-seater racers. After Cooper led the revolution, Ralph Firman paid attention, then mastered, the art of building and selling great racing cars

When Gregor Grant published Autosport's first edition on 25 August 1950, the Cooper Car Company had been running for almost four years. Father-and-son Charles and John Cooper had built a few cars in Surbiton before the FIA adopted the 500cc single-seater category as Formula 3. It signalled a boom, and their small army of talented artisan cohorts were ready. More than 400 Cooper 500s would number a third of the company's total output.

Their response pioneered the production racing car industry, cementing Great Britain as its hub, and underpinned a meteoric rise to become F1 world champion constructor within a decade.

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Series National
Author Marcus Pye