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Rob Hall Racing with Hardy Hall Restorations
The Racing Coopers
The Racing Coopers are owned by Mr Tim Ross and prepared by Jonathan Hall of Hardy Hall Restorations.
The T43/51 Grand Prix Cooper.
Chassis No: F2/14/57 or F2/18/1957 - Engine No. FPF/430/3/1013 (1960cc)
This car was one of a number of cars run in Formula 2 events in Europe during 1957 and 1958 by Ronnie Moore and Ray Thackwell under the banner of "Kiwi Equipe". The pair, who built up their cars at Surbiton in 1957, were from New Zealand and world-class speedway riders, but less successful in car racing.
Thackwell's best in 1957 was a forth at Brands Hatch and fifth at both Mallory Park and in the London Trophy. In 1958 he only managed eighth at Brands Hatch in May and sixth there a month later.
Thackwell returned to New Zealand with the Cooper T43 with an early FPF engine. It was by him in New Zealand as F2/18/57. Thackwell qualified on the fourth row for the 1959 New Zealand GP but retired on Lap 47 in a race won by Stirling Moss from Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren.
Thackwell sold the car with its 1500cc Climax FPF to Lionel Bulcraig who upgraded the car T51 chassis, bought new from Coopers, and by the time it appeared in the 1961 NZ GP it was running a 2 litre engine.
At the April Meeting at Levin, Duncan Mackenzie was trying out the car but crashed and was fatally injured.
Perhaps as part of the subsequent rebuild the car was fitted with a high-tail rear body. In the 1970's it was re-imported into England and worked on by Martin Stratton (chassis) and Tony Mantle (engine) and raced by Jan Heuman.
The car was then acquired by Mr Tim Ross and was put in the capable hands of Jonathan Hall of Hardy Hall Restorations. In 2017 Mr Ross asked Rob Hall to test the car at the Silverstone classic and subsequently asked him to drive it in the 2018 Historic Grand Prix Cars Association championship.
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