The Cooper T23, formally called the Cooper Mk.II, is a Formula 2 racing car, built, designed, and developed by British manufacturer Cooper Cars in 1953. It also competed in Formula One, in 9 Grand Prix between 1953 and 1956. It was powered by the Bristol six-cylinder 2-litre engine.[1][2][3][4]

Cooper T23
CategoryFormula One, Formula Two
ConstructorCooper Car Company
Designer(s)Owen Maddock
PredecessorCooper T20
SuccessorCooper T24/Cooper T41
Technical specifications
ChassisSteel spaceframe
Suspension (front)Lower wishbone, transverse leaf spring and damper
Suspension (rear)Lower wishbone, transverse leaf spring and damper
Axle track1,168 mm (46.0 in) (front), 1,175 mm (46.3 in) (rear)
Wheelbase2,268 mm (89.3 in)
EngineBristol BS1 1,971cc straight-6, naturally aspirated, longitudinally mounted, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout
TransmissionBristol 4 speed manual gearbox.
Weight471 kg (1,038 lb)
BrakesDrum brakes all round
Competition history
Notable entrantsCooper Car Company
Notable driversUnited Kingdom Ken Wharton
United Kingdom Bob Gerard
Debut1953 Argentine Grand Prix



With the Cooper T23, which was also known as the Cooper-Bristol Mk.II, Cooper was able to draw on some experience in single-seater racing car construction. The car had a lightweight tubular frame and a body built with aerodynamics in mind. The engine got its cooling air from two cooling blocks that were installed in the front end. The exhaust gases were discharged laterally through two pipes. There are no similar vehicles from the T23. Changes were made to each new car and only the two works cars received a Bristol engine.[5][6]

A version with De Dion rear axle and Alta engine was built for Stirling Moss, and at least two other Alta-engined cars were built, but they were no more successful than the Bristol-engined car.[7][8][9] This variant is known as the Cooper T24.

Racing history


The Cooper T23 competed in 9 Grands Prix between 1953 and 1956. John Barber was the first to drive it, on behalf of Cooper Car Company, at the 1953 Argentine Grand Prix. Qualified in sixteenth position, he finished eighth.

Bob Gerard, in a private capacity, was the last driver to use the single-seater, in the 1956 British Grand Prix. Qualified in twenty-second place, he finished eleventh.

Ken Wharton, who entered on a private basis, obtained the best result behind the wheel of this car, finishing seventh in the 1953 Swiss Motor Grand Prix where he qualified in ninth place.

The car was overall unsuccessful. In the Drivers' Championship, Bob Gerard and Ken Wharton failed to score points in 1953. Only in Australian Formula Libre racing has Jack Brabham achieved some good results with the T23.

Formula One World Championship results


(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1953 Cooper Car Company Bristol BS1 L6 D ARG 500 NED BEL FRA GBR GER SUI ITA
John Barber 8
Ken Wharton 8
Ken Wharton Ret Ret 7 NC
F.R. Gerard Bob Gerard 11 Ret
R.J. Chase Alan Brown Ret
Equipe Anglaise Ret 12
Helmut Glockler DNS
Rodney Nuckey Rodney Nuckey 11
1954 R.J. Chase Bristol BS1 L6 D ARG 500 BEL FRA GBR GER SUI ITA ESP
Alan Brown DNS
Gould's Garage Horace Gould 15
F.R. Gerard Bob Gerard 10
Ecurie Richmond Eric Brandon Ret
Rodney Nuckey DNS†
1956 F.R. Gerard Bristol BS1 L6 D ARG MON 500 BEL FRA GBR GER ITA
Bob Gerard 11

† Nuckey was awarded a starting position despite not only not having practiced, but also not having a car to drive - Brandon drove the car.


  1. ^ "1953 Cooper T23 MKII technical and mechanical specifications".
  2. ^ "Cooper T23 • STATS F1".
  3. ^ "1953 Cooper T23 Bristol Mk II - Images, Specifications and Information".
  4. ^ "1953 Cooper T23 Bristol Mk II Specifications". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  5. ^ "The Cooper T23, its Bristol/BMW engine and Spaceframe chassis…". primotipo... 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  6. ^ "1953 Cooper T23 MKII". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  7. ^ "Cooper T23". Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  8. ^ "1953 Cooper T23 Gould". 22 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Bonhams : 1954/1988 Cooper-Bristol T23 Formula 2 Single-Seater Chassis no. CB/1/88".