The Cooper-Climax T53 is a Formula One car built by British motorsport team Cooper, in 1960. It won the Formula One World Championship that year, being driven by Jack Brabham.[1][2][3][4]

Cooper T53
Cooper T53 Wheatcroft Straight.jpg
CategoryFormula One, Formula Two
ConstructorCooper Car Company
Designer(s)Owen Maddock
Technical specifications
ChassisSteel spaceframe
Suspension (front)Double wishbone, coil spring and damper
Suspension (rear)Double wishbone, leaf spring and damper
Axle trackF: 1,190 mm (47 in)
R: 1,220 mm (48 in)
Wheelbase2,310 mm (91 in)
EngineCoventry Climax FPF 2.5-litre straight-4, naturally aspirated, rear mid, longitudinally mounted.
TransmissionCooper 5-speed manual gearbox.
Weight500 kg (1,100 lb)
Competition history
Notable entrantsCooper
Notable driversAustralia Jack Brabham
New Zealand Bruce McLaren
United States Chuck Daigh
United Kingdom Ron Flockhart
Debut1960 Argentine Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships1 (1960)
Drivers' Championships1 (Jack Brabham, 1960)

Design and development historyEdit

The 1960 works Formula One Cooper was lower and slimmer than its predecessor, the Cooper T51. With competition from Lotus mounting - Innes Ireland showed the Lotus 18 's strengths earlier in the season at the Argentine Grand Prix - Cooper had to make rapid progress in developing the racer, although Bruce McLaren won the race for Cooper (McLaren, however, drove the T51).[5]

The lattice frame of the T53 had four strong main beams. All four wheels were individually suspended on double wishbones with coil springs. The Climax FPF four-cylinder engine produced just under 250 hp (184 kW). It drove the rear wheels via an improved 5-speed manual gearbox. The front end has been streamlined, an advantage on fast circuits like Silverstone, Reims, and Monza.[6]

The car was lower and sleeker than its predecessor and was equipped with a new tubular trellis frame. It was equipped with a 4-cylinder in-line Climax FPF engine that produced 240 hp. The latter, which had been developed by Walter Hassan, was handled by a five-speed manual gearbox. The rear suspension used new springs with a helix pattern. The ignition was single and the distribution was entrusted by a cascade of gears. The camshafts had housings constructed of magnesium alloy that were bolted to the top of the aluminum alloy head. There were two valves per cylinder, inclined 66 ° relative to each other. The cylinder block was equipped with wet cast iron liners, inside which Hepolite pistons were positioned.

Racing historyEdit

In 1960 the T53 was entrusted to the drivers Bruce McLaren, Jack Brabham, Chuck Daigh, and Ron Flockhart. Bruce McLaren won the Argentine Grand Prix, while Jack Brabham won in races held in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Portugal. This not only allowed the Australian driver to win the world title again, but also earned Cooper its second consecutive constructors' title.[7][8]

The T53 debuted late in the season. Jack Brabham drove the new Cooper race car to second place in the International Trophy at Silverstone in May. At Monaco, McLaren put in a strong race in the T53's first appearance in the world championship but, finishing second, was unable to prevent Lotus' maiden Grand Prix victory to Stirling Moss in Rob Walker's Lotus 18.

The car's potential became clear when Jack Brabham, the 1959 World Champion, won five consecutive Grand Prix races from the race in the Netherlands and became World Drivers' Champion again. The T53 also secured the second consecutive Constructors' Championship title.

In 1961 the T53 became a big sales success for the Cooper team. Teams such as Scuderia Centro Sud replaced the Climax engine with a powerplant from Maserati. In South Africa, some private teams used an Alfa Romeo engine for propulsion. The Yeoman Credit Team with drivers Roy Salvadori and John Surtees also had a lot of success with the T53.

The T53 was also used by various teams in the short-lived Intercontinental Formula in 1961. Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham won every five races in the series with the car.


  1. ^ "1961 Cooper T53".
  2. ^ "1960 Cooper T53".
  3. ^ "Bonhams : 1961 Cooper-Climax T53P "Lowline' Formula 1 & 2 Racing Single-Seater T53Chassis no. F1/9/61".
  4. ^ "A World Championship car: the 1960 Cooper Climax T53". March 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Brown, Allen. "Cooper T53 car-by-car histories".
  6. ^ "1960 Cooper T53".
  7. ^ "Cooper T 53 Climax - ENCICLOPEDIA DELL'AUTOMOBILE". February 2, 2014. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Cooper T53 • STATS F1".

External linksEdit