The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4

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Lot 133
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen, 1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4

£ 14,000 - 18,000
US$ 19,000 - 25,000
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen
1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. MK7/11/53
Engine no. 79257/4
Gearbox: M33579

The 500cc motorcycle-engined single-seater Formula which was recognised by the FIA from 1950 as International Formula 3 grew from a Bristol enthusiast group’s notions of achieving affordable “!poor man’s motor racing” in the years immediately following World War 2.

As early as 1946 John Cooper and his schooldays chum Eric Brandon built prototype ‘Cooper’ single-seater racing cars powered by single-cylinder 500cc JAP engines mounted behind the solitary driver’s seat to allow straightforward chain drive to the rear axle. Front and rear suspensions were both fully independent, converted from two Fiat Toplino front suspensions complete with supporting chassis ends, amputated from their original frames and effectively united back to back.

These cars proved enormously successful and the Cooper Car Company was founded at the Surbiton garage business run by John’s father, Charles, who had been racing mechanic to the great Kaye Don pre-war. A first production batch of 500cc Cooper-JAP racing cars was manufactured during the winter of 1947-48, and the little company never really looked back.

Their subsequent products came to dominate International 500cc Formula 3 racing virtually worldwide, and the Mark VII model introduced for 1953 was a cosmetically-updated Mark VI, which had itself represented something of a revolution in Formula 3 Cooper development since it introduced an all-tubular chassis frame, replacing the original-style box-section base frame with lightweight body framing above which derived from the 1946 Mark I and provided the template for the subsequent Marks II-V.

This particular car is understood to have been supplied new to Frost Motors in New Zealand, whose proprietor Ron Frost drove it home 8th in the 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore aerodrome, outside Auckland. Arnold Stafford – later to become a leading managerial light in the Le Mans-winning Gulf-JW endurance sports car team – also drove it to finish 2nd in that same day’s Richard Webb Memorial Trophy event. Ron Frost subsequently added victory on handicap at Ohakea, while Arnold Stafford won in the car at Dunedin.

Sid Jensen – a prominent Kiwi racing motorcyclist with Isle of Man TT experience - took over the car for 1955, finishing 6th in the national Grand Prix, first local finisher, and he placed 3rd at Ohakea. Bruce Webster of Havelock North then acquired the car, eventually fitting a 1582cc flat-4 Porsche engine. It earned consecutive New Zealand hill-climb Championship titles 1963-64 and 1964-65, driven by Roy Lyme, and it passed later through many hands before selling from Walter Grieve of Christchurch to Charlie Conway of Auckland in 1988. It was acquired by the present vendor in 2002. The engine and gearbox have no hours on them since they were restored 10 years ago in New Zealand, and have been properly stored since. The car has run briefly in the last year but it is advised that the car undergoes careful preparation prior serious use.

As it stands this is a good opportunity to purchase an exciting and original car with a continuous, documented and prestigious racing history. Well known to the 500cc Association , a very good entry for The Goodwood Revival and other 500cc racing alike.
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4
The Ex-Ron Frost/Arnold Stafford/Sid Jensen,1953 Cooper Mark VII 500CC Formula 3 Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. MK7/11/53 Engine no. 79257/4
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