The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62

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Lot 21
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill, 1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. CM-2-62

US$ 225,000 - 275,000
£ 180,000 - 220,000
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill
1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. CM-2-62
This wonderfully evocative transitional-model Cooper Monaco – presently equipped with Buick V8 power unit and Halibrand-made McKee transaxle - is offered here as a potentially very competitive Vintage and Historic racing projectile. It is a continuous-history, unchallenged identity sports-racing car which has been rebuilt and prepared for renewed competition after 11 years within a compact but fine-quality private enthusiast's collection. The car has been accepted by the British-based Cooper Car Club and is identified by a dedicated chassis identity plate sanctioned by this highly respected Club.

Cooper Monaco chassis serial 'CM-2-62' was delivered new to American customer Van Housen Motors of Sacramento, California, in April, 1962. Its chassis featured the latest model modifications including the most desirable coil-spring independent rear suspension system which makes these late-model Monacos so desirable and sought-after within their current competition class. The aluminum body style, with its sharply pointed tail fins, was specifically tailored by Charles and John Cooper to suit 'American taste' and thereby owed rather more to the 1961-style Cooper Monaco than to the rather more sober 1962 styling then being adopted by the Formula 1 World Championship-winning marque's Surbiton factory, in Surrey, England.

The new car was delivered from England fitted with 4-cylinder Coventry Climax FPF engine serial 'FPF'/430/17/1236' as verified from the manufacturer's surviving original chassis register quoted on page 352 of the definitive book 'Cooper Cars' by Doug Nye (Osprey Classic Histories, London, 1987, 1991 and 1999). Its original owner/driver was SCCA and USAC road-racing luminary William Sturgis of Gardnerville, Nevada, in whose hands the car resided from 1962-63. However, William Sturgis also entered the car for 1962 Formula 1 World Champion Driver (then yet to clinch his title) Graham Hill to drive in the 1962 Pacific Grand Prix 'West Coast Professional series' event at Laguna Seca in California, only to encounter difficulties and fail to finish.

Evidence provided by the vendor also verifies the following American race appearances in Mr Sturgis's hands:

7/8/62 Salt Lake City 1st OA
7/14/62 Oakland 1st OA
7/15/62 Oakland 2nd OA (behind Bill Krause's 'Birdcage' Maserati)
2/2/63 Riverside DNF
2/3/63 Riverside 1st OA
3/31/63 Tucson 2nd OA
6/23/63 Riverside DNF while running 3rd; ignition
8/9/63 Listed as 1st in Pacific Coast Class D-Modified points standings
11/15/63 Listed as 1st in Pacific Coast Class D-Modified points standings

In 1964 the car was acquired by Washburn Motors of Santa Barbara, California, in whose ownership the out-moded 4-cylinder Climax engine was removed and replaced by a Chevrolet Corvette V8 power unit driving through one of the rare but highly-regarded Halibrand-McKee gearboxes. We understand that the work was undertaken by Tony Settember, who confirmed these details with the current vendor in a 2002 conversation. On June 13, 1969, Cooper Monaco 'CM-2-62' was sold to George Lehman of Goleta, California, as his son-in-law, Scott Vilander recalls: "The purpose was to enter Cal Club Regional and National ASR 'open' class competitions (but) George took the car apart, stored the frame, body and components in 1972 and never raced it. He moved in 1973 to a new home and the Cooper was split up. The main chassis and body was lost in the move. However the remainder of the car was kept in storage in our home until 1999...".

On February 1, 2000, this cache of Cooper Monaco remains was sold by Mr Lehmann's widow together with original documentation from Washburn Chevrolet. The purchaser at that time was the present vendor, in whose ownership the car has been beautifully rebuilt over the past 11 years.

The Cooper Monaco series of rear-engined sports-racing cars was launched for the 1959 racing season. Cooper had previously pioneered rear-engined racing car design within the modern era, initially with its chain-driven motorcycle-engined 500cc Formula single-seaters from as early as 1946, and then from 1955 with rear-mounted water-cooled lightweight aluminum racing engines manufactured by the Coventry Climax company. In 1957 works driver Jack Brabham shone in a little 1.96-liter Formula 2-derived single-seater Cooper-Climax against the full 2½-liter Formula 1 cars in the Monaco Grand Prix. Early in 1958 a further enlarged Cooper-Climax single-seater driven by Maurice Trintignant actually won the Monaco GP.

The 1959 rear-engined sports-racing Cooper was then named 'Monaco' in homage to this victory. And as it happened their No 1 driver Jack Brabham would win the marque's second consecutive Monaco GP that year, and go on to clinch the Formula 1 World Championship titles for himself and for the Cooper-Climax marque.

The original Cooper Monacos were short-chassised and stubby-bodied. Through 1960-61 the model evolved, an improved longer-wheelbase multi-tubular chassis frame being adopted, together with more sophisticated coil-spring/telescopic shock absorber suspension replacing the original design's transverse rear leaf spring arrangement. The body designs, produced in-house by chief designer Owen 'The Beard' Maddock and made there by the father and son team of Fred and Pete Bedding, became more sleek and attractive. For many the finest-looking Cooper Monaco model of them all proved to be this sleek-nosed, tail-finned design of 1961-62.

Some of the greatest road racing drivers of their day campaigned these cars, including the then double-World Champion Driver, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Roy Salvadori and even Jim Hall and Hap Sharp of concurrent Chaparral fame. The long-chassis T61M Cooper Monaco accepted not only the British 4-cylinder Climax FPF engine – then available in 2.0, 2.5 and 2.7-liter capacities – but much larger, little heavier and obviously very much more powerful Detroit V8 engines from Ford and GM. Most prominent of these would be Carroll Shelby with his factory team of Monaco-derived, Ford V8-engined 'King Cobras' but the lightweight Buick V8 as offered here was a popular alternative, and today it endows this lovely late-model car with considerable Vintage and Historic racing potential.

Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
The Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill,1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. CM-2-62
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