Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2

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Lot 220
1909 Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer
Registration no. BM 1153 Chassis no. 2

Sold for £ 33,350 (US$ 44,985) inc. premium
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe
1909 Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer
Registration no. BM 1153
Chassis no. 2
• The sole survivor of only six made
• Unique four-cylinder two-stroke engine
• An older restoration benefiting from subsequent refurbishment
• Offered from long-term museum display


Footnotes

  • "However, the idea of making motorcars appealed to (Thomas) Cooper, and he designed a 2-cylinder 2-stroke piston-valve engine which he fitted to a car in 1909. It had chain drive to the gearbox and further chain drive to the rear wheels. The production Cooper, which was ready for the 1909 Olympia Show, had a 3260cc 4-cylinder engine, also a 2-stroke with piston valves, shaft drive to the 3-speed gearbox and to the rear wheels. An auxiliary gearbox close to the rear axle gave a total of six forward gears. Only six Coopers were made, each differing in detail from the other." – The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile, Volume 1.

    The Cooper motorcar was manufactured by the Cooper Steam Digger Co Ltd of King's Lynn, Norfolk, makers of agricultural machinery and traction engines. Its most notable feature is the engine; nowadays we tend to think of the two-stroke engine as a model of simplicity (in its most basic form the single-cylinder 'stroker' has only three moving parts) yet that of the Cooper is breathtakingly complex, featuring two crankshafts and 12 pistons! Of the six cars built, this is the sole survivor.

    From 1951, the Cooper belonged to the late Sir John Briscoe, who wrote an article about this rarity for the Veteran Car Club Gazette's spring 1955 edition as part of the 'Historic Cars Owned by Members' series (copy available). Looking for a Veteran to restore, Sir John had discovered the Cooper as a 'barn find' at a Suffolk garage. It had last moved in 1921.

    'BM 1153' was first registered on 26th November 1909 to Mr Charles Alington of Little Barford, near St Neots, whose mother was a family friend of one of Cooper's directors, W M Pryor. In fact, all six Coopers went to a director or a director's friend. The Alington car was illustrated in The Autocar of February 19th 1910 and was described as having "A distinctive flush-sided body... by Messrs Maythorn and Son of Biggleswade... four seated and finished in dark green fine lined cream". Cooper's tester, a Mr Spooner, later recalled that this car was the company's demonstrator at the Olympia Show.

    Sir John Briscoe states: "The process of restoration has encountered the usual vicissitudes, from dead mice jammed in the water system to a broken web in the crankcase. ...almost a complete strip of the car was required. As a result, the process of restoration has been fairly lengthy, since I have tried to do everything possible myself (including painting and dealing with corrosion in the body)... The car is in its original condition except for the carburettor, which was originally a Craven but is now a Zenith of late Edwardian type, the side lamps, windscreen, tyres and paint."

    In another article entitled 'Driving a Cooper', Sir John states: "Probably the most satisfying drive of all: the first, to meet the sons of the manufacturer Messrs George and Arthur Cooper." In fact, when told that Sir John would be visiting them in the Cooper, the brothers had remarked that it would probably break down on the way! It did not.

    Circa 1992, the Cooper was sold to Sir John's son Sir James Briscoe and in 1994 was inherited by his widow (the current vendor). For many years the car has been in the care of SKF Cooper Bearings of King's Lynn (an offshoot of the original Cooper company). It was last driven in 2014 and has been on museum display at Cooper's since then. Recent refurbishment has included installing new camshaft and crankshaft gears and overhauling the rear axle, these works being undertaken around 2010.

    The Cooper is finished in its original colour scheme of dark green with cream coachlines, and retains its original deep-buttoned green leather interior. Other notable features include beautiful Bleriot headlamps; a Stewart speedometer; fold-flat windscreen; and a Gabriel nickel-plated 'boa constrictor' horn. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a unique Edwardian motorcar of quite exceptional technological interest.
Contacts
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
Formerly the property of the late Sir John Briscoe,1909  Cooper 22.5hp Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. 2
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