|Graham Cooper/Graham 500|
At the end of 1950, Charlie Graham, from Dumfries, bought Stirling Moss' personal Cooper Mk IV. The car was taken by train from London then towed behind the family car to his home. For two years the car continued to run as a Mk IV, although with gradually modified bodywork.
For 1953, though, he modified the car much more thoroughly and would now refer to it as a Cooper Special. Initially, this involved lowering the car dramatically, replacing the main fuel tank with a unit under the driver's legs (something previously done by George Wicken), and creating much lower, sleeker bodywork that was semi-stressed. In this form, it took close viewing to identify its Cooper roots.
Charlie at Crystal Palace in July 1953 where he finished third in the Petit Prix
Charlie also experimented with De-Dion rear suspension almost certainly in collaboration with Joe Potts.
So Charlie Graham wasn't a great fan of Charlie Cooper then:
Some known results for Charlie and his Cooper special include:
This car is not seen in 1955, but by 1956 it had been purchased by Herbert Stilborn, who would race it until 1960.
Some results for Herbert:
In the intervening years, the car regained its Cooper rear suspension and wire wheels, but still sits very low. Since 1991, the car has been owned by Shirley Monro and continues to race on a regular basis
For 1958, Charlie Graham returned with a new special,
called the Graham 500. Little is known of the technical details, although
as can be seen from the illustration below, it has the general proportions
of a late-model Cooper, and uses Cooper wheels. But there is no information
as yet of what lay beneath and only DNF results recorded. The car was offered for sale in
Motorsport in November 1959, and nothing more is known of it.
Charlie built a Formula Junior, and it is perhaps
possible that he kept parts of the Graham as its base.
Please get in touch if you know more.