Murray Rainey

Murray Rainey was born in August 1917 one of the first Australians to acquire a Cooper Mk IX in 1955, to which he fitted a second hand Manx Norton engine. He quickly established himself as one of the fastest Formula 3 drivers, often beating cars in the bigger classes with which they often race, and twice becoming Australian Hillclimb Champion. In 1957, he began to look for more performance but rejected the usual route of fitting a twin and chose instead to supercharge the Manx, something most experts said could not work. He made other modification to the car including double wishbones and coil springs at the front. Murray brought his Cooper to England for the 1958 season this proved frustrating, first because the Norton engines were now restricted to petrol (which he didn't know until he arrived) and an accident at Crystal Palace which badly damaged the car. Murray sold the Cooper in 1960 and it is now owned by Mark Palmer.

Following his accident at the Palace, Murray tried to find space in the Cooper works for his repairs, and became very interested in fitting a version of the Grand Prix Cooper front suspension to his damaged 500. Charles Cooper was unimpressed and prevented any work being done, much to Murray's frustration. Fortunately certain mechanics were more helpful, quietly pointing out that in a couple of days Pa Cooper would be off to the Dutch Grand Prix, and while the cat's away... On his return, Pa was furious and sought to tear a strip off Murray (no mean feat as both could be somewhat 'forceful'), until mid-rant he noticed how prospective customers were looking closely at this "works-developed" option. As the photo shows, the thought of extra sales quickly changed his mood.

Murray poses with John and Charlie Cooper at the works. Note the front suspension.

Murray Rainey died in May 2006

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