Cooper T53

Cooper T53

by Luca Dal Monte

It is the natural evolution of the previous year’s car, which won the 1959 world championship title and, in doing so, revolutionized the world of Formula 1. The winning formula is naturally the same, namely the mid-engine layout, with the engine positioned behind the driver. But compared to the T51, the Cooper T53 is lower, lighter, and more aerodynamic.

New is the tubular lattice chassis. The power of the engine, the Coventry-Climax inline 4-cylinder, now has a maximum power of 240 hp. The rear suspensions feature new springs with a torsion bar arrangement. The camshafts have supports made of magnesium alloy, bolted to the aluminum alloy head. There are two valves per cylinder, inclined 66° to each other. The cylinder block has wet cast iron liners.

Cooper T53 Image 1


Jack Brabham: Black Jack Brabham wins five consecutive Grand Prix races at Zandvoort, Spa, Reims, Silverstone, and Oporto. The 1960 championship has practically no story. The T53 makes even more of a difference than the previous T51 model. The opponents are left with mere crumbs. In Belgium, France, and Britain, Brabham also secures pole position. At Spa, Reims, and Riverside, he sets the fastest lap in the race. At the end of the season, he becomes world champion for the second time. Like his teammate and all the English teams, he skips the Italian Grand Prix in protest at Monza’s decision to use the high-speed oval.

Bruce McLaren: Bruce wins the Argentine Grand Prix that opens the season with the previous year’s model, the T51. It’s his second personal victory in Formula 1. With the T53, in the remaining races of the year, he steps onto the podium five times. He finishes second in Monaco, Belgium, and Portugal, and third in France and the United States. He sets the fastest lap in the race at Monaco.

Our model cars:

Cooper T53 Image 2

The T53 proves to be yet another success of John Cooper’s creative genius. In the 1960 season, it knows no rivals. Driven by the reigning world champion Jack Brabham and teammate Bruce McLaren, the T53 wins five out of the seven races it competes in. At the end of the year, Brabham is once again the Drivers’ World Champion, and Cooper is, for the second consecutive time, the Constructors’ World Champion.

While the T53 is exclusively driven by the official Cooper team drivers, the previous model, the T51, participates in the World Championship with various teams, including the Rob Walker Team (driver Stirling Moss), the Yeoman Credit Racing Team (driver Tony Brooks), the Scuderia Centro Sud (drivers Masten Gregory, Maurice Trintignant, Ian Burgess; with a Maserati engine), and a series of private drivers.

Cooper T53 Image 3