The Ex-Maurice Trintignant/Rob Walker Racing Team 1958 2-litre Walker Cooper-Climax Type 45 Formula 1 Racing "Interim" Single-Seater Chassis no. F2-9-58 Engine no. TBA
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Zuschlagspreis: 184.000 €
ca. 264.014 $
This is an 'interim' Formula 1 Cooper-Climax of the kind which launched the years of the 'rear-engined' revolution in Formula 1 Grand Prix racing car design. We regard it as a very important example of the legendary British marque's pioneering rear-engined design, since there is strong evidence that this car's history includes Maurice Trintignant's surprise victory here in the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. The privately-owned Rob Walker-entered car was at that time fitted with an interim 2.1-litre version of the Coventry Climax FPF 4-cylinder engine, it was competing against full 2½-litre Formula 1 factory team cars from Ferrari and Vanwall, and its victory was only the second ever achieved by a rear-engined Formula 1 car. This tremendous success followed on from the first-ever victory by a rear-engined car in Formula 1 racing, which had been achieved by Stirling Moss in a sister Rob Walker Cooper powered by just a 1960cc interim Climax engine in that year's previous World Championship-qualifying race – the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires. Just to clarify matters here, these were the first two rear-engined victories in Formula 1 racing – which commenced in 1948 and assumed Formula 1 World Championship status only in 1950. The rear-engined pre-war Auto Unions – which also carried their engines in a rear- or mid-mounted position behind the driver's cockpit, are properly considered as being Grand Prix cars, not Formula 1 cars. This is therefore an historic racing car of unusual significance. It is currently offered here with a 2-litre Coventry Climax FPF 4-cylinder engine, and is as restored and prepared by the British Retro Motorsport company for its late owner. The car has been campaigned in the Monaco Historic events, and was driven in a demonstration event here at Monaco by the late Maurice Trintignant himself, the hugely popular and universally well-respected former Champion de France, and winner in the Walker Cooper of that 1958 Grand Prix. The car bears his signature upon its nose today. The first water-cooled rear-engined Coopers were the centre-seated 'Bobtail' sports-racing design of 1955. But by the end of that year it was already known that the world governing body of international motor racing, the FIA, intended to launch a new 'stepping-stone' class of single-seater road racing in 1957. At that time the World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix class – or Formula 1 – catered for engines up to 2½-litres unsupercharged. This would continue until the end of 1960, but meanwhile the new Formula 2 class for 1957 was to use a ceiling engine capacity limit of only 1½-litres. This new category appealed to many racing car manufacturers, with the Cooper Car Company of Surbiton, England, at their head. And such was the interest amongst race promoters that through 1956 a number of 'dress rehearsal' road races were organised in England as a curtain-raiser before the official introduction of the new class. Cooper immediately asserted its primacy by developing a centre-seat, slipper-bodied open-wheeled racing version of the 'Bobtail' sports car using the same 4-cylinder Coventry Climax overhead cam water-cooled engine proven in the sports model through 1955. The new prototype Cooper Type 41 Formula 2 cars immediately showed astonishing pace driven by the works stars Roy Salvadori and Jack Brabham, while customer models were also driven by stars of their day, Tony Brooks and Ken Wharton. In 1957 a further improved Cooper-Climax Type 43 model was introduced for the official introduction of international Formula 2, and the cars dominated the field. By 1958 it seemed that if an entrant did not have a Cooper-Climax with that very lightweight aluminum-block engine behind the driver's shoulders, they wouldn't have a chance of achieving consistent Formula 2 success. The cars won the opening F2 Championship in 1957 and into 1958 a further refined version of the theme emerged as the Type 45 model – as formed the basis of this fine example offe
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