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Bruce McLaren’s Cooper-Oldsmobile


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#26 Prof. Fate

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:12 PM

Hi

Makes me smile!

But no teen in the day could have done that. Back then, we all had little charts on this motor for the gear option spacing. Lost is years ago, however. It was simple, my first 36d was faster stock, and ........

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#27 dc-65x

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:22 PM

But no teen in the day could have done that......


Hi Rocky,

As A teen I couldn't have either.

But there were lots of older guys building back in the 60's too. Bob Braverman was a machinist by trade and built tons of cars. So, in my personal reality for these builds I am not the 14 year old kid I was in 1964. I am a 60 year old machinist having fun with his 1950's Clausing 6" X 24" mill in his garage and a good old Ungar soldering iron :) .

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#28 TSR

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:45 PM

We have plenty of beautiful cars at the LASCM obviously built by very knowledgeable machinists in the 1960s to prove Rick's point... :)

Here are two of the three bodies of what started as a 1961 Cooper-Climax T53 F1 car, that became the "center-seat" 1962 Zerex-Cooper sports car, modified in 1963 with a widened cockpit ( the red Lancer body shown here, that really should be metallic blue and white, the John Mecom colors) to the widened Cooper-Oldsmobile painted in the ugliest shade of puke green by Bruce McLaren. The surviving remains of car are now painted in red. The aluminum body that had been modified by the person who had purchased the car from Bruce and raced it in the USA and South America has apparently not survived.

zerex_1.jpg

The missing body here is that of the original Zerex, I did not have one handy to take a picture.

The Zerex/Cooper/McLaren-Olds later days, rare pictures from 1966 before it disappeared. Note the modified nose:

zerex-1.jpg

zerex-4.jpg
Find the car in Chavezland, bring it back and make a couple of millions, easy money! :D

#29 dc-65x

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 01:57 PM

Hi Philippe,

Thanks for the great pictures. I'm still looking for the " two seater" version body. If LASCM has an extra clear one I'd love to trade for it...hint...hint :D .

Here's a picture of my "single seater":

Posted Image

I've never seen the #39 version. It's really cool, thanks again for the pictures :) .

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#30 Hworth08

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:30 PM

Is that a Corvette nose on #39? The crossed flags look Corvetteish.
Don Hollingsworth

#31 mdiv

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 03:36 PM

Corvetteish!!! Awesome adjective!

I'm working on a chaparral 1 that looks similar to the cooper olds. Not sure what to do with it at present, but it's in on the warming rack.

Mikey

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#32 TSR

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 04:03 PM

Rick,
Thanks, that's the one! :)

Is that a Corvette nose on #39? The crossed flags look Corvetteish.

Actually, more like Mako Shark-ish! :laugh2:
The car is the same as the "Jolly Green Giant" car shown by Rick in the first posting. The nose was reconfigured by the South American owner who acquired the glorious car from Bruce McLaren after he smashed the car against some hay bales in 1966. It is a new aluminum nose section that was welded on the old body. Note the preparation of the car at the time, it looks rather good. But the car is now a bunch of rusty bits, still worth literally $MILLIONS.

#33 Hworth08

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:44 PM

Corvetteish!!! Awesome adjective!

I'm working on a chaparral 1 that looks similar to the cooper olds. Not sure what to do with it at present, but it's in on the warming rack.

Mikey


I'm not sure Corvetteish is the correct spelling, it's not in Webster's dictionary. :)

Is there a source for the Chaparral I bodies?
Don Hollingsworth

#34 68Caddy

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:53 PM

You are doing it again Rick, killing me! :wub:


Nesta
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BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

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It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#35 TSR

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:55 PM

Indeed, Scuderia Scale. They show up on ePay time to time.

This is the original painting hanging in my office of the second version of the Zerex Cooper after Roger Penske had sold it to John Mecom, but still raced it. With it he finished second to Dave MacDonald at the Times Grand Prix at Riverside in 1963, making the rare experimental Indy engine a twice winner and 2nd place finisher in the same race in 3 consecutive years, after having qualified for the Indy 500, run the race and finishing, winning the 1961 Times GP in a Cooper Monaco, plus a number of races won by Roger in the Zerex car. Quite an incredible series for a single prototype engine by the Coventry-Climax company... and the very same engine is still running today!
Hard to photograph with the glass over it, but you get the idea...

zerex_mecom 001.JPG

#36 Duffy

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:01 PM

Is there a source for the Chaparral I bodies?

Yah. Dilworth. And it's a Bee-YOOT.



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#37 Hworth08

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:12 PM

Thanks. Does Noose supply all of John's bodies?

Philippe, Is the original car just an Indy or Gran Prix car that is covered with a body? Those cars were SO small. And romantic!
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#38 TSR

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:20 PM

Don, the story goes like this (it's epic!)

1/ 1961: the Coventry-Climax company, at the request of John Cooper, builds two special engines for competing in the Indianapolis 500. These two engines use the same basis as that of the then 2.5-liter F1 world-champion unit, but with a longer stroke and larger bore and chrome plated bores, bringing it to 2.8-liter displacement. One engine is used in a special Cooper chassis to qualify the car, the other for the race, while the qualifying engine is installed in a back-up car just in case. There will be no need. The special car goes well, at one time in 3rd position behind AJ Foyt, but due to poor stops and tire wear, finishes in 9th place after an extra stop.

2/ The back-up car with the "qualifying" engine is loaned to Hap Sharp (later of Chaparral fame) who promptly set a new lap record at Road America.

3/ In October, the two engines are sent to Riverside, are fitted to two Cooper Monaco sports cars and driven by Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren, finish 1-2 in the Times Grand Prix.

4/ A week later at the Pacific Grand Prix, Roger Penske purchases the "qualifying" engine, then installs it in a F1 chassis purchased from Briggs Cunningham and crashed at the USGP by Walt Hansgen.

5/ Roger has a man make a wide body for the repaired F1 car, with a little side seat to qualify it as a 2-seater, and promptly uses the car to win the 1962 Times Grand Prix as well as a half-dozen other important races over the USA. Some are not too happy about this "unfair advantage".
This is indeed what it looked like, courtesy of Rick:

Posted Image

6/ Roger sells the car to John Mecom in Texas, paints it in blue and responds to the complaints by others by cutting the frame and fitting two real seats, silencing his critics. He also wins another few races and finishes in 2nd place at the 1963 Times Grand Prix.

7/ Comes 1964 and at Pensacola, Hap Sharp drives the car and misses a shift, making nice holes in the engine. The car is then sold without engine, but with a 3.5-liter Olds on a pallet to Bruce McLaren, who promptly installs... the other Climax Indy engine that was retained by Cooper. After a couple of races in the UK, he blows that engine rather comprehensively and rebuilds the car as the Cooper-Olds, painting it in that green color.

8/ The blown engine that Sharp had destroyed at Pensacola sits in one of John Mecom's warehouses for many years, until an auction where this and some Ford 427 side-oilers are sold.

9/ Through a concours of circumstances, Yours Truly purchases some of the remains of that engine in 1989 from a Texas broker, remains that are quickly identified as one of the two Indy engines. The missing block is also found still wearing its USAC tech-inspection stamps and also purchased in Colorado.

10/Through another concours of circumstances, the remains of the sole Cooper Indianapolis car are found in Tacoma, WA, and purchased by Yours Truly in mid 1990.

11/ After some really hard work, car and repaired engine are put back together and a 30-year celebration is set at the 1991 Monterey Historic Races where the car is awarded the top-notch award.

12/ 2011 is the 50-year anniversary of the car racing at Indy and we are taking it to Goodwood, England, to celebrate the event with people who truly care.

Full circle and lots of racing miles later... :)
So now I am after the Cooper-Olds but my hopes are very low at this time...
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#39 Duffy

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 05:02 AM

Thanks. Does Noose supply all of John's bodies?

I'm available too, but I don't have the Chappy I at present (can I interest you in a real nice Birdcage Maser, or a Lister Jag?)--Rick T and I have been keeping John busy with the vintage, "Lost Cause" stuff, and Noose deals more in the Retro. 'Least that was the loose arrangement. I'm getting ready to order a bunch more things, PM me if you need. Attaching a fairly-current list of John's stuff.

Duffy



Attached Files


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#40 Prof. Fate

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 12:22 PM

Hi

one part of the above story that may or may not be true is that when the cooper F1 chassis is acquired by Penske it is thoroughly bent. One story has it that they drew up straight jig lines on the floor for the chassis, cut out each bent tube and replaced it with straight!

Back in 89 and 90, I was chasing down this stuff out of curiosity, and Philippe heard about it which is how we met. He invited me down to the shop to drool over the Cooper/Indy parts, then restoration, then be at Monterrey for the car's introduction. Drink beer with Brabham!

As an aside, friends with Phil Hill, he thought it was hilarious to watch me try to SIT in the car. Philippe took a photo of that and my wife used it as a bookmark for the rest of her life. She was always amused my my love of these cars.

Again, generosity of Philippe and friendship, priceless.

Fate
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#41 Steve Deiters

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:02 PM

Zerex Special in VZ-4.21.11.jpg Zerex Special in VZ 2-4.21.11.jpg

Two photos I found on the net of the Zerex special racing in Venezeula.

#42 Mark H

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 06:31 PM

Posted Image
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#43 TSR

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:15 PM

A very famous car indeed...
Leo Barboza is the guy who bought the car from Bruce McLaren. Today it is one of the most sought-after "disappeared" cars on the planet...

#44 68Caddy

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:20 PM

Sorry but it sure was ugly, had to say it, got to be honest. ;)
Project is great but the car! I like the first version better the the Vette looking thingy. :blink:


Nesta
- Gabriel
Nesta Szabo

In this bright future you can't forget your past.
BMW (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

United we stand and divided we fall, the Legends are complete.
I'm racing the best here at BP but Father time is much better then all of us united.
Not a snob in this hobby, after all it will be gone, if we keep on going like we do, and I have nothing to prove so I keep on posting because I have nothing to gain.
It's our duty to remember the past so we can have a future.

Pistol Pete you will always be in my memory.

#45 Bill from NH

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:20 PM

With the pointed nose, it looks like a minature Chappy, especially when painted white. :)

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#46 Prof. Fate

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 12:59 PM

Hi

I suspect it means that there is something wrong with me! I spent a lot of time with P trying to hunt down the Zerex....and I have had several instances to be in Midland and NEVER even gone to look at a chappy!

P lectures me about why the 2 and 2 C are different, me not paying much atttention........and I once spent hours and hours to back convert the Charlie Fitzpatric's glas version of the FIA spec Cooper/olds to the earlier second place LA times grand prix version!

No accounting for taste!

Fate
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#47 TSR

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 03:11 PM

I like the first version better the the Vette looking thingy.

Corvettes do not look like that. The Larry Shinoda designed Mako Shark MKII from which this new aluminum nose was fashioned after, does.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#48 dc-65x

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 03:26 PM

The Pittman 705/6 motor is done, all lined up and soldered together:

Posted Image

I love that red anodized and drilled Weldun gear:

Posted Image

There is a short piece of pin tubing soldered at each joint. More on these later:

Posted Image

I reduced the weight from 2.55 oz to 2.35 oz or 5.5 grams (8%). That should increase my top speed by at least.000000001 miles per hour :laugh2: . It was fun to drill all those holes though ;) :

Posted Image

The magnet got a good zap with my "Big Dog" zapper......before:

Posted Image

.....and after zapping:

Posted Image

Onward....

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
The Independent Scratchbuilder
There's much more to come...


#49 Mark H

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 02:43 AM

Sano
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#50 dc-65x

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:51 AM

Thanks Mark.

I went to setup the motor in my Rick's Jig and found a problem. The brush holder is holding the front of the motor a good 1/16" off the jig:

Posted Image

The bottom of that brush holder and insulator doesn't do anything.......

Posted Image

.........so I cut it off. Now the front of the motor sits nice and low:

Posted Image

To "add lightness" I decided to build the chassis out of .030" piano wire. I have very little experience building with such thin material. I followed a Mike Morrissey inspired design I've used before with brass pin tube:

Posted Image

The Rick's Jig once again come through with fixturing pin holes that lined up all the chassis rails, the body mounts and drop arm hinge:

Posted Image

OK. Hindsight is 20-20. Could there be a problem here :unsure: :blink: :laugh2:

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
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There's much more to come...






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