17-18 August 2012

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Lot 130

1962 Cooper Monaco Sports Racing Car

  • Chassis no. CM 2-62

Sold for $176,000

250+ bhp, 3,528 cc OHV aluminum V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with wishbones, coil-springs and anti-roll bar, rear suspension by wishbones and transverse leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 91"

Please note that this vehicle will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.

• Driven by Graham Hill in two West Coast Pro Series races in 1962

• Successfully campaigned by Bill Sturgis from 1962–1963

• Completely rebuilt to mid-60s specifications with aluminum Buick V-8

Having won the Formula Two Manufacturer’s World Championship in 1959, John and Charles Cooper returned to sports car construction with the Monaco sports racer, powered by 1.5-liter, or 2-liter Coventry Climax SOHC aluminum engines, and using the transmission and suspension from the 1958 Grand Prix cars. When the FIA focus shifted to GT cars in 1961, Cooper Monacos and Lotus 19s were shipped over to the U.S. to compete in what would be the forerunner of Can-Am racing, alongside Maseratis, Scarabs, and Chaparrals. The car on offer today is one of those sports racers, fitted with the tall fins specified by Cooper for American racers.

Originally imported by Von Housen Motors, of Sacramento, California, in 1962, CM 2-62 was raced by William Sturgis, of Gardnerville, Nevada, with great success. According to journalist Gary Jarlson, who also photographed the 1962 races, Sturgis won at Salt Lake City, Oakland and Riverside and was second at Oakland and Tucson. He also posted a DNF twice at Riverside. The last record of the 1962 season has Sturgis leading the series on points. Historically more significant, however, is that Sturgis lent his car to soon-to-be Formula One World Champion Graham Hill to run two races in a West Coast Pro Series. Photographs exist of Hill in the corkscrew at Laguna Seca, but sadly, he DNF’d there, with brake and transmission woes.

In 1964, the Cooper was acquired by Washburn Motors, of Santa Barbara, which removed the two-liter Climax engine and fitted a 327-cubic inch Chevrolet Corvette V-8 engine and “McKee” four-speed gearbox. Noted mechanic Tony Settember performed the conversion, but the car was never raced, as Washburn turned his attention to racing Camaros in Trans-Am. The Cooper Monaco was sold to George Lehman in 1969, complete but not running, and Lehman determined the old Cooper frame was unsafe, so he built a Group 7 aluminum monocoque tub. The car was completed, but his money ran out, so it was dismantled and stored for a further 28 years.

Present owner and racer David Springett bought the Cooper Monaco from George Lehman’s family in 2000 and commenced restoration in the most competitive American Can-Am configuration from the mid-1960s. Much of the car remains as original Cooper, but the Can-Am specifications include a rebuilt Buick aluminum V-8, Halibrand quick-change magnesium transmission, and Hurst Airheart alloy twin-pot brakes. Almost 50 years after its glory days, this gleaming aluminum sports racer is once again ready to take on the competition in the historic races.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more