S4804 Cooper T60 Belgium GP 1963 – Joakim Bonnier
The Cooper T60, an evolution of the T58, gave its debut in 1962 at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. With Bruce McLaren at the wheel. Already during the preaseason-tests it became obvious that the weak point of the T60 was the gearbox. And in Zandvoort it was again the gearbox which forced Bruce McLaren into retirement. Nevertheless the first appearance of the T60 was encouraging. Especially in terms of speed. The new Cooper with its 1.5-liter Climax engine seemed to be a real rocket. McLaren drove the fastest lap in the first race. Then came Monaco and there Cooper even celebrated a victory. To be honest: it was not a victory by one’s own efforts. McLaren benefited from the retirement of Graham Hill who suffered an engine failure shortly before the chequered flag. At the end of the season Cooper and Bruce McLaren was third – in the drivers and the manufacturers championship. In 1963 the T60 continued to be used. One of the drivers was Joakim Bonnier. The Swede drove for the Walker Racing Team, probably the best private squad in Formula One. Bonnier completed a total of four races on the dark blue T60. The best result was a fifth place at the Grand Prix in Belgium in the car Spark is offering in 1:43. Walker had originally hoped to get a “fresh” car. But the Scot had to settle for a car from the year before. Bonnier was quick but development had overtaken Cooper and the victory of 1962 in Zandvoort remained the last in the 1.5-liter era. Bonnier, still driving for Walker Racing, got a Cooper T66 from the British GP on. With this car “Barbita”, the bearded man, so his nickname, regularly scored results within the top 10 but nothing more. Anyway: Bonnier who’s second passion was his art gallery had reason to celebrate in 1963. Together with the Italian Carlo-Maria Abate he won the Targa Florio on a Porsche 718 GTR.