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Peter Giddings Racing

1959 Cooper-Maserati Type 51, Chassis Number F2-22-59

The Cooper Type 51 was the last of the Coopers constructed for the 1.5 litre Formula 2 specs. The Type 51 chassis was then utilized for Formula One in 1959 using various engines of about 2.5 litre capacity. The mainline Formula One cars had 2495 cc FPF Coventry Climax engines. A one-car team from Tommy Atkins used the 2.5 litre Maserati engines as did the Centro-Sud team. At least one BRM engined car was built up in Italy. Also, Scuderia Castellotti raced two Ferrari engined Type 51s. Cooper T51s became a mainstay for independent racers, often several were on the Formula One grids near the end of the 2.5 litre formula.

The Cooper Type 51, in the hands of Jack Brabham, was the first mid-engine car to win the Formula One World Championship, winning both the driver's and constructor's championships in 1959.

The Cooper Maserati Type 51 campaigned by Peter Giddings is chassis number F2-22-59, engine type Maserati 250SI, year of engine manufacture was also 1959. The engine capacity was 2.490 litres and the chassis was fitted with the original 1959 Colotti Type 21 gearbox instead of the weaker Cooper transmission.

This car was restored in 1983 and was issued with an FIA historic vehicle identity form (international log book) by CAMS on March 8, 1990. The car's condition was deemed to be good/race-worthy.

Peter purchased this highly-competitive car from Paul Moxham in late 1989. Paul, in turn, had owned the car for over 15 years and was responsible for its restoration. The car had been completely dismantled in approximately 1964-65 whilst with Alec Mildren's head mechanic. As a result of the chassis having been badly twisted in an accident, and heavy corrosion having set in, a spare Cooper chassis was obtained from the late Len Lukey's estate. This chassis was one of two spare Cooper 1959 chassis that Lukey had for his 1959 Type 51. The other spare chassis was used for the Bib Stillwell/Stan Jones car, F2-20-59 after an accident between Lukey and Jones in December 1959 at Phillip Island in Australia. (Coincidentally, this second car is now in the Miles Collier Museum in Florida. It is fitted with a sister body to that presently fitted to F2-22-59).

In the course of Moxham's restoration, he was able to obtain the original Maserati engine (serial number 2440) that is fitted with a F1 three-roller cam, hair-spring valve springs, twin magnetos, large capacity oil pump, 2 x 50 Weber DC03 sand-cast carburetors, etc. This engine is in excellent condition and comes with an additional set of methanol pistons and liners. Presently the engine is running on its original petrol pistons and liners. The original Colotti Type 21 gearbox is also in excellent condition, as are the original brakes, half-shafts, axles, shock absorbers, rear springs, coil springs, oil tank, header tank, rack and pinion steering, uprights, etc.

The car is fitted with a geniune 1959 fibreglass body (as fitted to F2-2-59 and Bill Patterson's ex-works Type 51, together with several other Coopers racing in New Zealand and Australia during the 1959/1960/1961 seasons. The car also has a brand new aluminum body (which Peter thought to keep for shows only and not for racing! This body still needed to be fitted and painted).

All stages of the rebuild of F2-22-59 were monitored by the CAMS State Eligibility Officer who queried the width of the rear wheels (6.25") -- a great handling improver! This query was resolved by a letter from Alec Mildren stating that this rear wheel width was historically correct.

The car is fitted with heavy-duty Teflon-coated half-shafts, and all major components have been dye checked. The engine is fitted with a starter motor and racing battery.

In 1960, Alec Mildren in Cooper-Maserati F2-22-59, won at Bathurst, Lowood, Queensland, plus a second at Longford. At Longford, he recorded a flying eighth of a mile at 169 mph, at Bathurst, he set a new lap record, set an unofficial flying quarter mile record at 173 mph, and lapped all but two cars! His first place in the 1960 Australian Grand Prix has been described by many ..."as the most exciting Australian Grand Prix of all time -- perhaps the most exciting Grand Prix finish, period!"

Of this car, Stirling Moss told Alec Mildren that if his Cooper Maserati had raced in Europe, the 1959/60/61 racing results would have been totally different.


Chassis: steel tube chassis, fibreglass body
Double wishbone front suspension, coil-over shock absorbers
Double wishbone rear suspension, transverse semi-elliptical spring, tube shocks
Wheelbase: 91 inches - Track: front - 46.5 inches, rear - 48 inches
Weight: about 1040 lbs


Maserati 4-cylinder in-line, dual overhead camshafts
Bore 96 mm, stroke 86 mm, 2489 cc displacement
9.5 compression ratio
Twin Weber 50mm DC03 sand-cast carburetors
240 bhp @ 7,000 rpm, 210 ft lbs torque @ 5,000 rpm


Cooper 1991

Cooper-Maserati at Seattle International Raceway, 1991. Photo by Bob Dunsmore.

Cooper 1990

Peter in the Cooper-Maserati in Turn 11 at Sears Point Raceway, 1990. Photo by Mike Sims.

Cooper at Sears Point

The fast and "different" (as opposed to a Cooper Climax) Cooper Maserati.
This was a very tight fit for Peter. Wine Country Classic, 1990. Photo by Bob Dunsmore.

At the Wine Country

Peter working hard in the Cooper Maserati. Wine Country Classic, 1990. Bob Dunsmore photo.