A history of Cooper T51 chassis number FII/28/59 - ex. John GUTHRIE - SA Power Tools & Equipment Co - Ecurie Rhodes.
This car is entered into the Cooper Car Company records as 1959 Model 1500cc Mk1V Formula II sold in October 1959 to SA Power Tool and Equipment Co. fitted with a Coventry Climax engine number FPF 1118.
Although the record shows shipment to South Africa the SA Power Tool and Equipment Company was based in Rhodesia owned by John Guthrie and the car was to be raced under the banner Ecurie Rhodes.
John Guthrie first entered the car in the Lions International Meeting held at Kumalo Rhodesia on the 26th November 1960 and subsequently in the 1961 Natal Grand Prix, the 1961 South African Grand Prix and the 1962 South African Grand Prix. The Grand Prix were run under FIA rules and the car was fitted with a 1500cc Alfa Romeo engine as were most of the local cars at that time.
Possibly due to the political difficulties due to UDI and later the changes in what became Zimbabwe the car disappeared until found in 1987. FII/28/59 was repatriated to the UK without an engine and it was sold through Roger Sweet to Rod Jolley who together with Sid Hoole restored it to pre 61 Grand Prix form fitted with a Climax 2 litre engine.
Rod Jolley drove the car with great success until 1996 when it was sold to the Duret brothers in France who continued to race the car in European Historic events until a major accident at the Silverstone Classic in 2004.
The car has been completely rebuilt around a new chassis to the highest standards and the body repaired by Rod Jolley whilst retaining as much of the original as possible. The original damaged chassis cut in two has been saved.
The car is beautifully presented both mechanically and cosmetically and is being sold in race ready condition (race car development / preparation by Hi-Tech Motorsport Ltd). This represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a piece of motor racing history that is eligible for all top historic Grand Prix events.