When Justin Maeers attended the Silverstone Auction last year, it was only to catch up with old friends and enjoy a beer. By the time the sale ended, he had not only bought the star lot, a 1959 Cooper Monaco, but he had decided to race it the very next day at the 25th Silverstone Classic.
With such speed of thought, the auction team had just 10 minutes to complete the sale paperwork and get the car into scrutineering to meet the deadline for the class. But sadly, the race didn’t go quite to plan and he damaged the gearbox, due to his unfamiliarity with the car.
Justin said: “I had been looking to purchase a Cooper Monaco for a few years, so when I saw the machine and learnt its history, I knew it was the car for me.
“I had already planned to enter the Silverstone Classic with a different car but the engine failed during practice. Someone then suggested that I could enter the Cooper Monaco in its place. It seemed like a good idea at the time and a mad dash followed! But everyone did a sterling job to get everything agreed and the car on the track.”
The Cooper Monaco was developed by the Cooper Car Company from November 1958, who were perhaps best known for their development of F1 cars and the Mini Cooper. It was initially intended as a replacement for the ‘Bobtail’ sports-racing car model, which had become outdated, and was named ‘Monaco’ after Maurice Trintignant’s 1958 victory in the Monaco street race, which he achieved driving a Cooper-Climax.
The car was incredibly low and light compared to other cars in the period, and had a truly classic style. Throughout the 1959 season, the Cooper Monacos were immediately successful, and Stirling Moss competed in one at the British Grand Prix meeting that year.
This particular car has been widely raced in historic events throughout the years. It previously won the Gold Cup at Oulton in 2012, and has taken part in a string of other races and championships, including impressive results at Goodwood and previous outings at Silverstone Classic.
Justin also competes in the RIP Special, which is being driven by Charlie Martin at this year’s hill climb. He also has many VSCC wins and has won at Angoulême twice.
With both the car and the driver having long and illustrious careers, and with more time to prepare, we look forward to seeing if Justin can add to the car’s winning history.
Photo courtesy of Little-Classics.com