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  Cooper T61M Shelby King Cobra
 

  Article Image gallery (24) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1963 - 1964
Numbers built:6
Designed by:Len Terry for Cooper Cars
Successor:Shelby T-10 King Cobra Ford
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 06, 2014
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionCooper had kick-started the mid-engined revolution in Formula 1 and also lead the way in sports car racing. Like the F1 racers, the two-seat Cooper 'Monacos' were powered by the Coventry Climax FPF four cylinder engine. In privateer hands, various other engines were tried, including much larger American V8s. To stay ahead of the game, Cooper developed a new version of the Monaco specifically to accommodate larger engines for the 1963 season.

Known as the T61M and still powered by a Climax engine, the revised Cooper was first tested late in 1962 by Bruce McLaren. Like the earlier versions, the new car featured a tubular space-frame chassis but made slightly wider behind the cockpit to suit the bigger V8s. Suspension was by double wishbones and coil springs all around. Two sizeable fuel tanks were mounted on either side of the cockpit. The car featured a lightweight aluminium body that was slightly lower and wider than its predecessor's.

Among Cooper's customers was Carroll Shelby to compete in the lucrative USRRC series. He feared his Cobras would be no match for the purpose built sports racers but also had no time and resources to construct a car of his own, so obtaining two chassis from Cooper was the easiest route. Like all T61Ms, the two cars headed for Shelby's shop in Venice California were only partly finished, and ready to accept the engine and gearbox of the customer's choosing.

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  Article Image gallery (24) Chassis (2) Specifications