For a while, it was inevitable that John Cooper and Colin Chapman were mentioned in the same breath. Colin could turn on the charm and dazzle people, he had charisma and he would refer to Cooper Cars as, “Those bloody blacksmiths.” By contrast, John was an affable and modest man, who admired Chapman enormously. When pushed on the subject, he’d say, “We did win two World Championships before Colin, and you didn’t need to pack a welding kit when you raced our cars.”
There is a story that there are no Cooper drawings because all the chalk marks have long gone from the factory floor. This was something John encouraged. When his son, Mike, decided to build a vehicle for the Goodwood Soapbox Derby, he asked his Dad how he should begin. John replied, “Piece of chalk and the factory floor.”
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