Charles Cooper began building racing cars with his son, John, in the late 1940s. They were inexpensive 500cc machines but immediately successful. The engine was mounted behind the driver, a fact that would become crucial to racing car design. John Cooper later modestly dismissed it simply as the easiest way to fit the engine.
In 1958, Stirling Moss won in a Cooper T43 at the Argentine Grand Prix, the first ever rear engine car to win at the highest level.
Jack Brabham and works Coopers proved unbeatable in 1959 and 1960, securing World Championship victory for both team and driver.
Cooper's enduring legacy for Formula One was that every winning car since 1959 has had its engine behind the driver.