1956 Cooper Formula 1 Bobtail on display. Photo provided by California Oil Museum

Exhibit extended: Revolution in Racing: Vintage British Grand Prix Motor Cars and Motorcycles

October 29, 2004
Santa Paula News
The exhibit of “Revolution in Racing” at the California Oil Museum has been extended through Sunday, December 19, 2004, because of its popularity with visitors and car clubs.   The exhibition features Formula racing cars and motorcycles from the golden age of British Grand Prix motor racing in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This was the era of some of the most famous names in racing, like Sir Jack Brabham, John Surtees, Graham Hill, and Jim Clark. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a championship 1956 Cooper Formula I Bobtail, only one of five in the U.S. The Bobtail is displayed with a 1962 open-wheel Cooper Formula Jr and a rare 1963 British Lola Formula II racer. Homage is paid to John Cooper’s landmark creation, the Mini Cooper, in a fully restored 1964 Mini Cooper Rally on the exhibit floor. The exhibit details the full scope of British Formula racing in this era with two championship British Formula racing motorcycles: a 1952 Norton Manx and a 1960 Matchless G-50. The exhibit also features a collection of photos autographed by the winners of the early Indy 500’s. The Cooper Car Company was founded in 1947 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together, they began by building racing cars in their small garage in England. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, they achieved fame as their innovative rear-engined, single-seat cars dominated Formula racing and the Indianapolis 500. The Cooper name lives on in the popular Mini Cooper cars that are built in England by BMW.Located at 1001 E. Main Street, the City of Santa Paula’s California Oil Museum is two blocks north of the 126 Freeway on Highway 150.   It is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 to 4. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $1 for children. Admission to the Museum is free for Museum members.

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