Graham 500

Graham Cooper/Graham 500

At the end of 1950, Charlie Graham, from Dumfries, bought Stirling Moss' personal Cooper Mk IV. The car was taken by train from London then towed behind the family car to his home. For two years the car continued to run as a Mk IV, although with gradually modified bodywork.

20th September 1952, winning at Bo'ness with the car still almost as Moss drove it, other than the colour.

For 1953, though, he modified the car much more thoroughly and would now refer to it as a Cooper Special. Initially, this involved lowering the car dramatically, replacing the main fuel tank with a unit under the driver's legs (something previously done by George Wicken), and creating much lower, sleeker bodywork that was semi-stressed. In this form, it took close viewing to identify its Cooper roots.





Charlie at Crystal Palace in July 1953 where he finished third in the Petit Prix


Charlie also experimented with De-Dion rear suspension almost certainly in collaboration with Joe Potts.

Mrs Graham rivets the new body Photo courtesy Shirley Monro

Possibly Beveridge Park. Photo courtesy Shirley Monro.

So Charlie Graham wasn't a great fan of Charlie Cooper then:

Oulton Park Gold Cup, August 1954

Some known results for Charlie and his Cooper special include:

Charterhall 26th July 1952, DNF,

Bo'ness 20th September 1952, 1st,

Brough 5th October 1952, 3rd in Handicap heat,

Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy 25th April 1953, 2nd in heat 1 of Kirkcaldy Trophy,

Charterhall 23rd May 1953, DNF,

Bo'ness 27th June 1953, 2nd,

Crystal Palace 11th July 1953, 3rd in Petit Prix,

Brough 3rd October 1953, 4th in heat, 2nd in Handicap,

Charterhall 11th July 1954, 4th,

Charterhall 4th September 1954, DNF

This car is not seen in 1955, but by 1956 it had been purchased by Herbert Stilborn, who would race it until 1960.

Some results for Herbert:

Oliver's Mount 6th July 1956, 4th in Final,

Cadwell Park 6th August 1956, 5th in heat,

Brough 29th September 1956, 3rd in Handicap race,

Mallory Park 22nd April 1957, 3rd in Consolation final,

Cadwell Park 5th August 1957, 4th in heat, 4th in final,

Mallory Park 26th December 1957, 7th,

Full Sutton 24th May 1958, 3rd,

Catterick 4th October 1958, DNF,

Rufforth 4th June 1960, 3rd,

In the intervening years, the car regained its Cooper rear suspension and wire wheels, but still sits very low. Since 1991, the car has been owned by Shirley Monro and continues to race on a regular basis

Graham 500

For 1958, Charlie Graham returned with a new special, called the Graham 500. Little is known of the technical details, although as can be seen from the illustration below, it has the general proportions of a late-model Cooper, and uses Cooper wheels. But there is little information as yet of what lay beneath and only DNF results are recorded. The car was offered for sale in Motorsport in November 1959. Charlie built a Formula Junior, and it seems that he recycled much of the running gear from the Graham 500 as its base. The Graham Junior is in the hands of Doug Yates.

Please get in touch if you know more.