By James Bracey
An awful lot has gone on in the sixty years since Cooper won back to back F1 World titles way back in 1960 and 1961. In that time Eddy Merckx has risen to become the greatest cyclist of all time not to mention bicycle technology having increased almost beyond recognition, and that's just for a start.
Why is the anniversary significant for cyclists? Well the Cooper Car Company, the people behind the iconic Mini Cooper, has long had a cycling arm in Cooper Bicycles. It was this division that has decided to celebrate this diamond anniversary with the release of some gorgeous, limited edition steel road bikes.
In order to produce such unique and distinctive machines Cooper Bicycles has collaborated with steel experts and fellow British brand Spoon Customs to truly make them a celebration of the events.
Designed by Andy Carr, founder of Spoon Customs and Charlie Cooper, MD of Cooper Bikes and grandson of the legendary John Cooper, each bike will be custom made for the prospective owner to suit his or her specific requirements.
The bikes, hand-made for each customer, feature progressive road/gravel geometry and will be expertly TIG welded by hand in the highest quality HSS and XCR Italian steel from Columbus.
The bikes will be individually hand painted in Surrey at Gun Control, Spoon Customs in-house paint company, with paint schemes that celebrate the Cooper brand’s racing heritage. Finally, the bikes will be assembled under the watchful eye of Andy Carr and team at the new Spoon Customs facility in Surrey, England.
Charlie Cooper commented “I’ve followed Andy and Spoon Customs for a while and when we had the opportunity to work together, I jumped at it. This partnership will allow us to offer a new range of beautiful custom bikes that are totally unique and best in class in finish and build. We are also excited to be working with Italian craftspeople too, using the very best steel technology from Columbus Tubi near Milan.
"The Cooper brand has a great history with Italy, the idea for the original Mini Cooper was born in Monza in 1959 when my grandfather took a prototype Mini to the Italian Grand Prix. When working with the John Cooper Works brand we also built the first MINI GP with an Italian company - coach-builder Bertone”
Andy Carr talks of Cooper fondly: “The Cooper brand has been at the pinnacle of engineering excellence for 60 years, winning two Formula 1 World Titles and producing some of the most engaging and iconic racing cars ever made.
"To work with Charlie on the design of a new road bike was a privilege and to be entrusted to engineer a performance product worthy of the Cooper brand is a dream come true”.
Custom builds will start at £3,550 + delivery and local taxes for painted frame and fork, stem, bar and seat pin.
More info on custom builds can be found at cooperbikes.com/custom.
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