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MOTORING: Honour for the Mini maestro; DRIVE TIME.

JOHN COOPER, ex-Formula 1 race car constructor and the creator of the Mini Cooper has been presented with the CBE for his services to the motor industry.

In the 1960s, the 76-year-old's F1 team produced many race-winning cars driven by greats of the track including Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren.

John Cooper was one if the first to recognise the racing potential of the Mini and took his ideas to a sceptical Alec Issigonis (the Mini's creator) in 1960, and once convinced of Cooper's ideas BMC went ahead with the development of the first Mini Cooper.

Launched in 1961, it was followed three years later by the Cooper S which put the Mini firmly on the motor sport trail.

The highpoint of Mini Cooper racing was success in three Monte Carlo Rally wins in 64, 65 and 67.

Speaking after his investiture by the Queen, John Cooper said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed every day of my working life.

"I am indebted to the hard work of my teams throughout the years and will treasure this honour."
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Author:Writer, STEWART SMITH Motoring
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 7, 2000
Words:180
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