In 1957 while Jack Brabham was building the Cooper T43 for an almost complete season of Formula One the Cooper Car Company was still predominantly dependent on selling open wheelers for the “500” Formula 3 class, their 1957 500 F3 model was known as the Mk XI even though it was little changed from the 1956 Mk X and 1955 Mk IX models that preceded it.
West London launderette and dry cleaning operator Albert Zains had been racing Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars since 1954, for some long forgotten reason he ordered his 1957 Cooper XI to be built with a cockpit 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than standard.
Albert’s own size is not thought to have played any part in the decision, he christened his Norton powered car the Flash Special.
Of the cars known results up to 1960 when Albert appears to have retired from racing were 5 third place finishes all recorded in 1958, two of which were scored by Albert, two with Ian Raby at the wheel and one with Syd Jensen.
Albert appears to have been part owner and one time racer of a Lotus Eleven chassis #168 which post Albert’s involvement in 1958 became known as the “Singapore Eleven” with fellow 500 F3 exponent Gordon Jones.
The Flash Special was fitted with a Triumph motor in 1970 and is seen in these photo’s with current owner Roy Wright at the wheel at last years Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting.
Thanks for joining me on this “Wider & Longer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !