Cooper T80 history
Cooper built the spaceframe T80 for in 1965 for the stillborn flat-16 Climax FWMW engine, but when this did not arrive, the car was used to test the new Maserati F1 engine.
Although the FWMW had first run at the end of 1964 and had been shown to the press in February 1965, it never produced the expected power and the project was dropped by the middle of that year. The T80 sat around until the end of 1965 when it was fitted with one of the new Maserati engines intended for the start of the 3-litre Formula 1. The T80 was tested by Innes Ireland through November and December with a Weber carburettor version of the V12, Lucas fuel injection being intended for the pukka 1966 GP car. In January the first T81s were completed and the T80 was retired from use. Its one and only race appearance was at the International Trophy in May 1966, after the engine in Siffert's T81 expired and he borrowed the T80 for the race. Siffert had gearbox troubles from the start and retired after just 12 laps when the clutch gave out.
The car was advertised in September 1966 and, according to factory records, was sold, less engine, to Switzerland a month later. What happened to it there is still not clear. The late David McKinney had a note that it had gone to Georges Gachnang and been used as the basis of his Cegga-Maserati, but an examination of Cegga appearances around this time does not show a new car that would fit. A car was later found in Switzerland that might be the T80, but with a lack of photographs of the T80 frame to compare, definite identification has not been possible.
(14 May 1966)
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