oz miller cooper tas hillclimb
(Guy Miller)

‘Austin Cooper always drove with enthusiasm’, here it’s written all over his face as he extracts all his Cooper T41 Climax has to offer on the way to achieving FTD at Trevallyn hillclimb, Launceston, Tasmania in 1959…

The quote is attributed to noted Australian historian John Blanden, this car was one of six T41s built for F2 racing in 1956. Chassis F2-2-56, fitted with a 1.5-litre SOHC Coventry Climax FWB engine was raced with some success by Ken Wharton before being shipped to Australia together with his Ferrari 750 Monza and Maserati 250F for the ‘Olympic’ Grand Prix meeting at Albert Park in 1956. It was later taken to NZ for the 1957 GP meeting at Ardmore, near Auckland where Wharton was tragically killed in the sports car support event when his Monza rolled.

The Cooper returned to the UK and was acquired from the Wharton Estate by roving Aussie engineer/racer Paul England who was on a racing holiday. He contested F2 events at Snetterton and Mallory Park as well as the 1957 German GP at the Nurburgring. England is shown in the two shots below, contesting the German classic in the Cooper. DNF with distributor troubles after completing four of the race’s 22 laps, famously won by JM Fangio’s Maserati 250F.

(K German Collection)
paul england nurburgring 1957

England was a Repco trained engineer, builder of the Ausca a fabulous Holden engined sports car in which he had a circuit racing career ending accident at Phillip Island. He later formed a very successful engineering business, won multiple Australian Hillclimb Championships in self built cars and entered cars for, and assisted drivers such as Larry Perkins.

At the end of 1957 the car was bought by Aussie Miller who was also visiting Europe. The Cooper came into Australia in bits along with various aircraft parts, Miller was an agricultural pilot. As in a very good crop-dusting pilot who originally flew in the RAAF! A Lotus 12 was also imported in bits for Ern Tadgell, the cars taking on the names ‘Miller Special’ and ‘Sabakat’ in the best traditions of motor racing, thereby avoiding the fiscal-fiend’s punitive import taxes otherwise applicable to imported racing cars…

miller spl albert park
Aussie Miller kissing the kerb in the Miller Spl Cooper T41, Albert Park, November 1958 (Guy Miller)

The Miller Spl first raced in Australia at Phillip Island in 1958, Aussie competed in circuit racing, sprints and hillclimbs achieving class firsts in the Victorian Road Racing Championships and the Victorian Trophy.

Miller then progressed to an ex-Stan Jones Cooper T51 Climax, the T41 then passed through many hands and I believe is still in Australia. Miller fitted a Chev V8 to the Cooper T51 and set an Australian Land Speed Record, that is another vastly interesting story about this amazing racing character, driver, publican and pilot…


‘History of Racing Cars in Australia’ John Blanden, Ken German Collection, Guy Miller, Walkem Family


Finish as we started, Miller, same car, Trevallyn, but not the same day, could be though, wearing a jumper in the cool of the day…


  1. Geoffrey Smedley says:

    Certainly not the Trevallyn Hill Climb, Aussie never ran there, before his time!!

  2. […] Reminds me I have a feature on Aussie 95% complete! I’ve owed Guy Miller a call for at least 12 months just to finish the sucker off! Click here for a quickie on Aussie; https://primotipo.com/2015/05/20/aussie-miller-cooper-t41-climax-trevallyn-hillclimb-launceston-tasm… […]

  3. […] Austin identified the Cooper for sale in England albeit the Australian connection was that fellow Victorian Paul England had been racing the ex-Ken Wharton ‘F2/2/56’ or ‘F2/4/56’ machine throughout Europe in 1957 and was now ready to come home. I wrote about the car a while back, click here to read about it; https://primotipo.com/2015/05/20/aussie-miller-cooper-t41-climax-trevallyn-hillclimb-launceston-tasm… […]

  4. robert king says:

    Another great article, Mark. As to your two ‘wotisits’, I think the first might be the MacHealey (Mel McEwen?). I looked up the cars used in ‘On the Beach’ and I think it must have been the Ferrari Monza. Aussie would have enjoyed that. Lou Molina often talked about the fun they had filming at PI. An XK140 was driven by NS Norway – Neville Shute to you.

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Bob,
      It is the Mac-Healey- two votes wins it, probably should have picked it, I know, or knew Bernie Bisselling a bit. Have updated the captions accordingly- if ever there was a book, one about Aussie and Ernie would have been a corker?

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