By 1953 Charles Cooper and his son, John were already converting their successful grand prix cars into sports cars. These early cars were typically powered by light Coventry-Climax engines and driven by legends such as driven by Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori and Jack Brabham.
Cooper launched their Monaco model in 1955 after Jack Brabham’s Grand Prix victory that year at Monte Carlo.
The first Monaco chassis were built from four main tubes, spaced wide apart. The suspension used double wishbones up front and a traverse leaf spring in the rear.Braking was provided by 10.25 inch Girling Discs
The engine bay was designed to accommodate several engines although the Coventry-Climax was almost always used in conjuction with a Citroen-ERSA four-speed transaxle. The Climax engine was advantageous with its aluminum alloy construction and 1,098cc, 1,450cc or 2000cc size.
The suspension used double wishbones up front and a traverse leaf spring in the rear.Braking was provided by
Unlike previous Coopers, the Monaco had to appease FIA regulations, which meant for the first time they would fit doors, have two seats and full-width windscreen.
With the 12-gallon aluminum fuel tank and battery in the cockpit as well as radiators up front that sent and received through the chassis tubes weight distribution was 44/56.
Equiped with a 2-liter Coventry-Climax engine one Cooper T49 Monaco was raced at Le Mans by Jim Russell and Bruce McLaren for the Cooper Car Company. The car did not finish because of an accident six hours into the race.
After less than ten cars were built, Cooper released the MkII version in 1960.