GREAT COOPER PICS ON-LINE
Isn’t this just the loveliest pic you could imagine of a big-twin Cooper in action? It comes from a collection that Hugh Miller has published at https://www.hughmillerphoto.com/Motor-Racing/Air-Cooled/ and it is reproduced here with his kind permission. But who is it? Here’s another shot, by Hugh, maybe a fraction earlier on the same run:
This is, according to Hugh’s programme, Jim Payne at Prescott in May 1963 but he thinks it looks more like Mike Hatton. Hugh took the picture in his teens and he might be right to question the record – I have met both Mike and Jim and I do agree it looks like Mike from many other photos I have seen of him in the ‘sixties. I haven’t, though, got any period pics of Jim. I do have a lot of Mike Hatton pics because he was a close friend of prolific Photographic Craftsmen photographer Griff Bury and I have copied most of what Mike has. So I looked further and Mike initially seems to be in a dark helmet, as follows, at Shelsley Walsh on 12 June 1960 or 11 June 1961:
Then I found this super Griff Bury photo which I have labelled as Mike Hatton but don’t have a date for:
I am quite sure this is Mike Hatton and so it seems that the dark blue ex Michael Christie Mark 10 had a facelift about 1962 and maybe the helmet got a paint job. My Cooper twin entry information – reports, programmes, results – collected with a view to some day finishing the big-twin story of the great hillclimb championship years from 1950 – mainly stops at 1962. So if anyone can verify – or challenge – what’s written here, please let us know.
There are more fine photographs, both period and contemporary, on Hugh’s website and just to finish, here is another classic Shelsley shot by Hugh of Mike Hatton on the Esses approach.