The Cooper T86 was a Formula 1 racing car which was produced by the British Formula 1 team Cooper between 1967 and 1968.
In 1967, Cooper introduced the T86 from the mid-season. It was a new race car to replace the completely outdated T81.
The T86 was a dedicated effort to build a lightweight Formula 1 race car. The car was extremely light, very low and narrower than its predecessor.
However, the Maserati engine remained the real problem for Cooper. The engine was much too heavy and used too much fuel.In 1968 the Cooper T86B was born, when Cooper replaced the Maserati engine with the BRM V-12.
After the 1967 attempt failed with the lightweight T86, the T68B again had full length a monocoque chassis.
The 12-cylinder engine from BRM was indeed lighter than the Maserati engine, but the engine was the weakest engine of the 1968 season. The car was given enhanced front brakes and at the mid-season point, it was given front and rear wings.
In 1968 the V8 engine was proved to be the superior engine, so John Cooper was inspired to search for a V8 engine to power his F1 cars as well.
Alfa Romeo were developing a new 3-litre V8 engine for sports car racing, which could easily be modified to suit Formula 1 needs.
Cooper constructed a single chassis for the Italian V8 engine and the Cooper T86C was born, T86C F1-3-68, was Livered in red with two white stripes, the Cooper Alfa Romeo was tested once by Lucien Bianchi, but the engine proved to be underpowered.
Two new and more powerful engines were tested on the Alfa Romeo benches, but neither engine survived the test. Bianchi was set to drive the Cooper Alfa Romeo, but the engine's poor performance forced Alfa Romeo to withdraw the engine, leaving Cooper engineless.
Once the sport's biggest innovators with their ground breaking and Championship winning mid-engined racers, Cooper was the biggest victim of the big changes made to F1 in the 1968 season and left the sport at the end of the season.