Lionel Leonard was an MG tuner of some renown in England. He purchased a Cooper MG chassis from John Cooper. The prototype Cooper-MG car was produced in 1950 and was based on an extended frame of the Mark IV chassis. In June of 1950, the car made its racing debut in the hands of Stirling Moss. Powered by a 1250cc engine, the car was driven to an impressive fifth place overall.
This car was delivered to Alan Brown as a Cooper Bristol Formula II team car. Given that Brown was a driver of considerable reputation in the 1950s, he raced the Cooper throughout England and Europe.
Brown convertible this car into a sports racer at the close of the 1953 racing season. The aluminum coachwork was done by Wakefield's of Byfleet who closely copied Vignale's coachwork found on early Ferrari sports racers. The two-seater was quickly sold to Tom Kyffin's Equipe Devon racing team and given the road registration UPF440, which is how most British sports racers are identified. UPF440 was raced at Brands Hatch, Crystal Palace, Goodwood, the hill climb at Tranjwainton and many European events. At some point, the six-cylinder Bristol motor was removed and replaced with a MG XPAG four-cylinder motor for the hotly contested British club racing scene.
The Cooper MG was imported into the United States by the legendary Anatoly Artunoff in the early 1970s in 'basket case' condition. The current owner purchased the car in the early 1990s and had a painstaking restoration done by The Creative Workshop in South Florida. It has been raced with the VDCA and participated in several tours.