Current Projects - Cooper Technica Chicago

About Cooper Technica, Inc.

Cooper Technica, Inc. specializes in complete restorations of rare and valuable vintage automobiles, especially pre-war and early post-war European sports and touring cars. Cooper Technica maximizes each car's potential value with the highest standards of authentic restoration, meticulous research and historical documentation, and an emphasis on functionality.

Restoration & Authenticity. There is a balance between restoration and conservation in order to preserve these cars for future generations. That requires a mixture of preservation and restoration of functionality. A car is not a car if it is merely a static display. On the other hand, it is wrong to let the restorer’s hand interfere with the hand of the original designer. Cooper’s goal is authenticity, fidelity to the original, to bring the car to its highest potential value. This is an expensive approach, only practical for the most valuable cars.

Authenticity begins with historical research in several areas. In addition to documenting the provenence, it is essential to determine the original materials, chemistry, metallurgy, period production techniques and original specifications, and to understand the context and milieu in which the car was created. Every aspect of the work is documented thoroughly in an extensive photo archive, including original period photos and drawings. More discussion of these points at The History of the Hand-Built Tradition and Barn Finds & Other Myths.

Functionality. These cars are a marriage of art and function. Without both of these elements, they fail. Because we make sure all systems and components function properly, our clients have confidence that the restored car can actually be driven—not just idled up to the podium to receive an award. Sometimes this involves subtle modifications for today's gasoline and driving conditions, which may include hardened valve seats (for unleaded fuel), modern paint technology, modern rubber compounds (tires and seals), and upgraded wiring and electrical. Decisions about these modifications are made in consultation with our clients and are discreetly crafted with an eye to maintaining the car's value.

Capabilities. Cooper Technica has restoration workshops in Chicago and Lyon, France. David Cooper personally oversees all aspects of research, analysis, restoration and assembly at both Cooper Technica locations. Cooper has a complete machine shop, sheet metal fabrication shop, engine and mechanical shop and paint facilities in house. They also have laser scanning, digital imaging and rendering, and 3D printing capabilities.

Investments. Cooper Technica establishes limited partnerships in carefully selected top-end vintage cars. Cooper identifies the rare candidates for serious investment, "the unpolished gems," which are undervalued due to compromised pedigree and condition. Combining expertise in restoration, historical research, documentation, and marketing, he restores these cars to their former glory and realizes their highest potential value. The investments preserve historically important cars, allow investors to participate in the passion and excitement of ownership, and provide a significant return.

About David Cooper. David Cooper apprenticed under master craftsman, engineer and inventor Leonard Morrison (1935-2002) for eleven years after a decade in engineering and marketing in the corporate world. He is a trained fabricator, machinist, designer, engine builder, historian and ex-racer with 35 years experience. After decades of restoration, forensic examination, reverse engineering, and study of original construction methods and materials, Cooper’s perspective is unique. >> Read More

About the Website. The homepage poster image is an homage to Geo Ham, one of the great vintage automobile poster artists. The car is a 1937 Delage D8-120 Aérosport Coupe, and is one of our current projects. Art by David Ditzler from an original concept by David Cooper. Website design and construction by Swartwerk Media Design, Inc. Photography by David Cooper, Richard Marin, Simon Clay, Ken Toda and David Ditzler.

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